We have a range of resources which explore the work of the network and good practices within learning disability services. 

The fourth edition of the Standards for Adult Inpatient Learning Services (PDF) were published in March 2021.

We believe that it is important our standards reflect the issues that make a difference to the experience of the person using the service. For this reason, the standards follow a pathway through care and include how the service communicates with the patient, their carers and other agencies.

How the standards are developed

The standards are developed in consultation with experts in the field and combine information from a variety of sources. 

CCQI Core Standards

The standards must incorporate the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) Core Standards (PDF). These are developed by our expert advisory groups, and have been refined in consultation with front-line staff, patients, carers, other interested groups such as national charities and professional bodies. 

National requirements

We recognise that services are under increased pressure to demonstrate that they comply with national policies and guidelines. For this reason our standards incorporate requirements and recommendations set out nationally.

This means that the process of accreditation will enable your service to demonstrate where it is currently meeting national requirements and will support the service to meet them where it is not currently. 

'Good Practice Principle'

We know that those who work in the field have the most comprehensive understanding of the issues and challenges that they face in providing high quality care. For this reason we consult with representatives from relevant disciplines to establish an expert consensus on what constitutes best quality care. 

Research and other guidelines

The full set of standards and criteria is aspirational and it is unlikely that any service would meet all of them. Therefore, each standard is categorised at one of two levels:

  • Type 1: criteria relating to patient safety, rights, dignity, the law and fundamentals of care, including the provision of evidence-based care and treatment;
  • Type 2: criteria that a service would be expected to meet;

To learn more about the QNLD process and different membership options that are available, go to our page on how QNLD works.


We are delighted to publish the first newsletter of 2023, this is the winter edition and the next edition will be published in summer. Download the newsletter

This latest newsletter features: project updates, information about the QNLD project team and QNLD Carer representatives, insight from colleagues on their accreditation journey and on what it is like to be a peer reviewer and articles on recent quality improvement and research projects from members. 

We are looking for submissions for the summer edition; if your service has examples of good practice, a quality improvement project, a research project or service user artwork that you would like to share with other members, please contact us at

Resources from previous events can be found on our events page.
QNLD will be publishing a national report in 2024, this will be made available on our website soon. 
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