About the network

Membership Types

There are three different types of QNLD Membership: Year I, Year II and Accreditation

Year I is intended to support services to familiarise themselves with the QNLD standards and start to take action on areas where the need for improvement has been identified.

Members complete a limited self-review, and a peer-review which is focused on quality improvement, rather than a rigorous assessment of performance against the standards.

Once the service has completed their self review, they 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 meets with the members of the host team to have an informal discussion about their practice related to two sections of the standards that are compulsory ('Environment and Facilities'- including a tour of the unit, and 'Patient and Carer Experience') in addition to two sections of the host team's choosing. 

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. 

Both QNLD Year II and the Accreditation year involve a more comprehensive process of both self and peer review. Participating units complete a self-review on all standards, as well as collecting data from patients, carers and staff teams and auditing their clinical notes.

The peer review visit covers all sections of the standards and the day involves organising meetings with groups of senior clinicians, front line staff, patients and carers. At the end of the day feedback is provided on areas of achievement and improvement.

For those undertaking QNLD Year II, this acts like a practice Accreditation Review and services have more time to improve on unmet standards before undertaking the accreditation cycle.

For those units already taking part in the accreditation cycle, the report is compiled and the evidence from this is taken to the next Accreditation Committee.

It is possible to only take part in the accreditation year if a service is of a very high standard and is likely to already be able to met the required standards. Usually services complete at least one QNLD year before attempting Accreditation.


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.

Nadeem Khan

Programme Manager

Email: nadeem.khan@rcpsych.ac.uk

Tel: 020 3701 2658

Abi Hay

Project Officer

Email: abigail.hay@rcpsych.ac.uk 

Tel: 020 3701 2657


Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement

21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB


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