Each affiliated program must adhere to the following five standards each year by signing a memorandum of agreement with JAM.
1. The program must be accessible to all students by providing free or low cost instrument loans and free or highly subsidized tuition based on financial need. No student should be turned away because of an inability to pay tuition.
2. The program must be safe and accessible to all students. The program needs to be held in a publicly maintained facility and teachers, supervisors and volunteers must be screened with criminal background checks prior to employment.
3. The program must teach traditional mountain music (old time and bluegrass music styles local to their particular region).
4. The program must provide evidence of program planning by submitting program objectives at the beginning of the year and information about student enrollment and performances at the end of the year by completing the annual evaluation survey online.
5. Each affiliate established after January 1, 2009 must have a community planning group dedicated to the oversight of the program (also known as an advisory board).