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TN DIDD Achieves Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (TN DIDD), has achieved Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation, by CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. TN DIDD is the first state system to be accredited in the United States, with a focus on intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“This is the first-ever statewide network accreditation awarded by CQL,” says Cathy Ficker Terrill, (former) President & CEO of CQL.

In August 2012, TN DIDD and CQL began a partnership for a three-year process to improve the quality of life for people receiving supports and services. Through collaboration, evaluation and data analysis utilizing CQL’s Basic Assurances® and Personal Outcome Measures®, TN DIDD is enhancing its service delivery system.

“What’s most important in this journey isn’t the ‘accreditation’ label. It is truly about ensuring what we do is what people we support really want, not just what we think they want,” shares Debra Payne, (former) Commissioner of TN DIDD.

On January 22, 2015, DIDD received formal recognition from CQL, for achieving Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation. After years of evaluation, hundreds of Personal Outcome Measures® interviews and dozens of organizational reviews, CQL is honored to highlight the success of this unprecedented undertaking. This is an achievement to celebrate!

“It has given us self independence and for everyone it will benefit their lives,” adds Patrick, a self-advocate living in Tennessee.


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.