Accreditation through CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership provides human service organizations and systems a proven framework for quality monitoring and enhancement. It goes far beyond just an on-site review, encompassing an ongoing partnership where CQL and the agency collaborate to ensure that person-centered approaches are playing out not only in policy but especially in practice. CQL Accreditation integrates internationally-recognized and trademarked tools to ensure that organizations continually improve the quality of supports and the quality of people's lives, leading to the achievement of individually-defined outcomes by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health diagnoses, older adults, and children and youth.
WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?
A common understanding of the term accreditation involves the formal recognition of an organization for attaining a specified set of standards, often viewed as merely "passing a test." CQL's Accreditation approach is more about being on a journey toward ongoing organizational transformation. Rather than receiving a "passing score," it is about choosing the right path and making measurable progress. At CQL we often say we meet organizations where they are and help them move to a better place.
WHY IS ACCREDITATION IMPORTANT?
Through an open, honest, and unbiased evaluation by outside experts, accreditation equips organizations with valuable information and action steps for improvement. When organizations rely on their own internal review of operations, they may unintentionally allow the investment they have in their organization to influence their outlook. Internal review also limits an organization to its pre-existing base of knowledge and insight, whereas accreditation aggregates best practices from other organizations.
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We involved many stakeholders in our accreditation process. People served, family members, ISC's, and DIDD faculty were all present.
CQL ACCREDITATION COMPONENTS
Pre-Accreditation Planning Meetings
CQL will set up conference calls with members of your agency prior to the accreditation, where we will walk through the accreditation process, including expectations and next steps.
Prior to CQL's in-person review, you will complete an organizational self-assessment to evaluate your operations, which CQL will validate during the review.
Organizational Self-Assessmentsself-assessments should involve a diverse set of stakeholders to ensure an honest and transparent process. The result is not a grade, but a guided learning experience.The
During the in-person review, CQL staff will visit locations where you provide supports to evaluate how your policies, procedures, and overall values translate into the actual services and in people's lives.
Personal Outcome Measures® Interviews
CQL will conduct interviews with people supported and organizational staff to learn about individually-defined outcomes and the supports needed to help people achieve those outcomes. We use a tool called the Personal Outcome Measures®, which explores 21 different quality of life indicators.
Basic Assurances® Reviews
This evaluation looks at the essential, fundamental, and non-negotiable requirements for all organizations, involving issues of health, safety, and human security. The Basic Assurances® are not statements of intent, they are demonstrations of successful operations. Since CQL Accreditation is focused on continuous improvement, agencies are not likely to be in 100% alignment with all aspects of the Basic Assurances® indicators when they start their partnership with CQL. In fact, some organizations find that they fall out of alignment as people’s expectations change. While CQL does not expect 100% alignment, we do expect continuous learning and progress.
CQL staff will meet separately with organizational employees, people receiving supports, and potentially other stakeholders, to learn about their experiences and interactions with the organization.
During the conclusion of the Person-Centered Excellence and Person-Centered Excellence | WithDistinction Accreditation in-person review, a wide range of organizational stakeholders come together to discuss action steps for the agency moving forward. This can include people supported, direct support professionals, executive leadership, family members, community officials, and more.
Data Collection & Analysis
Through the use of CQL's proprietary tools, organizations can collect and analyze data about the outcomes and supports in people's lives. This data can be used to evaluate initiatives, develop strategic plans, direct person-centered plans, inform board of directors, and more. Access to the CQL's data system PORTAL is included in your accreditation costs.
Organizations often cite continual collaboration with CQL as a significant benefit of achieving accreditation. CQL works as a partner throughout the accreditation term, sharing insight and expertise with the agency. Organizations will also have access to resources, information, webinars, and publications.
CQL ACCREDITATION PROCESS
Whether you pursue a three-year or a four-year accreditation term, the overall process is similar. View the interactive guide below to learn more about the process. You can hover your mouse over each of the numbered steps for a more detailed description of what that step in the accreditation journey entails.