In Year 6 of the Accreditation Cycle, an accredited program will undergo a full portfolio review and a site visit. A program may request, under limited circumstances, a postponement of the review. Criteria for a postponement may be found here.
During the summer of year 5 of the Accreditation Cycle, an accredited program will submit the Request for 6-year Review Form. Programs will have the opportunity to request the month in which the site visit will take place between February and October, with final date selection to be determined by the Accreditation Commissioner of the Cohort, the National Site Team Chair (NSTC), and the program’s ACPE Certified Educator. The review team (appointed by the Accreditation Commissioner of the Cohort) will be comprised of 3 persons: an ACPE Certified Educator as the National Site Team Chair (appointed by the Chair of the Accreditation Commission), a second ACPE Certified Educator, and a Practitioner. If additional persons are needed, they shall be ACPE Certified Educators.
The program 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. The Commission has developed a Site Visit Checklist to assist all parties in understanding their responsibilities.
Preparation for the Site Visit
A program shall have its portfolio updated for the site visit no later than 60 days prior to the scheduled date of the site visit. If a program’s materials are not complete or are insufficiently prepared, the program will have 30 days to update or revise their portfolio. If the program is not able to do this in the allotted time frame, the site visit will be postponed to a mutually agreed upon date in the current calendar year and the program will be charged a second review fee. It is up to the discretion of the National Site Team Chair to determine when a program’s materials are ready for review. If a program’s portfolio is not ready for review 60 days in advance of the newly scheduled date, the Commission may initiate an adverse action against the program. If a program does not complete the 6 year review process prior to December 31 of the scheduled year, their accreditation will automatically expire, requiring a program to begin the accreditation process anew according to the defined process.
The initial review of the portfolio is conducted by the National Site Team Chair and consists of the Part I Checklist to ensure that all materials are included and are sufficiently developed. The NSTC and the commissioner for the program’s cohort will have a consultation to verify all materials are sufficient for the review to proceed. The NSTC will then add the completed Part I Checklist to the program’s portfolio. The full team will then be granted access to the portfolio in SharePoint to begin its review of the materials. During this in-depth review, the site team will complete the Part II Review Form and 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 program’s educator who will be asked to provide new or revised materials.
When the Review Team has completed its review and determines that the program portfolio does or does not fully demonstrate compliance, the NSTC will consult with the commissioner of the program’s cohort to conduct a brief review of the materials and Part II Review Form prior to the site visit. If time permits before the site visit and there are still areas of non-compliance, the commissioner and the National Site Team Chair will communicate with the program’s ACPE Certified Educator to ensure that materials are updated. If the site visit is conducted before the non-compliance issues can be addressed, the areas of non-compliance will be included in the Site Team Visit Report Part 1. The program will show compliance in the center’s response to site team visit report. The Part II Review Form shall be uploaded into the program’s portfolio once the materials are in compliance.
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 program’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 program’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 program 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
Within 30 days of the conclusion of the site visit, the National Site Team Chair will upload the Site Team Visit Report Part I to the program’s portfolio. In addition to summarizing the program’s compliance with their materials and highlighting any areas of concern, the report will focus on the following areas:
- The physical resources of the program
- 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
Then, within 60 days from the conclusion of the site visit (30 days following the 30 days to receive the Report Part I) the program’s ACPE Certified Educator will upload a written response to the report, with a focus on any concerns or issues raised and that addresses any outstanding issues/questions. Within 74 days from the conclusion of the site visit, (14 days after the 30 day window allotted to the program for its response), the National Site Team Chair will upload the Site Visit Report Part II to the program’s portfolio.
Once the site visit is complete, a Commission Reviewer from another cohort will be assigned to review the documentation, to ensure that the review process was conducted appropriately, and will bring a recommendation for action by the Accreditation Commission at its next meeting. This recommendation shall include any follow up or additional review that is required of the program.