Maintaining Accreditation

Approval Processes

In accordance with ACCET standards and policies, member institutions must seek and obtain ACCET approval for significant changes, including those identified below. To assist and guide institutions, an overview of the approval process for the following changes are provided, including the application process, the timeframes for submission, and pertinent policies, applications, and fees. If you have any questions about these processes, please don’t hesitate to contact ACCET Staff.


New Program/Course


Application Process

Prior to advertising, enrolling students, or offering a new program, an institution must complete and submit the applicable program application for approval: (1) Application for a New or Revised Program/Course; (2) Application for Interactive Distance Learning, or (3) Application for an Occupational Associate Degree, along with the required exhibits and fee. If applicable, templates for specific types of programs also must be provided (e.g. Massage Therapy, Nursing and Allied Health, Occupational Associate Degree, Interactive Distance Learning, Vocational English as a Second Language, and Foreign Language Training (excluding Intensive English Programs). Subsequently, the application must be reviewed by a subject matter specialist. Upon satisfactory review by the specialist, the Program Review Committee will consider the program application for approval.

Final Approval

Programs determined to be within the scope of the institution’s existing approved programs will be granted final approval, while those determined to be outside the institution’s current scope will be granted interim approval, and an on-site visit will be conducted to determine the program’s viability and the institution’s capability in managing its expanded scope.

Interim Approval

For a program that are determined to be outside the scope of the institution’s existing programs, interim approval may be granted the program. The interim approval letter will indicate whether the institution also must: (1) submit a Program Report (a subset of the Analytic Self-Evaluation Report) and (2) host an on-site team evaluation visit to evaluate the program. If applicable, the institution’s Program Report and on-site visit report will be considered by the Commission for final program approval at its next scheduled meeting.

Pertinent Documents

Prior to offering a new program/course, please refer to the following pertinent documents:

Document Name Document Number Type
Policy for a New Program/Course 25 Policy
Application for a New or Revised Program/Course 25.1 Application
Application for Interactive Distance Learning 25.IDL Application
Application for an Occupational Associate Degree 25.OAD Application
Schedule of Fees 10 Fees
Checklist for Application for New or Revised Program/Course 25.2 Other Requirements
Employer Questionnaire and Program Overview 25.3 Other Requirements
Program Information Sheet 25.4 Other Requirements
Course Information Sheet 25.5 Other Requirements
Subject Hour Breakdown 25.6 Other Requirements
Admissions Standards and Criteria 25.7 Other Requirements



Revised Program/Course


Application Process:

Prior to advertising, enrolling students, or offering a revised program, an institution must complete and submit an application for approval for major revisions or a notification for minor revision. A major revision is defined at any change to clock or credit hours, whether an increase or a decrease, of greater than 20% of the approved length. Other major revisions include clock-to-credit conversions and the addition of an externship. A minor revision is any change to clock or credit hours of 20% or less of the approved length. For a major revision, the application must be reviewed by a subject matter specialist. Upon satisfactory review by the specialist, the Program Review Committee will consider the program application for final approval. For a minor revision, the institution is permitted to make the change upon ACCET’s receipt of the notification, and the institution will be provided a letter acknowledging the change and its effective date (date of receipt of the notification).

Document Name Document Number Type
Policy for a New Program/Course 25 Policy
Application for a New or Revised Program/Course 25.1 Application
Schedule of Fees 10 Fees
Checklist for Application for New or Revised Program/Course 25.2 Other Requirements



Change of Ownership and/or Control


Application Process

Ten (10) days prior to a change of ownership and/or control, an institution must notify ACCET in writing of the impending change. Additionally, ten (10) days after the consummation of the change, the institution must submit a complete application for approval of the change of ownership/control (Document 22.1), along with the required fee and exhibits.

Provisional Approval

Provisional approval of a change of ownership and/or control may be granted following a review of a complete application by the Change of Ownership Review Committee. The provisional approval letter will specify whether the institution will be required to subsequently: (1) attend an accreditation workshop; (2) submit a Management Report (a subset of the Analytic Self-Evaluation Report); and (3) host an on-site team evaluation visit.

Final Approval

Final approval may be granted by the Commission upon review of the institution’s Management Report and, if applicable, the change of ownership on-site visit report. Depending on the timing of the change of ownership/control, the review of the change of ownership/control may be done in conjunction with the reaccreditation of the institution.

Change of Ownership Without a Change of Control

In the event of a change of ownership without a change of control, final approval may be granted following the review of the application (Document 22.1), but without the requirement of a Management Report and an on-site visit.

Note

To ensure the continuity and stability of the institution, substantive changes are not permitted within 12 months following a change of ownership, without a Special Consideration.

Pertinent Documents

Prior to a change of ownership and/or control, please refer to the following pertinent documents:

Document Name Document Number Type
Change of Ownership and/or Control 22 Policy
Application for Reinstatement of Accreditation Following a Change of Ownership and/or Control 22.1 Application
Schedule of Fees 10 Fees
Guidelines for Filing Financial Reports 27 Other Requirements
Specific Requirements for Filing Financial Reports 27.1 Other Requirements



Additional Locations


Branch: A full-service facility, geographically apart from, but under the direction of the main campus, at which complete continuing education and training programs are offered. A branch operates under the same ownership/authority and administrative policies and procedures as the accredited main campus, but has comprehensive on-site administrative and support services including its own faculty, administrative or supervisory organization, and its own budget.

Auxiliary Classroom: A classroom site, geographically apart from and operated and supervised by the main or branch campus, at which instruction in one or more training programs is offered. An auxiliary classroom operates under the same ownership/authority and administrative policies and procedures as the accredited main campus and may or may not have its own faculty; however, the number and duties of administrative personnel are limited, and may include a receptionist or site supervisor. Enrollment activities and student support services, such as counseling, placement, or financial aid processing, are provided at the main or branch campus.

Classroom Extension: A classroom site, geographically apart from, yet in close enough proximity for adequate oversight (usually not more than five miles) by the main or branch campus, at which instruction in one or more training programs is offered. A classroom extension operates under the same ownership/authority and administrative policies and procedures as the accredited main/branch campus and may or may not have its own faculty; however, the number and duties of administrative personnel are very limited, but may include a site supervisor. Enrollment activities and student support services, such as counseling, placement, or financial aid processing, are provided at the main or branch campus. Classroom extensions are generally used as temporary sites (no more than 12 months) in order to allow an institution time to accommodate an overflow of students at the main or branch campus or to meet unique facility requirements for a specific program of study.

Application Process

Prior to advertising, enrolling, and teaching classes at a new campus, an institution must complete and submit the applicable new location application for approval: (1) Application for a Branch, (2) Application for an Auxiliary Classroom, or (3) Application for a Classroom Extension, along with the required exhibits and fee.
Branch campuses and vocational Auxiliary Classrooms require a preliminary on-site visit be conducted by an ACCET Commission Representative, or designee, to establish that the facility, equipment, supplies, administrative support, and faculty are appropriate and adequate for the institution’s projection of program offerings and enrollments. Subsequently, the Branching Review Committee with consider the new location application to determine interim approval (for a Branch) or final approval (for a vocational Auxiliary Classroom).
Classroom Extension or avocational Auxiliary Classrooms do not require a preliminary on site visit. Application will be reviewed by the Branching Review Committee for final approval.

Interim Approval (Branch campus)

Once the institution’s application is complete and the preliminary on-site visit has been conducted, the ACCET Branching Review Committee will make a determination as to whether permission to establish a new site should be granted. Following a review of the application and supporting documentation, interim approval, deferral, or denial of the application will be issued. The institution is prohibited from advertising, enrolling or teaching classes at a prospective branch prior to receipt of ACCET interim approval.

A letter of interim approval will include information and timelines relative to: (1) the submission of the Electronic Branch Analytic Self-Evaluation Review (eBASER), (2) the scheduling of the full on-site visit, and (3) the review cycle in which the branch will be considered for final approval by the Accrediting Commission. Additionally, the institution may be notified that a representative of the institution will be required to attend the next available Accreditation Workshop. Final consideration of the institution’s application for a branch campus by ACCET will take place at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Accrediting Commission following a full on-site examination of the site. Such an on-site review must be conducted within six months after the site begins operation, for Title IV institutions.

Final Approval (for a Branch)

The Accrediting Commission will review the team report and the institution’s response to the team report of the full on-site visit at its next regularly scheduled meeting and make a final decision regarding the approval of the new site.

Final Approval (for all other new location)

Once the institution’s application (and preliminary on-site visit for vocational Auxiliary Classrooms) is complete, the ACCET Branching Review Committee will make a determination as to whether permission to establish a new site should be granted. Following a review of the application and supporting documentation, final approval, deferral, or denial of the application will be issued. The institution is prohibited from advertising, enrolling or teaching classes at a prospective classroom extension prior to receipt of ACCET approval.

Pertinent Documents
Document Name Document Number Type
Review and Approval of Additional Locations 26 Policy
Application for a Branch 26.1 Application
Application for an Auxiliary Classroom 26.2 Application
Application for a Classroom Extension 26.3 Application
Application for Approval of Temporary/Seasonal Classroom for Intensive English Programs (IEPs) 26.5 Application
Request for On Site Visit 8 Application
Schedule of Fees 10 Fees



Changes of Location


A change of location is a relocation of an existing accredited entity and any approved additional locations within the same general geographic area. ACCET considers an “accredited entity” to be a composite of the school’s administration, faculty, curricula, policies/procedures, student support systems, including the student body itself. If an accredited entity is simply relocating down the street to a new/different building with the same staff, curriculum, policies/procedures, etc., ACCET views this as a change of location within the same general geographic area and requires completion of this application. However, if the accredited entity closes in one location and reopens in a new location outside the general geographic area of the accredited entity which requires substantial changes in the components of the accredited entity, ACCET considers this a campus closing and refers the institution to Document 32 – Closing/Teachout Policy.

Application Process

An institution must complete the Change of Location Notification application, along with the required exhibits and fee.

Final Approval

The Chair of the Branching Review Committee will review all Change of Location Notification applications for completeness. When an application is complete, final approval of the relocation will be granted.

Pertinent Documents
Document Name Document Number Type
Change of Location Notification 26.4 Application
Closing/Teachout Policy 32 Policy
Schedule of Fees 10 Fees



Name Change


Names must be consistent for all sites except in cases where state regulation prohibits the use of a particular name or in cases of programmatic or geographic descriptors.

Application Process

Prior to the anticipated date of the name change, an institution must submit a Change of Name Application along with the required exhibits and fees.

Final Approval

The Chair of the Branching Review Committee will review all Change of Name Applications for completeness. When an application is complete, final approval of the name change will be granted.

Pertinent Documents
Document Name Document Number Type
Change of Name Notification 37 Application
Schedule of Fees 10 Fees


Annual Reporting

Accredited member institutions are required to annual report to ACCET to maintain accreditation outside of the reaccreditation visit. The following list of mandated reporting requirements is provided as a quick reference guide/reminder to assist member institutions in complying with ACCET standards and policies. Please note that failure to provide required reporting may result in late fees, a show cause directive, and/or adverse action taken by the Accrediting Commission.


Completion & Placement


Reporting Requirements:

ACCET accredited institutions ensure the value and effectiveness of their course(s) and program(s) by regularly assessing, documenting, and validating the quality of the training services provided through completion rates, sponsor and student/graduate satisfaction, and, for vocational institutions, job placement rates. Credible completion and placement rates serve the students’ best interests and, in turn, enhance public confidence in accredited institutions and the accreditation process.

All accredited institutions and those seeking ACCET accreditation will document completion rates for their programs. All accredited institutions and those seeking ACCET accreditation offering vocational training will provide job placement assistance to all eligible graduates and document the results in order to demonstrate clear and positive outcomes from the training. Completion and placement records will be maintained in an orderly, comprehensive, and accurate manner for all students and must be verifiable.

Data collection instruments (Document 28.1 for vocational institutions) will be maintained at least every 90 days, and should be utilized as management tools. Document 28.1(s) must be submitted to the ACCET office no later than May 1st of the current year unless otherwise directed by staff, and no sooner than 120 days after the last graduating cohort of each program and, in conjunction with ACCET Document 12.c – Annual Statistical Self-Evaluation. Document 28.1 and internally developed documents for avocational institutions, will be made available at such other times upon request by ACCET. The supporting documentation utilized by the school in the preparation of these forms must be prescribed by written school policy to assure accuracy and completeness.

Due Date:

April 30 of each year

Pertinent Documents:
Document Name Document Number Type
Annual Completion & Placement Reporting

(Fillable)

12.c Form
Completion & Placement Policy 28 Policy
Completion & Placement Statistics – Definitions and Explanations 28.1 Policy
Completion & Placement Statistics – Form 28.1 Form



Financial Reporting


Reporting Requirements:

ACCET accredited institutions and those seeking ACCET accreditation must demonstrate a record of responsible financial management with resources sufficient to maintain quality training and educational services and to complete the instruction of all enrolled participants.

All ACCET accredited institutions must submit annual financial statements. Periodic financial reporting may be directed by the Commission.

All financial information provided ACCET will be handled on a confidential and need-to-know basis; however, the information is not legally privileged and, therefore, is not protected from involuntary disclosure through subpoena or other judicial process.

Due Date:

Six (6) months following an institution’s fiscal year end; or 45 days following fiscal year end if approved for Alternative Financial Reporting

Pertinent Documents:
Document Name Document Number Type
Guidelines for Filing Financial Reports 27 Policy
Specific Requirements for Filing Financial Reports 27.1 Policy
Guidelines for Filing Financial Reports – Alternative Financial Reporting 27 Guidelines Policy
Alternative Financial Reporting 27 Addendum Form



Enrollment Statistics


Reporting Requirements:

An institutions annual report and enrollment statistics will be used to assess ongoing compliance, update records, establish the proportionate level of sustaining fees, and provide for a periodic review of changed in institutional characteristics.

Due Date:

12.a – 30 days prior to an institution’s fiscal year end
12.b – 30 days following an institution’s fiscal year end

Pertinent Documents:
Document Name Document Number Type
Annual Report & Enrollment Statistics Policy 12 Policy
Annual Report and Data Verification 12.a Form
Annual Report & Enrollment Statistics 12.b Form