NQF uses its formal Consensus Development Process (CDP) to evaluate and endorse consensus standards, including performance measures, best practices, frameworks, and reporting guidelines. The Consensus Development Process is designed to call for input and carefully consider the interests of stakeholder groups from across the healthcare industry.
Because NQF uses this formal Consensus Development Process, it is recognized as a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization as defined by the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119.
Over the past 10 years, the procedures that form NQF’s Consensus Development Process and its implementation have evolved to ensure that evaluation of candidate consensus standards continues to follow best practices in performance measurement and standards-setting. NQF is currently using version 1.9 of the CDP.
NQF’s Consensus Development Process involves eight principal steps. Each contains several sub-steps and is associated with specific actions. The steps are:
- Call for Nominations
- Call for Candidate Standards
- Candidate Consensus Standard Review
- Public and Member Comment
- Member Voting
- CSAC Decision
- Board Ratification