What is Accreditation and Why is it Important?
Broadly speaking, 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.
What Accreditation Isn't
Accreditation is a review of a program, institution or service, an individual CANNOT be accredited.
Individuals may become certified, licensed or registered but NOT accredited. CAAHEP is NOT involved in the certification, licensure or registry of individuals.
To learn more about certification, individuals must contact the appropriate certifying body for their profession.