CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership

CQL History

Since 1969, CQL has set the standard for excellence in providing services for people with disabilities. Inspired by a vision of a world of dignity, opportunity, and community inclusion for all people, CQL is an international leader in the definition, measurement, and improvement of quality of life for people with disabilities.

From its inception as an accreditation council of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, to its evolution to an independent accreditation body, to its current status as an international not-for-profit leader in the definition, measurement, and evaluation of quality of life for people with disabilities, CQL has provided strong vision and inspired leadership to human services organizations for more than four decades.

Download CQL History Timeline

Download CQL Timeline


Committed to action, CQL's efforts have influenced public policy, positively changed the way entire systems of care and support for people with disabilities are operated, and ensured that thousands of people with disabilities and people with mental illness live full and abundant lives.

Our caring, passionate and experienced staff works tirelessly to encourage excellence by providing groundbreaking publications, data, consultation, training, accreditation, certification, interviewing, monitoring, measurement, and other supports to human service organizations serving people with disabilities world-wide.


  • Founded in 1969, as a component of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals
  • Became an independent, non-profit organization in 1979
  • Standards and quality measures published and revised continuously from 1971 to the present
  • Standards recognized by federal courts and federal and state government as benchmarks for quality in services for people with disability
  • Standards and quality measures applied through accreditation and training/consultation to improve service quality for over four decades
  • National Personal Outcome Measures® Database established in 1993, now containing data collected during interviews with over 7,800 individuals
  • Beginning in 2009, What Really Matters Initiative defines excellence in person-centered supports



Mail Image/Icon   info@thecouncil.org

Phone Image/Icon   410.583.0060