CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has reintroduced in-person activities for our core services of accreditation, training, and certification. Accreditation may include a hybrid model, incorporating both in-person and virtual components, while training and certification may entail either in-person or virtual options.
We have developed protocols to help protect the health of organizational partners, their staff, people receiving services, and our own employees as we start traveling again. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these measures aim to ensure that all stakeholders feel comfortable and safe during focus groups, meetings, interviews, visits, etc. The following precautions will help CQL and our partners in determining if the service should be conducted in-person, virtually, or a combination of both. Please note that any requests for completely virtual accreditation activities due to the pandemic, will be considered by CQL no sooner than 4-6 weeks ahead of the scheduled activities.
“There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of those we work with,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, president and chief executive officer, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. “We’re excited to be interacting with people face-to-face, and these protocols help ensure we do that safely.”
CQL has been conducting all of its services virtually since Spring 2020. Due to the realities of the pandemic, travel had been suspended through 2021 and CQL transitioned previously scheduled in-person activities to strictly virtual platforms. Now that CQL is carrying out in-person service activities in 2022, there are a number of specific steps that CQL will be taking as safeguards related to the pandemic:
- CQL will follow guidelines issued at the national, provincial/state, or local level – whichever is the strictest. This includes mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, etc.
- CQL will take various factors into consideration in decisions about travel and on-site activities, such as if the location has a high transmission rate or a spike in COVID cases.
- If it is safe to travel, CQL will only send the staff member(s) necessary to conduct the specific in-person activities. Through CQL’s successful experiences in conducting virtual activities, we can work with organizations on carrying out our services through a hybrid or fully virtual model.
- CQL will only send staff for in-person activities who are fully-vaccinated.
- If CQL’s on-site staff begin to display any COVID-related symptoms (colds, fevers, etc.), they will not participate in any of the in-person activities.
- If CQL’s staff who are scheduled to be on-site test positive for COVID within two weeks of the in-person activity, they will not be able to travel. The activities will then need to be rescheduled, completed by another member of the CQL team or conducted virtually.
- If CQL’s on-site staff have been potentially exposed to COVID within two weeks of the on-site activity, they will not be able to travel. The activities will then need to be rescheduled, completed by another member of the CQL team or conducted virtually. If the CQL staff tests negative for COVID after the potential exposure, we will work with the organization about next steps for in-person activities.
- If within two weeks following CQL’s participation in an in-person activity, the CQL on-site staff member either displays COVID-related symptoms or tests positive for COVID, CQL will notify the organizational contact via email within one business day.
- CQL will be aware of, and sensitive to, COVID-related risks as well as people’s comfort level with direct interactions.
- CQL reserves the right to change any in-person activity to a virtual activity.
In addition to the safeguards that CQL will be implementing, there are also expectations we have for our partners that will help protect their staff, people receiving services, as well as CQL employees:
- The organization needs to follow guidelines issued at the national, provincial/state, or local level – whichever is the strictest. This may include mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, etc.
- Organizations are welcome to request information about the vaccination status of CQL’s on-site staff.
- For the purpose of contact tracing in the event that someone tests positive for COVID, the organization needs to keep records of who was present (employees, people supported, other stakeholders, etc.) for all in-person activities.
- If within two weeks following the in-person activity, anyone from the organization – who the CQL on-site staff member has come into contact with – either displays COVID-related symptoms or tests positive for COVID, the organization will notify Gretchen Block, CQL’s Director of Partner Engagement, via email within one business day.
- Any requests for completely virtual accreditation activities due to the pandemic, will be considered by CQL no sooner than 4-6 weeks ahead of the scheduled activities.
In-Person Activities In 2022
As we have been since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, we are closely monitoring the situation and will make adjustments to our plans and protocols in order to remain responsive to the pandemic. CQL will post additional information, including updates to our protocols, as they become available.
CQL will continue to be flexible in how we carry out the activities related to our core services of accreditation, training, and certification. We appreciate how understanding our partners have been throughout these unprecedented times.
If you have any questions, comments, and/or concerns specific to your service activities, please contact Gretchen Block, CQL’s Director of Partner Engagement.
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Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.
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