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ANCC Accreditation Criteria Review: Quality Outcomes 1 (QO1)

Whether you are an accredited provider such as i3 Health or you are an educational partner working with an accredited provider, it's still important to understand the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) criteria that underlie nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) activities. This is part of a periodic series of posts looking at what each criterion means in general and what it might mean for you.

The fourth and final set of ANCC accreditation criteria focuses on quality outcomes (QO). While we tend to think of quality at the clinical or institutional level, in this case, the ANCC is looking at the quality of the NCPD program. There are 3 criteria within this set. QO1 asks the provider to describe their process.

Criterion QO1 states:

The process used for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the Provider Unit in carrying out its work as a provider of nursing continuing professional development (NCPD)

To meet this criterion, the provider should write a narrative about the process they take to determine the quality of their program. How do they determine if the program is meeting learner needs? If the program has set goals, how does it determine whether or not those goals have been met? What data sources do they use and how is it collected?

Once that data is collected, how does the Accredited Provider Program Director analyze it? How does the program get from data to a story about the program's areas for improvement?

A key piece to remember when looking at this criterion is that it is looking at the NCPD program as a whole, not any individual activity within the program. It is possible that a data source used includes activity evaluations, but it should look at that data in the aggregate, compiling all of the evaluation data over a selected time frame, annually or every 6 months, to get a picture of the impact of the program.

Criterion EDP7 asks how activity evaluation data is used. Criterion QO1 builds on that to look at how the program as a whole is evaluated so that program improvement plans can be developed and implemented. The requirements for those steps are in the rest of the criteria in this section. 

Other Posts in This Series

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Overview

Organizational Overview 1 (OO1)

Organizational Overview 2 (OO2)

Structural Capacity 1 (SC1)

Structural Capacity 2 (SC2)

Structural Capacity 3 (SC3)

Educational Design Process 1 (EDP1)

Educational Design Process 2 (EDP2)

Educational Design Process 3 (EDP3)

Educational Design Process 4 (EDP4)

Educational Design Process 5 (EDP5)

Educational Design Process 6 (EDP6)

Educational Design Process 7 (EDP7)


ACCME (2022). Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Available at:

ANCC (2021). Writing to the ANCC NCPD Accreditation Criteria Self-Learning Guide. Available at:

ANCC (2021). ANCC NCPD Accredited Provider Applicant Journey Guide. Available at:

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