CARF and Baldrige - Combining Quality Frameworks

QWE Practice Guideline: 121: Progressive – Utilize a quality framework that covers leadership/governance, strategic planning, legal/risk management, safety, health, human resources, operations, etc.

Target group: Any organization employing or supporting individuals with disabilities

Practice Description

To uphold a successful business model, United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln (UPCLL) sought a quality framework that would complement their CARF accreditation and help guide the organization’s business practices. Baldrige Performance Excellence was the chosen program.

Resources Needed

Subject matter experts/trainers

  • Consultants with expertise in CARF and Baldrige programs
  • Staff on hand as subject matter experts to help manage and implement programs

Labor hours

  • Staff time for training, implementation, and ongoing management of programs


  • Fees associated with programs

Implementation Process


  • UPCLL started by determining the criteria they wanted the complimentary program to meet, Baldrige provided
    • A systematic process to accomplish the work of the organization
    • Collects pertinent information and data about the effectiveness of the processes
    • Uses the information gathered to drive positive change
    • A compatible intent of the CARF standards
  • Community focus groups and employee teams were established to apply Baldrige criteria alongside the CARF standards
  • Groups and teams complete self-assessments, develop and implements process improvement plans, collect data, and analyze results.


  • SOPs
    • Processes and procedures for training, implementing, and managing both programs
      • Data tracking and analysis
      • Monitoring of improvements


  • Implemented process improvements include
    • Strategic framework focused on social impact
    • Employee Passports built around goal creation and achievement
    • Lean Principles
    • Extensive data collection system
  • Impact on staff and customers includes
    • 17% increase for individuals achieving personal outcomes
    • Non-state revenue increased 13%
    • Customer rating increased 19%
    • Employee turnover decreased by 43%


  • Full practice accessible via CARF

NPA: United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln
Location: Springfield, IL
Date Submitted: Practice submitted by United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln to the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Employment and Community Services Promising Practices Newsletter.