chart of the CAAHEP accreditation process

CAAHEP Accreditation Process

Each Committee on Accreditation (CoA) in the CAAHEP system works directly with programs in its discipline throughout the accreditation process. As outlined in the CAAHEP Policy & Procedures, CoAs must utilize core elements in reviewing programs and formulating recommendations to CAAHEP. Below are core elements and a summary of the CAAHEP process. For more specific information on a particular profession, contact the CoA for the profession.

chart of the CAAHEP accreditation process

CAAHEP Accreditation Process

Each Committee on Accreditation (CoA) in the CAAHEP system works directly with programs in its discipline throughout the accreditation process. As outlined in the CAAHEP Policy & Procedures, CoAs must utilize core elements in reviewing programs and formulating recommendations to CAAHEP. Below are core elements and a summary of the CAAHEP process. For more specific information on a particular profession, contact the CoA for the profession.

chart of the CAAHEP accreditation process

Steps in the CAAHEP Accreditation Process

One
Submission of the Request for Accreditation Services Form (RAS)

Programs submit the RAS form electronically through CAAHEPs website, and it is delivered directly to the CoA that evaluates programs in the discipline for which services are requested. The RAS must contain the typed “signature” of the CEO/President, or an officially designated representative of the institution, to authorize the accreditation process. Programs requesting initial accreditation will be contacted by the CoA and provided information to begin the accreditation process.

Two
Submission of a Self-Study Report by the Program

The self-study report is completed by the program, and documents how the program meets each of the Standards as outlined in the Standards and Guidelines document for the applicable profession. Each CoA develops the self-study document template that must be completed by the program for the applicable discipline. Submission of the self-study is the first step in beginning the review process.

Three
Review of Self-Study Report by the CoA                                                       

Assigned representatives from the CoA review the self-study and provide feedback and/or consultation to the program, as needed.

Four
Site Visit by the CoA

Individuals assigned by the CoA will conduct a site visit. Site visits typically lasts 1-2 days and may be conducted on-site, virtually, or blended. but the format may vary depending on the type of visit, and some CoAs conduct an interview prior to the actual site visit. The site visit provides the CoA the opportunity to verify information submitted in the self-study in order to further assess the program. A site visit includes review of program documentation and facilities, as well as interviews with students, graduates (if applicable), faculty, administration, advisory committee members, and others as required by the CoA.

Five
Program’s Response to Site Visit Findings

Programs will receive a report of site visit findings from the CoA following the site visit and are given the opportunity to respond to findings prior to further consideration by the CoA.

Six
CoA's Review of Program’s Compliance with Standards and Accreditation Recommendation

The CoA reviews the site visit findings and the program’s response to findings to determine the degree of compliance with each of the Standards and formulates an accreditation recommendation to forward to the CAAHEP Board for review and action. In some cases, additional information/clarification may be requested by the CoA before making a recommendation to CAAHEP. Programs are not typically notified of the recommendation, but instead are contacted directly by CAAHEP following the meeting at which action was taken.

Seven
Special Procedures for Recommendations Requiring Due Process

If the CoA recommends withhold accreditation, probation, or withdraw accreditation, it must first follow due process before forwarding that recommendation to CAAHEP. Due process allows programs the opportunity to submit additional information and request CoA reconsideration, or to voluntarily withdrawal accreditation or initial application.

Eight
Accreditation Status Decision by the CAAHEP Board of Directors

The CAAHEP Board of Directors reviews all recommendations received from each of its CoAs and takes action on the recommendations at one of its six meetings per year (January, March, May, July, September, and November).  
Letters notifying programs of the CAAHEP Board’s decision are electronically distributed to the President, Dean and Program Directors of the institution/program the week following the meeting. Normally, the Board takes action on a Friday and the program accreditation statuses are posted to the CAAHEP website the Monday following the Board's actions.

Nine
Continuous Quality Review

CoAs are required to continually monitor programs for effective compliance with published criteria. This effort might include: progress reports, annual reports, and focused site visits. The time periods for these items are established by the CoAs.