5.11 Appeal of Adverse Accreditation Actions
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs provides a program’s sponsor institution the mechanism to appeal an accreditation decision to withhold or withdraw accreditation.
Accreditation Record: all written materials available to the Committee on Accreditation when it formulated its status of public recognition recommendation to CAAHEP and through Reconsideration of that recommendation.
Accreditation Standards: a qualitative measure used in assessing a health science education program’s compliance with established national norms as described in a document called Standards.
Adverse Accreditation Decision: a CAAHEP action of Withhold Accreditation or Withdraw Accreditation.
Appeal Panel Member: an individual, recommended by the sponsor(s) of the Committee on Accreditation, who has knowledge of the relevant profession, is familiar with accreditation process, has a working knowledge of the appropriate Standards as well as the type of institution sponsoring the health science education program, and has no relationship past or present with the program sponsor or the accreditation process leading to the decision being appealed.
Basis of Appeal: the program sponsor must show that regarding CAAHEP’s decision: 1) the record does not support the decision; and/or 2) due process and proper procedure were not followed.
Committee on Accreditation (CoA): the committee that evaluated the health science education program and submitted the adverse accreditation recommendation upon which CAAHEP action was taken.
Day: a calendar day.
Executive Office: CAAHEP, 1361 Park Street, Clearwater, FL 33756.
Voice: 727-210-2350, FAX: 727-210-2354
Notice of Appeal: a letter addressed to the President of CAAHEP from the Chief Executive Officer of the program sponsor requesting an appeal of an adverse accreditation decision by CAAHEP.
Program Sponsor: the entity that requested the accreditation services for the program on which the CAAHEP adverse accreditation action was taken.
Proper Notice: all correspondences, notices, and other materials exchanged between the participants of an appeal shall be by Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested or by next day delivery.
Reconsideration: a Committee on Accreditation’s second consideration of a status of public recognition recommendation, based on the conditions that existed when the Committee on Accreditation formulated its original recommendation and on subsequent documented evidence of corrected deficiencies at the time of the second consideration. Reconsideration is available when a CoA recommends probationary, withhold, and withdraw accreditation.
Sponsor of Committee on Accreditation: an organization that establishes or supports the Committee on Accreditation that submitted the adverse accreditation recommendation.
Statement of Appeal: the substance of the appeal by a program sponsor comprised of the entire, point-by-point basis upon which the institution believes the CAAHEP action should be reversed.
Type of Institution: the level of institution and/or the degree level awarded at completion of the program (e.g., Associate, Baccalaureate, non-degree Certificate).
1. The Chief Executive Officer of the program sponsor may file a Notice of Appeal of a CAAHEP action of Withhold or Withdraw Accreditation, addressed to the President of CAAHEP, and mailed to the CAAHEP Executive Office to the attention of the Executive Director. The Notice of Appeal must be postmarked within 15 days of the receipt of CAAHEP’s letter of adverse accreditation action, which said letter shall be sent by CAAHEP Certified-Return Receipt Requested or next day delivery.
2. At any time prior to the hearing date, the program sponsor may inform CAAHEP in writing that it waives the hearing and chooses to have the appeal decided on the written materials only. Under this circumstance: the Appeal Panel shall meet within 45 days of the completion of Steps 3 through 8; only the Appeal Panel, its legal advisor, and staff to maintain the record shall be present; the Appeal Panel shall complete its responsibilities in Step 11 within 20 days of its meeting; Steps 12 through 15 shall be completed as stated; and expenses incurred shall be apportioned as described in Step 9.
3. Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal, CAAHEP shall immediately reinstate the status of public recognition held prior to the decision being appealed, that is accredited programs remain accredited and unaccredited programs remain unaccredited.
4. Within 5 days of receipt of the program sponsor’s Notice of Appeal, CAAHEP shall notify the appropriate CoA that an appeal has been filed and request that the CoA submit one (1) copy of the complete accreditation record for the sponsor’s health science program upon which the CoA based its recommendation to CAAHEP. The CoA shall provide the record within 30 days of the postmark of the Notice of Appeal.
5. Within 30 days of the postmark of the Notice of Appeal, the program sponsor shall submit six (6) copies of its Statement of Appeal. This Statement shall indicate the basis for the appeal as 1) that the record does not support the decision; and/or 2) that due process and proper procedure were not followed. The Statement of Appeal shall present point-by-point all aspects of the decision that the program sponsor believes warrant reversal and the complete rationale for the program sponsor’s position(s).
6. Within 45 days of the postmark of the Notice of Appeal, CAAHEP shall send to the program sponsor the names of at least five (5) individuals who meet the requirements of an Appeal Panel member. The list shall be prepared from recommendations submitted to CAAHEP by the organization(s) that sponsor(s) the CoA that submitted the accreditation recommendation to CAAHEP.
7. Within 10 days of receipt of the list, the institution shall designate to CAAHEP three (3) of the individuals listed who shall become the members of the Appeal Panel. In the event the institution does not respond by the deadline or fails to designate three individuals, the President of CAAHEP shall appoint, within 5 days after the institution’s deadline, from the list as many members as are needed to create a three (3) member Appeal Panel. The President shall designate one of the members to be the Chairperson.
8. Within 10 days after constituting the Appeal Panel, each Appeal Panel member shall be provided with the complete accreditation record that existed at the time of the CoA’s recommendation to CAAHEP, the Statement of Appeal submitted by the program sponsor, and any correspondence between CAAHEP and the program sponsor A list of all materials comprising the complete record shall be made and provided to the program sponsor.
9. Within 15 days after constituting the Appeal Panel, a hearing shall be scheduled to be conducted as soon as feasible, preferably within 45 days after the Appeal Panel is constituted. Once scheduled, notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing shall be sent to the members of the Appeal Panel and the program sponsor, with copies of the notice sent to the CAAHEP President as well as the Chair and Executive Director of the CoA. Expenses incurred in the development and presentation of the program sponsor’s portion of the appeal, including its witnesses, shall be borne by the program sponsor. Expenses incurred in the selection of the Appeal Panel, the arrangements for the hearing, and the expenses of witnesses requested by the Appeal Panel shall be borne by CAAHEP. All reasonable and customary expenses incurred by the Appeal Panel directly associated with conducting the hearing (e.g. copying, postage, travel, meals, lodging, hearing transcript) shall be borne equally by the program sponsor and by CAAHEP.
10. The hearing shall be conducted by the Chair according to the “CAAHEP Hearing Format," shall have a written transcript, and shall provide an opportunity for the program sponsor representative(s) to present oral argument in person or by telephone conference in support of the appeal; for a CAAHEP representative to present oral argument in person or by telephone conference in support of CAAHEP’s decision; and for the Appeal Panel to ask questions of the program sponsor, the CAAHEP representative, or any other witness(es) it deems appropriate. The Chair of the CoA and/or designee(s) may be present in person or by telephone conference as bystander(s), or participant(s) at the request of CAAHEP. The Appeal Panel may request the services of a legal advisor. Brief executive sessions may be called by the Appeal Panel to insure its complete understanding of the information. Only facts known at the time of the CoA’s recommendation to CAAHEP and after reconsideration of that recommendation, if any, shall be accepted. The Appeal Panel may request that the program sponsor file additional written materials to support its oral argument. Six (6) copies of the additional materials shall be sent to the CAAHEP Executive Office and shall be postmarked within 10 days of the adjournment of the hearing. At the conclusion of oral arguments and questioning, the hearing shall be adjourned.
11. Within 20 days of the adjournment of the hearing or the receipt of additional written materials from the institution within the 10 day limit, whichever is later, the Appeal Panel shall prepare its report and submit it to the President of CAAHEP [See Appendices]. The panel shall address each point raised by the program sponsor in its Statement of Appeal and shall recommend to the CAAHEP Board of Directors either to “deny the appeal” or “grant the appeal.”
12. Within 5 days after receiving the Appeal Panel report, the President shall forward a copy of the Appeal Panel report to each member of the Board of Directors and designate the manner in which the Board of Directors will arrive at its decision (regular meeting, mail ballot, conference call). Within 20 days of the President’s receipt of the Appeal Panel report the Board of Directors shall make its decision.
13. If the Board of Directors’ decision is to “deny the appeal,” then the status of public recognition shall immediately be changed to that which was originally decided by CAAHEP. If the Board of Directors’ decision is to “grant the appeal,” the Board of Directors shall determine the status of public recognition for the program.
14. Within 5 days after the decision of the Board of Directors, the President shall notify the program sponsor and the CoA of that decision.
15. The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final and is not subject to further appeal.
I. Hearing Called to Order
II. Introduction of Appeal Panel Members and Other Attendees
III. Chairperson’s Opening Statement and Reading of the Confidentiality Statement
IV. Review of Hearing Ground Rules
V. Appellant’s Oral Presentation (not to exceed 20 minutes)
- Only information about the conditions of the program available to the Committee on Accreditation when it formulated its recommendation to CAAHEP and that submitted through Reconsideration of that recommendation is relevant.
- The institution may not present new, revised, or updated information that was not available to the Committee on Accreditation for its recommendation or reconsideration of that recommendation.
- The Appeal Panel determines the relevance of information presented.
- The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether the record supports the CAAHEP decision and/or whether due process and proper procedure were followed. The hearing is not to be defensive or confrontational.
VI. Panel’s Clarification of Appellant’s Presentation
VII. CAAHEP’s Oral Presentation (not to exceed 20 minutes)
VIII. Panel’s Clarification of CAAHEP’s Presentation
IX. Witness(es) Presentation (as requested by the Appeal Panel
X. Panel’s Clarification of Witness(es) Presentation
Xl. Recess for Panel Executive Session to Review Material Presented
XII. Additional Clarification from Attendees, if needed.
XIII. Review of Timetable of Remaining Steps in Appeal
XIV. Chairperson’s Concluding Remarks
XV. Hearing Adjourned