CAAHEP

Complaint Policy

If you are a student currently enrolled in a program or you are a former student, potential student, faculty or any other interested party and you have a concern about a CAAHEP accredited program, please read our Complaint Policy.  If after reading the policy, you wish to file a complaint please click here.

All complaints must be written and signed upon submission.


CAAHEP Policy Section 602. Complaints Regarding CAAHEP, CoAs and Accredited Programs

CAAHEP and its CoAs follow due process procedures when written and signed complaints are received by the Commission or a CoA alleging that they or an accredited program are not following established Commission policies or accreditation Standards.

CAAHEP and its CoAs maintain indefinitely a record of all complaints received.
 
Procedure:
 
A. To receive formal consideration, all complaints shall be submitted in writing and signed. The complaint should demonstrate that reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the complaint, or alternatively that such efforts would be unavailing.

B.  When received by CAAHEP, complaints are transmitted within five working days to the chairperson and staff of the appropriate CoA for consideration. When received by the chair or staff of a CoA, a copy is forwarded to the CAAHEP office within five working days.

C. Following consultation among staff of the CoA and CAAHEP, the chairperson of the CoA determines whether the complaint relates to the manner in which the program complies with the Standards or follows established accreditation policies.

  1. If the complaint does not relate to the Standards or to established policies, the person initiating the complaint shall be notified accordingly within twenty working days following receipt of the complaint by the CoA. A copy of this correspondence shall be shared with CAAHEP.

  2. If the complaint does relate to the Standards or to established policies, the chair or representative of the CoA shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint within twenty working days and share with the filing party a description of the process and policies which pertain to handling such complaints.

 
  a. The chair or representative of the CoA shall notify the program director and the chief executive officer of the sponsoring institution of the substance of the complaint and shall request a preliminary investigation and report on the findings within 30 days of the sponsoring institution’s receipt of the letter of notice.

  b. The chair or representative of the CoA may request further information or material relative to the complaint from the complaining party, the institution, or other relevant sources.

  c. The CAAHEP office should receive copies of this correspondence.

  d. The identity of the complaining party shall be kept confidential, unless the complainant authorizes disclosure of his/her identity, or unless such disclosure is required by legal process in a subsequent proceeding.

 

D. On receipt of the responses referred to above, the CoA shall consider the complaint and all relevant information obtained in the course of investigation and formulates an appropriate action according to the following guidelines:

  1. If the complaint is determined to be unsubstantiated or unrelated to the Standards or established accreditation policies, the complaining party, officials of the program in question, and the appropriate official of the sponsoring institution, will be so notified within ten days of the completion of the investigation.

  2. If the investigation reveals the program may not be or may not have been in substantial compliance with the Standards or may not have been following the established accreditation policies, one of two approaches shall be taken.

 
  a. The program may submit a report and documentation within thirty days following the investigation demonstrating the manner in which the substantiated complaint has been corrected. Should the CoA be satisfied with the response, the program, its sponsoring institution, and the party filing the complaint should be notified of the CoAs satisfaction with the resolution of the matter and notice that the program’s accreditation status remains unaffected by the complaint.

  b. Should the CoA judge the program or sponsoring institution’s response to the complaint inadequate and lacking in evidence of the program’s continuing substantial compliance with the Standards or adherence to accreditation policies, the CoA may request and arrange for a return site visit of the program as soon as reasonably feasible, but not more than thirty days following the investigation. The purpose of the return site visit shall be limited to an investigation of the complaint and the manner in which it affects compliance with the Standards or with accreditation policies. The cost of the return site visit shall be borne by the said CoA.

 
  i)  Should the CoA, on evidence received through the return on-site evaluation, consider the program to remain in substantial compliance with the Standards and in adherence with accreditation policies, the program, its sponsoring institution, and the complaining party shall be notified of this assessment and the fact that the program’s current accreditation status remains unaffected by the complaint.

  ii)  Should the CoA consider the evidence of the site visit to indicate the complaint is valid and the program is not in substantial compliance with the Standards or with accreditation policies, the said committee shall recommend a change in accreditation status to CAAHEP.

E. Should D(2)(b)(ii) pertain, all information regarding the complaint, a full report of its investigation, and the CoA’s recommendation shall be transmitted to CAAHEP for consideration and action.

F. CAAHEP emphasizes that it will not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for faculty members or students in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal. It will act only when it believes practices or conditions indicate the program may not be in substantial compliance with the Standards or with established accreditation policies.