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Solutions For CQL Services While Confronting COVID-19

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you as you are working in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to best support the people who depend on you, as well as staff and co-workers. As COVID-19 continues to evolve and impact communities across the United States, please know that CQL is monitoring this crisis closely and adapting the way that we carry out our services, to best assist the organizations we work with every day.

We are meeting organizations ‘where they are,’ regarding their specific situation and needs, as well as their individual response to COVID-19. Some organizations are choosing to delay activities with CQL, and we are happy to reschedule, process extensions, etc. Other organizations have moved forward with remote activities which we can accommodate through conference calls and video-sharing platforms. We encourage organizations to take some time and reflect on what would be best fit for them. CQL will adjust accordingly to ensure organizations are able to focus on what’s most important – the health and safety of the people you support and your stakeholders.

Below you will find current guidance for organizations that are engaging in CQL Accreditation and CQL Certification, including how we’re adjusting our services and different ways that organizations can participate in CQL activities, while continuing to be mindful of the impact of COVID-19. Considering that the pandemic is an evolving situation, we will be updating this page as new details develop.

CQL Accreditation

As a partner of CQL involving CQL Accreditation, we want you to be aware that we are remaining responsive to the pandemic and adjusting accreditation activities to maintain the integrity of our tools and methods, while ensuring proactive steps are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Through the use of virtual platforms, we have been exploring alternative processes to the traditional, in-person components of CQL Accreditation. While we firmly believe that nothing replaces the face-to-face collaboration between our Quality Enhancement Specialists and your agency, this is an appropriate, temporary solution to an ever-changing issue.

We are reviewing each organization and their accreditation on an individualized basis to assess the most applicable course of action. Through both internal review and direct consultation with organizational leadership and staff, together we will determine the best approach to the accreditation, based on where the agency is in their journey.

For accreditation activities such as focus groups, document reviews, on-site visits, etc., we have started to introduce technologies such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, and more, to implement video-conferencing and electronic file-sharing programs. In other instances, we have had discussions about re-scheduling elements of CQL Accreditation to meet the needs of the particular organization and their accreditation experience.

If you have an upcoming CQL Accreditation activity, a representative of CQL will be in contact with you to discuss these options, and work together on the most effective tactics to conduct the accreditation activities in a timely manner that still ensures the health and well-being of everyone involved. In the meantime, we do invite you to share your best practices of how you are confronting COVID-19, by sharing, commenting, and interacting on CQL’s Facebook e-Community.

Contact Us

If you have any general inquiries, you can contact Katherine Dunbar, CQL’s Vice President of Services and Systems Excellence. If you have questions, comments, and/or concerns specific to your accreditation activities please contact Gretchen Block, CQL’s Director of Partner Engagement.

CQL Certification

Due to the virus and its associated safety protocols involving social distancing, travel, capacity limits on gatherings, etc., we understand that this may raise concerns for those who need to fulfill the requirements of their Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) Interviewer and Trainer Certification.

To support you while you work to honor your CQL Certification commitments – while also protecting the health and well-being of others – we are sharing some guidance and ideas for ensuring success in meeting the criteria for CQL Certification.

Convenient Options for Continuing Education

CQL offers numerous webinars every year, sharing the video recordings and presentation slides on our website, all for free. If you are now working from home and have a more flexible schedule, you may want to browse our webinar archive. Also, if you are supporting people in their home, these webinars could be a great co-learning opportunity! For those who have difficulty meeting their re-certification requirements, additional hours of continuing education may be taken into consideration during the CQL re-certification application review process.

Virtual Interviews as an Alternative

While you may be used to conducting face-to-face Personal Outcome Measures® interviews, you could instead hold these conversations through online platforms. With video-sharing technology such as Zoom, Go-To Meeting, Skype, and FaceTime, you can set up interviews with people supported and follow-up interviews with the person who knows them best, while still adhering to social distancing.

When conducting POM interviews virtually through a video-streaming platform, it is not required to specify that it was a ‘virtual’ interview within the PORTAL Data System. However, this ‘virtual’ designation can be very useful for your internal tracking and evaluation of POM interview data. In CQL’s analysis of aggregate data, we have developed a strategy to take into consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on outcomes-related data.

Creative Types of Customized Training

For those looking to maintain CQL Trainer Certification, you may want to deliver your customized training using online video conferencing. These opportunities for staff development could be broken up into 1-hour sessions to accommodate people’s schedules. You may also want to develop training that involves participation by not only direct support professionals, but also people receiving services. CQL finds that ‘hot topics’ include areas like rights, respect, and self-management of health. Prior to conducting the training, we want to remind you that you need to contact Angela Rapp Kennedy, to submit your newly developed customized training for approval. We will respond quickly to all submissions. We encourage you to be creative!

Certification Renewal Dates

If your certification renewal date falls within this time of upheaval, we will offer a 3 month extension to those of you for whom a virtual IRR is not possible. If this is the case, please submit your application by your termination date, with a request for the extension.

Along with the ideas listed above, please know that CQL is certainly taking the significant impact of the pandemic into consideration when reviewing applications for re-certification and assessing the criteria on a case-by-case basis. We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for each and every one of you. On top of that, CQL realizes that access to people for Personal Outcome Measures® interviews and availability of staff for training is very limited. Rest assured we know and will do all we can to support you now, and especially when it is time for you to apply for re-certification.

Contact Us

If you have any general training and/or certification inquiries, you can contact Angela Rapp Kennedy, CQL’s Vice President of Training and Learning Initiatives. If you have questions, comments, and/or concerns specific to your individual certification, 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.