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Personal Outcome Measures

The Personal Outcome Measures© were developed by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL).

Historically, measures of quality were often far removed from the actual impact in the lives of the consumers of the services. Providers would focus on “process measures” rather than “outcome measures,” since they were often easier both to measure and to control. If the administrative and programmatic processes, protocol, procedures and paperwork were in place, then the quality of service was assumed. Over time measures of quality shifted from “processes” to “outcomes,” but still the focus was often on what the provider could measure and control best, and this was not the consumer. Under this model, quality was assumed by measures of service objectives written, or units of service delivered.

As the long term care system continues to evolve, quality measures have started to become personalized and individualized relative to specific consumers. DDSN strives to use personal outcome measures to determine how well the service and support providers are helping an individual consumer achieve personal goals. Activity in this area is based on the work of The Council on Quality and Leadership.

Personal outcome measures are often founded on goals that the individual has set for themselves in conjunction with their family and their “circle of support.” They are thought about and discussed, hopefully weighed against alternative goals and decided upon. To this degree they are objective and “matters of the head.” On the other hand, measures of consumer satisfaction have a larger affective component; satisfaction is a “matter of the heart.” It is very possible for a consumer to have met all of his personal outcome measures, but still feel dissatisfied with his life or the services and supports that he is receiving. Thus, measures of consumer satisfaction must go hand in hand with personal outcome measures in order for a provider to be truly consumer- focused and driven.

Consumer satisfaction surveys are conducted periodically with consumers, families and other stakeholders. DDSN and service providers use this information to improve services and make them more responsive to consumers’ needs and wishes.


Personal Measures®

Personal Outcome Measures® are a powerful tool to ensure supports and services are truly person-centered. In a Personal Outcome Measures® interview, 21 indicators are used to understand the presence, importance and achievement of outcomes, involving choice, health, safety, social capital, relationships, rights, goals, dreams, employment and more. The insight gained during a Personal Outcome Measures® interview can then be used to inform a person-centered plan, and at an aggregate level, influence an organization’s strategic plan. For decades, they have been an effective data set for valid and reliable measurement of individual quality of life.

The Personal Outcome Measures® contain 21 indicators. These are the key indicators and experiences that people and their families have said are most important to them. The indicators had historically been organized into three (3) factors, but in 2017, CQL reorganized them into five (5) factors based on a published report examining the validity and reliability of the outcomes.

Click for the electronic version of CQL Personal Outcome Measures Manual


Personal Outcome Measures®

The Personal Outcome Measures© were developed by The Council On Quality and Leadership (CQL) 






  1. People are safe
  2. People are free from abuse and neglect
  3. People have the best possible health
  4. People experience continuity and security
  5. People exercise rights
  6. People are treated fairly
  7. People are respected
  8. People use their environments
  9. People live in integrated environments
  10. People interact with other members of the community
  11. People participate in the life of the community
  12. People are connected to natural support networks
  13. People have friends
  14. People have intimate relationships
  15. People decide when to share personal information
  16. People perform different social roles
  17. People choose where and with whom to live
  18. People choose where they work
  19. People choose services
  20. People choose personal goals
  21. People realize personal goals



Autonomy, Empowerment and Supported Decision-Making

DD Awareness Month: Exercising Rights

Data Brief: Exercising Voting Rights (PDF)

Delphi Survey on Personal Outcome Measures (PDF)

Fair Treatment: How Can We Support This Outcome?

Language Poster (PDF)

Most Wanted Outcomes (PDF)

Older Adults: Evolving Outcomes and Supports

Outcomes Overview Guide (PDF)

Personal Outcome Measures in the Workplace (PDF)

Quality in Practice - Accountability

Quality in Practice - Action Planning

Quality in Practice - Assessment

Quality in Practice - Advocacy

Quality in Practice - The Art of Authentic Person-Centered Planning

Quality in Practice - Beginning the Service and Support Relationship

Quality in Practice - Behavior Supports

Quality in Practice - Consent - What does it mean?

Quality in Practice - End of Life Issues

Quality in Practice - Expectations for People

Quality in Practice - Health

Quality in Practice - Human Rights Committee

Quality in Practice - Satisfaction

Quality in Practice - Leadership

Quality in Practice - Inclusive Work Opportunities

Quality in Practice - Natural Supports

Quality in Practice - Rights and Responsibilities

Quality in Practice - Safety

Quality in Practice - Social Roles

Quality in Practice - Spirituality

Quality in Practice - Staff Hiring and Evaluation

Quality in Practice - Thinking about Responsibility

Quality in Practice - Understanding Risk

Quality in Practice - Work Life

Supported Decision Making (PDF)

Supported Decision-Making in the US (PDF)

Transportation Issues for People with Disabilities

20 Years of Personal Outcome Measures (PDF)



The Power of Personal Outcome Measures® for DSPs

Introduction To Social Capital



Advancing Recovery in Behavioral Health

Building Social Capital

The Art Of Purposeful Conversation Using The POMs

Trauma & Healing In The Lives of People With Disabilities