Question:We are working to develop a new Quality Assurance Program. Part of the Program will include following-up with recently closed consumers and providing them a Consumer Satisfaction Survey. Do you know what obligations, if any, we have as a CIL to provide these? Are there any rules/regulations surrounding this?

Also, if you know of any information to help us develop and execute our Quality Assurance Program (and/or perhaps you know of an outstanding CIL with a great QAP), please let me know. Much appreciated.


First, a shout out to other centers — please share if you have great ideas for measuring quality and we will include them in a future post. Send to me at  As far as requirements, you are required to provide the information on the Year-End report, which includes the goals set and the goals met by category. You are also expected to have consumer input into your organization, and often that comes from satisfaction surveys of some kind. Some kind of consumer satisfaction is expected, which your state can agree to, or your center can do it independently, or a combination of the two.
This is a somewhat complicated question that is very specific to the state and the Center. Are you looking only at satisfaction, or do you have specific outcomes from your strategic plan or your state contracts that you are wanting to measure?
You can start with consumer satisfaction, of course, and/or whether their goals were met, but when you speak to a quality assurance program I suspect you might be thinking of something bigger.
We have training on our website to address this bigger picture. It is 11 hours of video around how CILs can measure outcomes and is found at  Take a look and let me know if that is what you are seeking, or if you want something else.
As far as how centers communicate with consumers to get their input, that is sometimes difficult to do by mail or email or even phone — often the response rate is very low. Often our folks have used all their time on their phone, have moved, or don’t have access to a computer. We suggest that you consider a point of service survey, a card or quick survey that the consumer is given when they come into the center. A card they can drop in a comment box, or that they are given with a postage paid envelope if staff meet them elsewhere.We suggest just two or three question. Keeping it short is one way to assure a better return as well. Most of us tire quickly when answering questions by phone or in writing. You can also use a combination of approaches.
Whatever methods you use, though, you first need to know what questions you want to ask. If you have a strategic plan, you may have goals you want to measure. That is one place to look for the important questions. Some centers use a consumer group to help them develop the questions your survey will address.
Quality Assurance — How do we assure CIL quality?

2 thoughts on “Quality Assurance — How do we assure CIL quality?

  • March 9, 2018 at 5:45 am

    When we are at our best, we have a team monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly CSR review depending on number of individuals served. We work our way down through the alphabet so we are only doing so many at a time.
    With a checklist, we review at all of the requirements for the file as well as recent contacts. Then we contact the individual to survey their satisfaction.

  • March 29, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Two proverbs I apply to quality IL are; “each one, teach one” from African-Americans denied an education under slavery informs me about the purpose and quality of peer support, and “think globally but act locally” used currently by the environmentalist reminds me IL is a grassroots movement. Thinking about IL in these terms connects us to the universal struggle for freedom and equality. Personally. I don’t understand IL as a “service” delivery “program.” The core services identified in IL Legislation are merely tools for achieving the status of full citizenship, equal economic opportunity and self-directed living (to name a few). In that context quality outcomes have to include a reference to local data. What is the local poverty rate for the disabled, how many units of accessible housing are available, how many municipalities have an ADA compliance plan that is updated annually, how many people live in segregated group homes, AFCs, nursing homes, what percentage of guardianships have been denied or revoked ? You can’t remove a barrier to independence unless you understand, acknowledge, the structural barriers that limit choice and self-determination.
    If CIL/SILCs are charged with changing the social context, mainstream society, its not all about changing me, the consumer. After 25 + years we should be able to measure local social change. Quality IL has to support institutional change; if you only consider an individual consumer’s success or satisfaction exclusive of structural changes in society you won’t know how to improve outcomes for the Center or for the disability community.


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