CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership

Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation | With Distinction

Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership applies the most stringent quality standards for human service organizations, by laying out an enhanced set of requirements tied to demonstrable and measurable results.

This level of CQL Accreditation is targeted for those agencies that stand out by virtue of their deeply embedded person-centered approaches and practices, through the use of internationally-recognized tools like Shared Values®, Basic Assurances®, and Personal Outcome Measures®. Through the accreditation process, CQL validates the alignment of these tools through assessments, reviews, focus groups, on-site visits, and interviews. For organizations pursuing Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction, there are also higher expectations regarding positive community impact, fair treatment, respect, abuse, advocacy, and more.

Unlike other levels of CQL Accreditation, the achievement of Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction is not determined during the on-site visit. Following the completion of the on-site visit, a CQL panel conducts a thorough review of the on-site findings and within 10 business days makes a decision about the achievement of CQL Accreditation.



  • 4-Year Accreditation Term
  • 1 On-Site Visit, 4-5 days in length
  • 2 Off-Site Conference Calls
  • Requires CQL Interviewer Certification by agency staff
  • Higher standards applied in additional key areas
  • Eligibility requires two successful CQL Accreditation terms
  • Achievement of CQL Accreditation not decided during On-Site Visit


Eligibility ReQUIREMENTS

Accreditation Status

  • To apply, organizations must have achieved and maintained at least two terms of CQL Accreditation
  • Organizations need to be fully compliant with CQL policy/partnership agreement

Residential/Work Settings

Organizations with campus-type settings, institutions, or large congregate residential or work settings that have not previously achieved Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction are not eligible to apply, unless they meet the following criteria:

  • Evidence of equal access to the community for those supported, same as those without disabilities
  • Formal commitment to downsizing large congregate settings with objective metrics
  • Evidence of success in downsizing large congregate settings
  • Demonstration of person-centered planning and supports despite physical environment limitations

Additional Eligibility Requirements

  • Quality Management Plan and Organizational Strategic Plan
  • Verification of CQL Interviewer Certification, including employee names and certification dates
  • Evidence of positive organizational and individual impact on the greater community (see below)
  • Evidence of enhanced commitment to advocacy and self-advocacy efforts (see below)
  • Evidence that the agency does not have systems and practices in place that allow:
    • Use of corporal punishment, seclusion, noxious or aversive stimuli, forced exercise, and denial of food or liquids that are part of a person’s nutritionally adequate diet
    • Floor restraints, “take downs,” or standing orders for restraint
    • Use of “as needed” psychotropic medications for behavior control
    • Use of time-out rooms



Shared Values®

  • Organization completes a Shared Values® Self-Assessment (prior to initial on-site visit)
  • CQL validates alignment with Shared Values®

Basic Assurances®

  • Organization completes a Basic Assurances® Self-Assessment (prior to initial on-site visit)
  • CQL validates alignment with Basic Assurances®
  • If applicable, Plan Of Alignment successfully completed within 9 months for any Basic Assurances® not present during initial on-site visit

Personal Outcome Measures®

  • Achievement of CQL Interviewer Certification by agency staff
  • Minimum annual representative sample of 10% of total agency size or 200 POM interviews (whichever number is lower and may be negotiated)
  • Data collection through CQL's PORTAL Data System performed by a CQL Certified Interviewer

Community Life®

  • Organization completes a Community Life® Self-Assessment (prior to initial on-site visit)
  • CQL validation of Community Life® Self-Assessment 
  • Positive community perceptions and interactions
  • Demonstrable impact on the greater community (stories, videos, audio, etc.)

Person-Centered Approaches

  • Agency-led facilitation of Person-Centered Excellence stakeholder group
  • Agency-led development of a What Really Matters plan, with support from CQL
  • Utilization of Person-Centered and Person-Directed planning and meetings
  • Evidence of advocacy efforts (self-advocacy, local, state and national systems advocacy)

Organizational Transformation

  • Robust quality improvement strategies 
  • Accompanying data relevant to strategies
  • Use of CQL's PORTAL Data System
  • Demonstration of organizational change
  • Evidence of innovative strategies to support people



GENERAL Pricing EstimateAccreditation Menu Pricing Diagram

While many factors contribute to the exact costs for Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation With Distinction, a baseline estimate is around $27,000. Keep in mind that actual pricing is contingent on the size, scope of services, and specific needs of an organization. It is also important to note that accreditation payments are distributed throughout the accreditation term, not required as one full payment.




Organizations that feel they have met the eligibility requirements and can fulfill the accreditation standards listed above, can electronically fill out the Request For Engagement (RFE) form and submit it to CQL for review. All organizations - whether currently accredited or applying for the first time - need to submit the RFE form along with the engagement fee. This form is used by CQL for accreditation planning purposes, and includes information about your agency's administration, operations, services, and more. You can click on the link below to download the form, and then send the completed form to RFE@thecouncil.org.


(RFE forms can be filled out electronically and emailed to RFE@thecouncil.org)



Mail Image/Icon   accreditation@thecouncil.org

Phone Image/Icon   410.583.0060