This framework was designed to assist Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) Alliances in building an onboarding toolkit for new consumers. Onboarding is a process used to orient new volunteers or staff to an organization. It typically includes a set of standard background materials and other relevant resources. An onboarding toolkit should be specific to each Alliance, standard for all new consumer stakeholders, and reflective of the current goals, projects, and vision of AF4Q and the local Al- liance. This framework includes guidance for preparing onboarding components that have been successful in the past, specifically in engaging patients, families, and care- givers in health care quality improvement initiatives as members of leadership/governance teams, workgroups/ committees, and as participants in other quality im- provement projects. The goals of an onboarding toolkit are to build the relationship between consumer leaders and Alliance staff, prepare the consumers for their role, and provide a structure necessary for mutually beneficial collaboration. Ultimately, building an onboarding toolkit is the first step in the meaningful engagement of consumers.
Meaningfully engaged consumers improve stakeholder satisfaction, reduce attrition, and contribute to the sustai- nability of a project. By preparing consumers properly for their role in the Alliance and continuing to support them throughout their participation, staff members can increase the number of meaningfully engaged consumers in the Alliance.