Mission, Scope, Overview
Our mission is to inspire and promote quality-oriented continuing education and training. Through the establishment of standards and the assurance of an accreditation process focused on integrity, we seek to identify, evaluate and enhance the delivery of continuing education and training. We are a voluntary affiliation of organizations committed to self-regulation through independent peer-review and evaluation; and, we aspire to the continuous refinement of our recognition as a valid and reliable authority.
ACCET has been officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, since 1978, as a “reliable authority as to the quality of education or training provided by the institution’s of higher education and the programs they accredit.” In 1998, ACCET became the first recognized accrediting agency to be certified as an ISO 9001 Quality Management System under the international standards established by the International Organization for Standardization.
A continuing education program is defined as “post-secondary instruction designed to meet the educational needs and interests of adults, including the expansion of available learning opportunities for adults who are not adequately served by current educational offerings in their communities”. ACCET accredits institutions providing non-collegiate continuing education and training programs and which may be approved to award the validated CEU, certificates and/or Occupational Associates Degrees.
ACCET provides institutional accreditation for organizations whose primary function is for educational purposes and also for organizations offering continuing education as a clearly identified institutional objective within the operational entity, such as in-service corporate training. ACCET accreditation can include educational institutions that offer programs at locations other than the main headquarters under specified conditions and controls. ACCET accredits non-collegiate continuing education and training organizations throughout the United States and accredits programs abroad. Institutions that may be eligible for accreditation include:
- Trade and professional associations
- Private career schools
- Corporate training departments
- Intensive English programs
- Trade and professional associations labor union training programs
- Religious organizations and ethical societies
- Public affairs and cultural societies
- Social service, volunteer and personal development organizations
Like other educational accrediting agencies, ACCET does not grant academic credit or any other unit of educational measurement. Academic credit can be granted only by educational institutions licensed or chartered to do so by federal or state governments. Additionally, the transferability of academic credit between institutions is at the sole discretion of those institutions directly involved and is normally arranged through a formal articulation agreement between the institutions. Neither does ACCET grant the Continuing Education Unit (CEU), which is in the public domain and may be granted by any educational organization without the permission of any other body. By accepted definition, the CEU is “ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.”
Principles of Ethics for ACCET Accredited Institutions
In support of the Standards for Accreditation, ACCET members will uphold the following principles of professional ethics:
- To provide programs of study that are educationally sound, up-to-date, of high quality and are demonstrably effective.
- To maintain fair, ethical, and clearly stated advertising, admission, and enrollment practices by accurately and fairly representing the ACCET – accredited institution and its service to its constituency.
- To provide effective student counseling and motivational programs that recognize individual differences and ensure successful student retention, graduation and, where applicable, employability.
- To demonstrate the ultimate benefit of private educational training programs through satisfied participants.
- To maintain an effective peer review system that ensures proper and ethical administration of all financial operations of the institution.
- To promote the concept of voluntary self-regulation inherent in the accreditation process.
- To demonstrate a commitment to educational services through community involvement and participation.
- To demonstrate the effectiveness of private education and training, thereby providing essential skills to support a productive American work force.
- To promote continuing education and training programs of the highest quality and integrity.