BACKGROUND: Although many studies of quality improvement (QI) education programmes report improvement in learners' knowledge and confidence, the impact on learners' future engagement in QI activities is largely unknown and few studies report project measures beyond completion of the programme. METHOD: We developed the Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement (AQSI) to prepare individuals, across multiple departments and professions, to lead QI. The 7-month programme consisted of class work and team-based project work. We assessed participants' knowledge using a multiple choice test and an adapted Quality Improvement Knowledge Assessment Test (QIKAT) before and after the programme. We evaluated participants' postprogramme QI activity and project status using surveys at 6 and 18 months. RESULTS: Over 5 years, 172 individuals and 32 teams participated. Participants had higher multiple choice test (71.9+/-12.7 vs 79.4+/-13.2; p<0.001) and adapted QIKAT scores (55.7+/-16.3 vs 61.8+/-14.7; p<0.001) after the programme. The majority of participants at 6 months indicated that they had applied knowledge and skills learnt to improve quality in their clinical area (129/148; 87.2%) and to implement QI interventions (92/148; 62.2%). At 18 months, nearly half (48/101; 47.5%) had led other QI projects and many (41/101; 40.6%) had provided QI mentorship to others. Overall, 14 (43.8%) teams had positive postintervention results at AQSI completion and 20 (62.5%) had positive results at some point (ie, completion, 6 months or 18 months after AQSI). CONCLUSIONS: A team-based QI training programme resulted in a high degree of participants' involvement in QI activities beyond completion of the programme. A majority of team projects showed improvement in project measures, often occurring after completion of the programme.