In Year 6 of the Accreditation Cycle, an accredited center will undergo a full portfolio review and a site visit. A center may request, under limited circumstances, a postponement of the review. Criteria for a postponement may be found here.
Centers will have the opportunity to request the month in which the site visit will take place between February and October. The Commission will notify the center of the specific dates for the site visit at least 60 days in advance.
The center is required to complete a self-study that must be uploaded to the portfolio to the Current Processes folder no later than 60 days prior to the scheduled date of the site visit.
The site visit will usually be a 1 ½-day visit.
Preparation for the Site Visit
A center shall have its portfolio updated no later than January 15 of Year 6 of the review cycle, with reviews in 2020 the exception (see the New Accreditation Process SharePoint Page for details on building your initial portfolio). If a center’s materials are not complete or are insufficiently prepared, the date of the site visit will not be scheduled until materials are updated or revised for review. The center will have 14 days to update or revise the portfolio. When it is determined that the center’s materials are in order for review, the review team and the date for the site visit will be established. In the event that a center’s portfolio is not ready for review after the 30-day grace period, the Commission may initiate an adverse action against the center.
The review team will be comprised of 3 persons: 2 ACPE Certified Educators (one of whom is the National Site Team Chair) and 1 Practitioner. If additional persons are needed, they shall be ACPE Certified Educators. Once formed, the team will be granted access to the portfolio in SharePoint to begin its review of the materials. During this in-depth review, if any items are found to be in need of updating or are missing, the National Site Team Chair will be in touch with the center’s educator who will be asked to provide new or revised materials.
When the Review Team has completed its review and determines that the center’s portfolio fully demonstrates compliance, a Commission Reviewer will be assigned as a “check and balance” so that all review materials are in order prior to the site visit. If the Commission Reviewer finds anything that is not in compliance or needs updating, they will work with the National Site Team Chair and the center’s ACPE Certified Educator to ensure that materials are updated.
The Site Visit
The site visit has two primary purposes:
- to serve as a verification that everything in the materials is congruent with the functioning of the program, and
- to promote the relational and consultative nature of the accreditation process. The site visit will begin in the late afternoon on day 1 and conclude early evening on day 2.
The National Site Team Chair will work collaboratively to develop the schedule with the center’s ACPE Certified Educator. When developing the schedule, the following items will be considered:
- Are there any issues or concerns that were lifted up in the materials that the site team needs to discuss with the center’s educator? These may be related to compliance or may be items that the site team wishes to seek clarification or verification.
- Are there items about which the center’s ACPE Certified Educator would like consultation? The Accreditation Process is designed to be collegial and the Commission wants to provide opportunities for deeper reflection on behalf of the program.
- What does the ACPE Certified Educator want to highlight about their center for the site team?
At the conclusion of the site visit, the team will have an exit interview and share their preliminary findings.
After the Site Visit
Following the site visit, the Review Team Chair, with the approval of the Commission Reviewer, will send the initial review report to the center’s ACPE Certified Educator and the Commission Reviewer. In addition to summarizing the center’s compliance with their materials and highlighting any areas of concern, the report will focus on the following areas:
- The physical resources of the center
- Meetings with current students in the program
- Meeting with the PAG
- Meetings with administration
- Meetings with departmental and interdisciplinary staff
- Student Records
- Summary of consultations that took place
The center’s ACPE Certified Educator will provide a written response to the report, with a focus on any concerns or issues raised and that addresses any outstanding issues/questions. Following the receipt of the center’s response, the Review Team Chair will send the Final Site Visit Report, with the approval of the Commission Reviewer, to the center. The Final Site Visit Report will serve as a recommendation for action by the Accreditation Commission at its next meeting.