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Twenty-five years ago, a fledgling organization once known as CAHEA – a committee of the AMA - took its first steps to independence. The organization chose the name Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, which is a long way to say, “Let’s make sure allied health education programs produce the best-qualified entry-level employees.” And, so it began…

When I think about it, 1994 seems as if it were just a couple of years ago, but looking back on newsletters and reports from CAAHEP’s beginning, times were very different. It was the 1996-1997 Annual Report that announced CAAHEP would be making an “Internet presence.” Early communication was through CompuServe, which was the first major commercial online service provider. It was known for its online chat system and message forums covering a variety of topics. CAAHEP’s CompuServe address was 7576,14444, and most certainly was accessed through a dial-up connection and that unmistakable squeal. CAAHEP’s technology has certainly evolved like most organizations with blast emails, social media, electronic newsletters and such, and it continues to evolve today with a new database, online self-study, and annual reporting module currently in the works.

While the technology, professions, policies and procedures have changed over time, CAAHEP’s mission and core values have remained constant. In January 2019, the CAAHEP Board, Liaisons, and Staff worked to develop a new strategic plan that will take us in to 2021. What’s interesting is the similarity of the goals we developed just last month to what our “founding fathers” developed in CAAHEP’s first strategic initiatives:

1st Annual Report Mission and Goals:
The mission of CAAHEP is to provide recognition and continuous quality improvement of allied health education programs in the CAAHEP system.
  1. To promote and support the education of competent allied health professionals.
  2. To provide programmatic and specialized accreditation, and facilitate coordination service for allied health education.
  3. To maintain recognition as a national specialized accrediting organization.
  4. To streamline the existing accreditation process and effect the reduction of accreditation costs while maintaining integrity and credibility in the accreditation process.
  5. To compile, analyze, and disseminate information and related data on healthcare accreditation.
  6. To promote the research and study of critical issues related to healthcare accreditation.
  7. To work toward the development of an all-inclusive accrediting agency for healthcare education services.
  8. To serve as a primary source of expertise and assistance to institutions and programs in matters of evaluation and quality assurance in pursuit of continuing self-improvement.
  9. To strengthen CAAHEP by increasing its financial viability through the improvement of existing revenue programs, developing new funding resources for the organization, and increasing the efficiency/effectiveness of existing systems.
We will be sharing the new Strategic Plan at the 2019 Annual Meeting in April in San Antonio. It will show you that the mission of CAAHEP remains steadfast. We look towards the future, beginning with a big celebration of our 25-year history this April.

Throughout the coming year, CAAHEP will have guest writers submit Blog posts reviewing their history with the organization and what the issues of the day were when they were involved. There is much to be learned from our history. We hope that you will enjoy our year-long trip down memory lane and will look to the future with us as we work towards continued success in the next 25 years.
Posted: 2/19/2019 10:25:36 AM by Lorna Frazier-Lindsey | 0 comments

Most of you probably remember the news from January 2014 when a federal judge in Virginia took it upon himself to substitute his own judgment for that of the accrediting body in an appeal of denial of accreditation. Not only did he overturn the denial, he also slapped the accrediting agency with damages of more than $400,000.
The case could have been the first episode in a new reality series “Accreditors Behaving Badly” as there did seem to be some serious issues with how the staff and volunteers of the accrediting agency had dealt with the institution and its appeal. Nonetheless, the judge went further than any court had ever gone before, even second guessing “vague” Standards and making his own judgments about an institution in what is supposed to be a “peer review” process.
But last week a Federal Appeals Court reversed that lower court decision when it ruled that the judge at the lower court level had wildly overreached. The Appeals Court noted that the lower court had essentially conducted its own trial rather than focusing upon the procedural fairness which should have been the limit of an appeal. Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote the decision for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and said, in part, “…the district court was remedially aggressive not only in its awarding of a large amount of damages, but also in ordering that the institution in question be reaccredited, thereby overturning the judgment and expertise of an agency that in this case rested on a sound and supportable basis.”
This is an important legal victory because it upholds previous case law that has established a “hands off” approach by courts when it comes to second guessing the professional judgment of accrediting agencies. But even as we celebrate, we should not forget some important lessons to “take away.” Namely, accreditors have a responsibility to remain objective and impartial (no matter how frustrated they may become with a particular program or institution). And we must ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow our published policies and procedures in a consistent manner. Hopefully there won’t be any more episodes of “Accreditors Behaving Badly.”
Posted: 4/1/2015 1:34:58 PM by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs | 0 comments

Submitted by Thomas Skalko, PhD, LRT/CTRS, CAAHEP President
Other hot topics shared during the  Association for Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) meeting were proposals that are being discussed including a proposal by the Administration for rating colleges and universities on quality and value of an education; the use of gainful employment as a variable in the programmatic accreditation process; the implementation of competency-based innovations in education; and proposals to create state level alternative institutional accreditation options.  There seem to be a host of items on the radar with regard to higher education accreditation that impact both institutional and programmatic accreditors.  For programmatic accreditors, ASPA is actively engaged in representing the interests of the programmatic accrediting agencies.
With regard to innovations in education, competency-based education is one of the topics gaining traction.  Some universities are working through the logistics and implementing competency-based education for a host of degree programs. 
Posted: 9/15/2014 3:12:38 PM by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs | 0 comments


Commission on Accreditationof Allied Health Education Programs

CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2200 educational programs in 32 health science occupations.