About the network

Membership Types

There are two different types of QNLD Membership: A developmental membership and an accreditation membership.

This membership option works on an annual basis and is ideal for services that are new to QNLD and for services who would like to familiarise themselves with the QNLD standards in order to take action on areas of improvement before opting for an accreditation membership.

Members will complete a self-review, and will receive a peer-review visit which will focus on quality improvement rather than accreditation.

Once the service has completed their self review, they will host a peer review day where multidisciplinary staff members from other member services visit the unit with a patient or carer representative and a member of the QNLD project team.

The peer-review team will meet with staff, patients and carers throughout the day and will review the host team against the relevant standards.

During these meetings the results of the self-review are validated and there is an opportunity for all staff to share good practice and ideas for development.

The day also includes an open discussion session on an area of practice that the host unit would like to improve on. Following the visit, the project team provide the service with a report summarising their performance against the standards and the discussions on the day. The service can then create an action plan to address any improvements that have been suggested.

This membership option works as a more comprehensive process of both the self and peer review and is a three-year cycle. This membership option is ideal for services that are familiar with the QNLD standards and who have previously been through the developmental or accreditation process. 

Services will complete a self-review on all standards, as well as collecting data from patients, carers and staff teams and auditing their clinical notes. A peer-review visit will then take place and will cover all sections of the standards whilst meeting with groups of staff, patients and carers. 

Following a peer-review visit, services will be reviewed for accreditation by the QNLD accreditation committee. Services will be accredited from their first presentation at the committee and this will be valid for three years following a satisfactory interim review.


QNLD is governed by the following staff and committees

The advisory group comprises professionals who represent key interests and areas of expertise in the field of inpatient learning disability services alongside service users and carers who have experience of using these services. The purpose of the group is to advise and further the work of QNLD.

The advisory group comprises a minimum of 6 members and a maximum of 15 members. The membership will aim to reflect the range of disciplines working in inpatient learning disability services.

The Accreditation Committee recommends accreditation status based on the evidence gathered during the self and peer review period. In particular it looks closely at any instances of non-compliance with Type 1 Standards.  The committee consists of members from across the disciplines who are experts in the field of learning disability services, alongside patient and carer representatives.

After reviewing the evidence the committee can make one of three decisions:

  • It can accredit the service if it meets the required standard;
  • It can decide the service is too far away from meeting the required standards to be accredited in the current cycle;
  • It can defer the decision until the next meeting to allow time for the service to provide further evidence that it is meeting the required standards. Services can be deferred for up to nine months.

Accreditation lasts for 3 years from the date the service is first discussed at committee, subject to an interim self review at 18 months.

There is an overall Chair of the Combined Committee Meetings who ratifies the accreditation decisions recommended by the QNLD Accreditation Committee and other networks, and in so doing retains the right to question and/or overturn these recommendations.

The Accreditation Committee also functions to advise the Project Team about the quality of the reports and information that forms the basis of the AC’s recommendations.


The project team look after the day to day running of the network including liaising with services, collecting data and arranging reviews and events.

If you have any questions, please get in contact.

Amy Colwill

Programme Manager

Email: amy.colwill@rcpsych.ac.uk 

Tel: 020 3701 2658

Leyla Golparvar

Project Officer

Email: leyla.golparvar@rcpsych.ac.uk

Tel: 020 3701 2672


Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement

21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB


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