On June 24th, 2016, The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. became the first human service provider in the state of Connecticut to achieve Quality Assurances Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. is a private, non-profit human service and educational organization serving people with autism and other developmental disabilities. For more than two decades, The Institute has been driven by a mission to make a positive difference – built on a respect for differences – in the lives of the people served.
“CQL is so proud to work with The Institute. They’ve demonstrated a deep dedication to improving lives of those they serve in Connecticut,” states Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and CEO of CQL. “The fact that they are the first agency to achieve CQL Accreditation in the state, makes this accomplishment even more significant.”
CQL Accreditation entails a commitment to organizational transformation, predicated on embracing not only person-centered philosophies, but the best practices that make them a reality in the lives of people receiving supports. “CQL has proven to provide an ideal framework for energizing our agency to aggressively move toward more focused person-centered outcomes, enhanced community involvement and development of social capital,” says Melodie Peet, State Director for The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. The Institute pursued this, by understanding and implementing CQL’s nationally recognized tools, including Shared Values, Basic Assurances®, and Personal Outcome Measures®.
The alignment of mission, vision and overall culture with innovative approaches in human services, is a critical component of CQL Accreditation. Shared Values lay out a framework for agencies, to determine that their very core is committed to person-centeredness, and that there is an organizational environment where dignity, respect and rights can flourish.
Issues of health, safety and security are of significant importance in everyone’s life. Basic Assurances® look at the provision of these safeguards from the person’s perspective. While the Basic Assurances® contain requirements for certain systems and policies and procedures, they go well beyond that. The effectiveness of the system or the policy is determined in practice, person by person.
Personal Outcome Measures®
In order to be truly person-centered, organizations must understand what really matters to the people who they serve, and help develop individualized support plans that empower them to achieve their goals and dreams. Personal Outcome Measures® is a valid and reliable discovery process, where people supported and those who know them best, are interviewed to learn about the presence of outcomes in their life, and if supports are in place to help people achieve those outcomes.
“We now have a defined plan for moving our organization toward providing thoughtful, sensitive and quality services to the people that we support,” says Stephanie Esteves, Quality Assurance Coordinator for The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. “Accreditation through CQL allows us to follow the recommendations of an established organization while holding ourselves accountable to a higher quality of service.”
Through the achievement of Quality Assurances Accreditation, The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc. is embarking on a 3-year accreditation term, comprised of ongoing collaboration and consultation with CQL. This includes conference calls, reviews, an on-site visit, along with access to resources and tools to assist The Institute in their journey of person-centered excellence.
“The accreditation process has already provided increased opportunity for input from the people we serve. Enhancing the person’s quality of life, based on their dreams and desires, has become more of a driver in providing individualized services,” adds Esteves.
“We look forward to seeing how our partnership with The Institute will grow in the years to come,” says Katherine Dunbar, Vice President of Services and Systems Excellence for CQL. “The achievement of accreditation is just the beginning. It sets the stage for a reciprocal relationship, built upon a commitment to improving quality of supports, and in turn, quality of life for the people receiving services.”