“Our family is very grateful and happy with all the services that have been provided to our daughter. We know she is happy, safe and well taken care of.”


At ARCA, our vision is to be the role model of excellence in life-long services for individuals with intellectual, developmental and cognitive disabilities. Every day, we see how program quality enhances the lives of the people receiving services to achieve their dreams and goals.

ARCA is on a quality journey toward performance excellence with a quality management system that includes an integrated approach to organizational performance management. The outcomes will be delivery of ever-improving value to the individuals we serve and other stakeholders, organizational sustainability, overall organizational effectiveness and capability, and organizational and personal growth. ARCA established a Quality Council to oversee this pursuit. ARCA is using the national Baldrige Performance Excellence framework as a guide and has established Category Teams for each of the Baldrige categories to support the Quality Council.

ARCA Quality Council

Purpose: The ARCA Quality Council (QC) monitors and tracks organizational performance and directs continuous improvement throughout ARCA using the Baldrige Excellence Framework.  This overall improvement approach serves as a significant effort toward ensuring ARCA’s sustainability.

Background: The Quality Champions group was established in 2005 under the organizational leadership of Elaine Solimon in an effort to develop a culture of process improvement and performance excellence based on the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria. In 2006, ARCA received the prestigious New Mexico Quality Awards Roadrunner Recognition. Three years later, the Quality Champions group evolved into what is known today as the ARCA Quality Council (QC).

Looking Forward: QC is committed to continuing ARCA’s quality journey. Selected members identify, analyze, develop, and deploy process improvement projects throughout ARCA, through oversite of ARCA’s key processes, service delivery, customer/stakeholder relationships, and organizational operations. QC is comprised of ARCA workforce members in leadership, key administrative and support staff, department managers, and volunteers.  Quality Council members act as the ambassadors for ARCA’s quality journey, improvement initiatives, and for the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its associated principles.

Performance Excellence Framework: Systems Perspective


1) The Leadership category guides senior leaders, personal actions to sustain ARCA, provides guidance for the governance system and assists ARCA to fulfill its legal, ethical and societal responsibilities.

  • Leadership System: outlines the interrelationship of the Leadership Team, ARCA Board, ARCA Foundation Board, Board Committees and Advisory Councils, Quality Council, Workforce and Family Contractors.
  • Policy and Procedure: ensures agency policies and procedures are reviewed, approved and implemented by the Leadership Team and ARCA Board.
  • Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Focus: ensures alignment of ARCA’s mission, vision and values with operations.

2) The Strategy category helps ARCA develop, implement, change and measure long and short term strategic objectives and actions plans.

  • Strategic Planning: determines agency goals and identifies the best approach for achieving those goals.

 3) The Customers category guides the engagement of customers (individuals receiving services) by listening, building relationships and utilizing information to improve and identify opportunities for innovation.

  • Placement Evaluation: identifies how a customer is placed into services and determines what supports will be needed.
  • Implementation and Maintenance of Supports: helps to ensure the service plans are implemented.
  • Building, Maintaining and Enhancing Relationships:  ensures on-going interaction and communication with customers, workforce and stakeholders.
  • Complaint Management: addresses concerns raised by our customers.
  • Service Enhancement: incorporates input and feedback to improve services based on best practices and customer needs.

 4) The Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management category guides how ARCA selects, gathers, analyzes, manages and improves data, KNOWLEDGE ASSETS and information technology to improve PERFORMANCE.

  • Stoplight Performance: monitors performance by collecting and comparing data and communicating results through Stoplight Reports.
  • Process Development and Improvement: identifies, develops, modifies, and monitors performance of key processes.

 5) The Workforce category builds workforce capacity conducive to high performance by engaging, managing and developing the workforce to utilize its full potential in alignment with ARCA’s mission.

  • Workforce Recruitment and Placement: identifies candidates for employment and trains to meet job duties.
  • Succession and Development Planning: identifies mission critical positions and associated skills. Identifies potential candidates and creates development plans for candidates.

 6) The Operations category helps ARCA design, manage, improve and innovate work processes and improve operational effectiveness to achieve success and sustainability.

  • Business Continuity: ensures preparedness for maintaining supports and business operations in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
  • Financial Oversight of Services:  monitors revenue and expenses related to providing services to ensure financial sustainability.
  • Work Design and Management: ensures key process and work systems are developed, deployed and monitored. 

7) Results – Integrated into Categories 1-6

ARCA uses the “stoplight” approach to report and track the status of selected data measures, or metrics, for identified Key Processes. Target ranges have been set for each metric to determine whether the metric is “Green”, “Yellow” or “Red”.

Each metric is described by a Metric Worksheet along with the metric Target Ranges that are used to determine the Stoplight color.

  • The metric owners and/or data owners are responsible for inputting their current data quarterly.
  • A Stoplight Administrator combines the metric data and the target information to produce each of the defined Stoplight Reports and the ARCA Dashboard.
  • Corrective Action Plans are required for all metrics that are in the “Red”.

All Stoplight Metrics and Corrective Action Plans are reviewed quarterly and approved by the Quality Council. Individualized Stoplight Reports are provided quarterly to each ARCA service/support group, committees and boards for their review.