Accreditation is an effort to assess the quality of institutions, programs and services, measuring them against agreed-upon standards and thereby assuring that they meet those standards. In the case of post-secondary education and training, there are two kinds of accreditation: institutional and programmatic (or specialized). 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 educational 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. 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 providing health care services.
While there are some differences among the 18 professions within CAAHEP, all accredited programs must go through a rigorous process that has certain elements in common:
Only CAAHEP grants accreditation. The committee is voting to forward a recommendation of initial, continuing, transfer of sponsorship, probation, withhold or withdrawal of accreditation to the CAAHEP. For more information, visit the CAAHEP website.
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