CQL had the opportunity to interview DeAnna Ferguson, Vice President of Services of Volunteers of America Southeast, on their recent Person-centered Excellence Accreditation.
Why did you choose CQL for accreditation?
Initially we looked at several other accrediting agencies in
addition to CQL. After comparing the
agencies we determined that the CQL philosophy and approach were more in line
with our mission and what we needed in order to
ensure quality person-centered services.
Tell us about how your organization prepared for your
We had numerous conference calls with CQL representatives to
discuss the new Person-Centered Accreditation model. Our four certified
trainers conducted ongoing training sessions to prepare all staff from Direct
Support Professionals to our President/CEO. Several committees met to review
and develop policies. Completing the self-assessments was instrumental in
making us aware of what areas we needed to improve. We did develop several new
policies including People First Language, Natural Support Networks, and
Community Inclusion. We expanded many of
our existing policies to ensure they supported our Basic Assurances. Much
effort was placed on the recruitment of the various focus group members and
organizing these meetings.
What do you think will be the impact of CQL Person-centered
Excellence Accreditation on the people you support and the staff who provide
Quality services focusing on WHAT REALLY MATTERS! Our staff have a new pride in what they do … and
that is evidenced in the quality of service provision.
What are your next steps and how can CQL help you implement
the changes you identified and prioritized during the accreditation visit?
Currently we are ensuring that all
levels of the organization are educated on our Real Time Work Plan and assigning specific tasks to work groups. We are completing quarterly updates on
progress that we are making in each of the targeted factors. CQL can assist us by serving as a resource
and sharing successful ideas and strategies of other agencies.
Anything else you would like to say
about CQL or the accreditation process?
Although we were initially apprehensive
of the new Person-centered Excellence Accreditation model---it was a wonderful
experience. The process was painless and seamless. From the Basic Assurances to
the POM interviews to the Focus Group discussion … the process flowed … AND we
felt supported and encouraged.
The information that we obtained from
the all the focus groups have been instrumental to us in developing strategies
for quality improvement. It is with
pride that I tell others that we are accredited through CQL. CQL truly gets to the heart of “What Really Matters” to the people that
To read more about VOA Southeast click here .
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