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Researchers, practitioners, and experts by experience work together to help improve regulation

A new tool to help assess service quality for people with a learning disability now being piloted by the Care Quality Commission draws on a Quality of life Framework developed by University of Warwick academics with the PBS Academy and with Experts by Experience and practitioners at the CQC.

The Quality of Life tool has been created to review service quality from the perspective of people using services, in particular those who may be experiencing emotional distress.

The Framework, from which the tool has been developed, was an important first step in setting out an improved approach for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of service provision, from the perspective of people using services.

CQC has been piloting the Quality of Life tool in order to address recommendations from independent reviewer Professor Glynis Murphy's first report into the regulation of Whorlton Hall; and recommendations in CQC’s restrictive practices review, Out of sight - who cares?

Dr Louise Denne, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick’s Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) said: “Working with the team from CQC to develop the Quality of Life draft framework and tool is an excellent example of the value of collaboration between the academic community and practitioners in applied settings.

“Working together in this way increases the likelihood of resources being accepted amongst the stakeholders for whom they are being produced; as well as assuring interested stakeholders outside of the commissioning organisation (such as people with a learning disability and their families) that resources reflect external expertise and evidence-based practice.”

Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector, People with a learning disability and autistic people said: "I am pleased that we [CQC] have been able to work with the University of Warwick, and in collaboration with experts by experience, to develop a tool aimed at improving our ability to identify if a service is meeting the needs and aspirations of people with a learning disability and autistic people.

“This was recommended by Professor Glynis Murphy in her independent review on our regulation. I look forward to further exploring how this Quality of Life tool can be used to aid our regulatory approach in the future.”

Prof. Sandy Toogood said: “The PBS Academy is delighted to have had the opportunity to collaborate with CQC on this important development and looks forward to further involvement in developing supporting materials for inspectors and providers.”

  • This project was funded by the Warwick ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.


About the PBS Academy

The PBS Academy is a collective of organisations and individuals in the UK who are working together to promote Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) as a framework for working with children and adults with learning disabilities who are at risk of behaviour that challenges.


The Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) is a part of the Faculty of Social Sciences within the University of Warwick. CEDAR has established a strong reputation for research across a range of topics, focusing on research into parenting and family support, and special educational needs and disabilities across the lifespan.


Sheila Kiggins,

Media Relations Manager.

University of Warwick

(m) 07876 218166