Accreditation ABCs

To Err is Human. Suppose That Things Go Badly, What Then?

Complaints by you

Sometimes - fortunately, not often -- despite everyone's best intentions, things go wrong.

If you have a problem while the site visitors are on your campus you should immediately call your CoA, even while the visit is occurring.

But what if you think everything went well and then you receive a site visit report that says otherwise? CAAHEP policy and CoA procedures assure you the chance to respond to issues raised in the site visit report that you feel are unwarranted or have already been corrected.


What if the CoA's recommendation is adverse?

After you respond to the site visit report (and any additional requests for information from the CoA), the next step will be for the CoA to formulate its recommendation to CAAHEP. If the recommendation is “adverse” - i.e., to withhold accreditation for a new program or probationary accreditation or withdrawal for an already accredited program - you will receive a letter from the CoA explaining that they will be sending such a recommendation to CAAHEP. That letter will spell out the reasons for the CoA's decision. CAAHEP and CoA procedures allow you another opportunity to submit information. This is called “reconsideration.” Often, the new information will cause the CoA to change its decision about an adverse recommendation.

What if the CoA is unpersuaded and proceeds with an adverse recommendation?

If the recommendation is for probationary accreditation, that vote by the CAAHEP Board is not appealable. Since probationary accreditation is still considered a status of accreditation, the intention is to have everyone focus on fixing the problems rather than appealing the decision.

If the decision is to withhold or withdraw accreditation, there is still another step that your institution can take - a formal appeal.

You also should know that at any point in the process you may voluntarily withdraw without any prejudice. So, if the issues are just too big to fix in time to avoid an adverse decision, you can withdraw your application and begin again with a clean slate.


CAAHEP Appeals Policy

Complaints About Your Program

You should also be aware that CAAHEP has a process in place for students, parents, faculty or any other interested party to file a complaint against your program. These complaints must relate to alleged violations of the Standards. (In other words, CAAHEP will not intervene on behalf of an individual complaint about a grade other individual or administrative issue.) Any complaint that alleges Standards violations must be signed. CAAHEP will not deal with anonymous complaints. If it is determined to be an appropriate complaint for CAAHEP to pursue, the CoA will contact the program for a response to the allegations.

CAAHEP Complaints Policy