Achieving Network Accreditation

TN DIDD officially began its journey with CQL following the signing of a formal contract in 2012. Through investment, involvement, and collaboration of numerous stakeholders, including people supported, families, friends, provider organizations, regional offices, and TN DIDD staff, the state of Tennessee set out to achieve Network Accreditation.


The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for administering services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is done in several ways, including Medicaid waiver Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), state-operated ICF/IIDs, and the Family Support Program. DIDD administers services directly or through contracts with community providers. DIDD strives to partner with the people it supports and their family members and friends.


Support all Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live the lives they envision for themselves.


To become the nation’s most person-centered and cost effective state support system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

About Accreditation

CQL Network Accreditation offers states, provider organizations, people receiving services, and other stakeholders guidance, support, and partnership in improving quality through proprietary tools and internationally-recognized person-centered approaches. It encompasses training, workshops, planning meetings, agency assessments, on-site visits, individual interviews, policy reviews, focus groups, and more.

Network Accreditation provides TN DIDD with a consistent framework for defining, measuring, and evaluating quality from the perspective of the person receiving services. TN DIDD can then better assist stakeholders in designing and implementing responsive, person-centered supports so that people can achieve their personally-defined outcomes.

The components, tools, and approaches of accreditation expand beyond policies and procedures to exploring how they are actually put into practice and impact lives.

Impact of Network Accreditation

The benefits of Network Accreditation and its associated approaches and standards have had far-reaching effects for TN DIDD and the state of Tennessee.

  • Accreditation team fully devoted to accreditation efforts
  • Intensive training about CQL tools and philosophies
  • Empowerment of nine self-advocate mentors across state
  • More than 600 Adult POM interviews from 2019 – 2023
  • More than 130 Children & Youth POM interviews from 2019 – 2023
  • 85 Basic Assurances® reviews completed from 2019 – 2023
  • Focus groups held to accompany accreditation activities
  • 20+ organizations have achieved provider-level accreditation
  • Use of data to assess accreditation efforts and track progress
  • Accreditation has positively affected 25,000 people with disabilities

Accreditation Tools

Basic Assurances®

Basic Assurances® evaluate the essential, fundamental, and non-negotiable requirements for all organizations, involving issues of health, safety, and human security, looking at the provision of safeguards from the person’s perspective. These are not statements of intent but demonstrations of successful operations, where the effectiveness of systems or policies are determined in practice, person by person.

Personal Outcome Measures®

Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) are a powerful tool to explore quality of life areas involving choices, relationships, rights, goals, dreams, employment, and more. In a Personal Outcome Measures® interview, people receiving services share information about the presence, importance, and achievement of outcomes. Their support providers then discuss the services that the organization has in place for those outcomes.

Shared Values

Shared Values represent an alignment in culture and philosophies between CQL’s and the organization’s values. These values influence management decisions, organizational priorities, and the character of the workforce. Most organizational decisions related to budget, human resources, or regulatory matters are ultimately decisions about values – what people and organizations believe are important.

Person-Centered Excellence®

Person-Centered Excellence® assesses quality improvement initiatives, including how the organization can implement or enhance those associated practices. The findings from this process can then facilitate strategic discussions about aligning the organization’s mission to make an organizational transformation.