The Department is pleased to announce the posting of Provider report information (Executive Summaries, Levels of Licensure and Certification, and Outcomes and Indicators by Quality of Life Area) for the public and private providers that the Department licenses and certifies . The information presented represents the outcome of an on-site review by a team of trained Quality Enhancement Specialists. While always considered public documents made available upon request, posting this information on the web will provide better access to families and guardians about the array of services and supports available across the state, including the unique attributes of each agency's services. It is presented here in the interest of transparency so that individuals and families can have the knowledge they need and want in order to be more informed consumers of service. A copy of the full Provider report inclusive of the Commendations, Suggestions for Service Enhancement, and the Areas Needing Improvement by Quality of Life Area can be requested through the Host Quality Enhancement Office for the Provider.

The information contained in the posted reports is but one way in which we measure the quality of our providers' supports. Readers are cautioned to use this information as a starting point in their search for quality supports. For more information it is highly recommended that individuals and families speak with other families, provider agencies as well as our service coordinators and other interested staff.

Not all provider reports are posted at this time, but over time, all provider reports will be posted upon completion of their regularly scheduled reviews. If the next Licensure (and Certification) review is pending, there will be a "placeholder" established, with the name of the agency, in place of the report.

What is the Survey and Certification System?

The Department's survey and certification system is the process by which public and private providers of community services are both licensed and certified to provide supports to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The licensure and certification reviews are generally performed as one combined survey process, where the provider is evaluated based on its ability to impact on the quality of life of individuals. The review involves a team of surveyors that utilizes direct observation, interviews with individuals, families and key staff as well as a review of documentation to gather information and arrive at ratings. A representative sample of individuals in the discrete services offered by the provider is reviewed. The level of licensure and certification is a cumulative one based on all individuals reviewed. The licensure and certification processes are distinct in their focus and emphasis and are described below:

Licensure: Licensure is the provider's legal authorization to provide service and supports and focuses on the presence of essential safeguards in the areas of health, safety and human rights. These essential safeguards are non-negotiable, that is they must be present in order for a provider to serve individuals with mental retardation in Massachusetts.

Certification: Certification is an assessment of outcomes in peoples' lives, in addition to health and safety. These outcomes include relationships, community connections, individual control and growth and accomplishments. These outcomes are equally important, but may be part of an evolving process with individuals a provider supports and occur over a longer period time.

Provider agencies that maintain a 2 year level of licensure are allowed to use an alternative accepted accreditation process in lieu of the DDS certification process. Currently, The Council and the Committee on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) are "deemed" to be acceptable alternatives. Where this is the case, it is indicated in the Executive Summary.

In most instances, public and private providers receive both a level of licensure and certification. The following services are subject to the licensure or certification process;

Licensure and Certification:

  • 24 hour residential supports
  • Less than 24 hour residential supports
  • Shared living/home sharing/placement services
  • Employment Supports
  • Community Based Day Supports
  • Site based respite services

Certification only:

  • Individual Supports
  • (Less than 15 hours/week)

What information is posted?

The information for each provider contains the following:

Executive Summary: The Executive Summary begins with the licensure level, the certification level, the team members, and any follow-up that has been determined necessary. A concise 2-3 page summary of the key findings including areas where the provider is offering quality services as well as areas identified for service improvement is presented.

Outcomes and Indicators by Quality of Life Area reviewed: For each Quality of Life Area reviewed, outcomes are measured, and there are corresponding indicators that are predictors of the presence of the particular outcome, which are also measured. A "yes/no" rating is given for each indicator reviewed for each person sampled. The percentage of "yes/no" responses is shown for each indicator, and reflects the Providers overall performance for all individuals surveyed. Commendations, suggestions for service enhancement, and areas needing improvement by Quality of Life Area will not be posted.

For more information regarding the survey and certification process, please refer to the Provider Licensure and Certification link.


This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.