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Broadly speaking, Accreditation is an effort to assess the quality of institutions, programs, and services, measuring them against accepted quality standards. There are two types of accreditation: Institutional and Programmatic (or specialized). CAAHEP is a programmatic accrediting body.

Institutional Accreditation helps to assure potential students that a school is a sound institution and has met certain, minimum Standards in terms of administration, resources, faculty and facilities. 

Programmatic (or Specialized) Accreditation examines specific schools or programs within an education institution (e.g., the law school, the medical school, the nursing program). The Standards by which these programs are measured have generally been developed by the professionals involved in each discipline and are intended to reflect what a person needs to know and be able to do to function successfully within that profession. The CAAHEP accreditation process is designed to evaluate and ensure that the Standards of each profession under the CAAHEP umbrella are met by each program. 

In addition, accreditation in the health-related disciplines also serves a very important public interest. Along with certification and licensure, accreditation is a tool intended to help assure a well-prepared and qualified workforce is providing health care services.

What Accreditation Isn't: Accreditation is a review of a program, institution or service, therefore, an individual CANNOT be accredited. Inidivudal may become certified, licenses or registered, but NOT accredited. CAAHEP is not involved in certification, licensure, or registry of individuals. To learn about certification, licensure, or registry, individuals must contact the appropriate certifying body for their profession.