Trying to find the right program at the right institution can be a complicated and confusing process. CAAHEP's goal is to provide students (and parents) accurate information on the programs that meet CAAHEP Standards.
Accreditation is an effort to assess the quality of institutions, programs, and services, measuring them against accepted quality standards. The accreditation process is designed to evaluate and ensure that these standards are met. Programmatic (or specialized) accreditation examines specific programs within an educational institution (e.g., the diagnostic medical sonography program or the EMS-paramedic program). That’s what CAAHEP does – reviews individual education programs to make sure they meet the standards of the profession. The CAAHEP standards by which these programs are measured have been developed primarily by the professionals involved in each discipline, are approved by each profession, and are intended to reflect required knowledge and skills that a person needs to be able to successfully function within that profession. CAAHEP Standards focus on quality outcomes, assuring that educational programs are preparing competent entry-level health care professionals. That means that CAAHEP-accredited programs provide the educational foundation necessary to begin a successful career in many allied health professions. CAAHEP is one of the largest specialized accrediting bodies, reviewing and accrediting more than 2,500 education programs in 31 health professions, and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation in the health-related disciplines also serves a very important role for the public. Along with certification and licensure, accreditation helps to assure that health care personnel are well-prepared and qualified.
In many health care fields, graduating from a CAAHEP accredited program is required in order to become certified or licensed. It is important to know the accreditation status of a program, as well as the certification or licensure requirements of the profession you are studying before selecting a program. With this knowledge, you can be sure to enroll in a program that allows you to seek certification or licensure upon graduation and keeps you moving forward in your career.