Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q)

This program is a part of the Office of Developmental Programs' quality management process guided by the values and principles of everyday lives. The IM4Q program utilizes independent monitoring teams to interview children ages three and over, and adults supported by the Office of Developmental Programs and their families. The IM4Q focuses on the quality of services and supports and organizes the information collected into the following categories:satisfaction, dignity, rights and respect; choice and control; relationships; and community involvement. Information from IM4Q is analyzed at a state and local level to evaluate the need for changes to the Office of Developmental Programs services system.

The state has made available user-friendly IM4Q statewide reports. The reports are compiled by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, IM4Q technical advisers and a user-friendly report work-group. These reports provide summary information on the quality of life experienced. The reports focus on individual and family satisfaction and outcomes with various aspects of life.


IM4Q Annual Report


Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q) is a result of the Multi-Year Plan for Pennsylvania’s intellectual disability system.

The Multi-Year Plan called for the creation of local independent teams to monitor the quality of services for people with intellectual disabilities. These teams were to consist primarily of people with disabilities, family members, and interested others.


The purpose of IM4Q is to collect information to improve the quality of life of people served/supported.

IM4Q is a part of the intellectual disabilities system’s Quality Management process. This process is guided by the values and principles of Everyday Lives: choice, control, quality, stability, individuality, freedom, relationships, success, contributing to community, accountability, mentoring, collaboration, and inclusion.

How It Works

  • IM4Q uses trained independent monitoring teams to interview people receiving services and their families about their services.
  • People who live in the following settings may have an opportunity to be interviewed: licensed community homes, with their families or companions, independently, in intermediate care facilities, nursing facilities, and personal care homes.
  • Interviews are arranged at a time and place convenient to the person and take about an hour using a standard survey instrument.
  • IM4Q involvement is voluntary. People and families are asked to participate on a random basis.
  • Local IM4Q programs assign independent monitoring teams and data enter interview results into a confidential database.
  • The County BH/DS Program uses the results of interviews for quality improvement purposes, such as making changes to a person’s Individual Support Plan.


IM4Q reports of survey results are shared with providers, County BH/DS Programs, and others for quality improvement purposes. No personal identifying information is contained in the reports. Copies of reports are available by contacting your local County BH/DS Program.

A person’s support team may receive the results of a survey at their annual meeting, if the person agrees to share them.

Guiding Principles

  • Independence - Local IM4Q Programs have no conflict of interest with the intellectual disability service system.
  • Community Participation - People with disabilities, family members, and concerned citizens participate in monitoring services.
  • Accountability - The intellectual disability service system is accountable to improve services and supports based on results of the monitoring.
  • Self-Determination - People and families direct policies and procedures that promote choice and control over their financial resources and decisions that affect their lives.

How IM4Q Benefits People

The following are quotes from IM4Q monitors:
  • “…The individual’s main complaint was that she made no money and she wanted a real job in the community that worked with people and generated a small income. I took this opportunity to recruit this individual as a monitor for the IM4Q Program…”
  • “I feel the IM4Q Program performs an invaluable and necessary service to people with intellectual disabilities and their families…IM4Q is all about improving the quality of life for the consumers they serve and in my opinion, nothing is more important than that.”
  • “One of the most memorable encounters was a chance meeting with a consumer…The consumer told me that he was in the process of taking classes that would ultimately lead to him receiving a PA operator’s license. The consumer had stated, in an IM4Q interview earlier that year that his goal was to obtain a driver’s license…”

Technical support for IM4Q is provided by qualified university-affiliated researchers at the Institute on Disabilities, Temple University.