Measuring Performance

Consensus Development Process 

The National Quality Forum (NQF) uses its formal Consensus Development Process (CDP) to evaluate and endorse measures. The CDP is designed to allow input and discussion from stakeholder groups across the healthcare industry.

The CDP or measure endorsement process, including maintenance of previously endorsed measures, is standardized in a regular cycle of topic-based measure evaluation across 15 areas, such as cardiology, primary care and chronic illness, cancer, and prevention and population health. As the need arises, these topic areas are updated to account for measures that may require a new or more appropriate topic area.

NQF-endorsed measures support the National Quality Strategy (NQS). NQS serves as the overarching framework for guiding and aligning public and private efforts across all levels (local, state, and national) to improve the quality of healthcare in the U.S. The NQS establishes the "triple aim" of better care, affordable care, and healthy people/communities, focusing on six priorities to achieve those aims: Safety, Person- and Family- Centered Care, Communication and Care Coordination, Effective Prevention and Treatment of Illness, Best Practices for Healthy Living, and Affordable Care.

Over the past 15 years, NQF’s CDP has evolved to ensure that evaluation of candidate consensus standards (measures) continues to follow best practices in performance measurement and standards-setting. NQF is committed to examining the timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness of the CDP with a view toward identifying opportunities to improve and further streamline the CDP.

NQF’s CDP involves six principal steps, including:

  1. Intent to Submit
  2. Call for Nominations
  3. Measure Review
  4. Public Commenting with Member Support
  5. Measure Endorsement
  6. Measure Appeals

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards body as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119.

Funding for this work is supported under a contract provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services for NQF’s federally funded projects, please visit: