Posted on 05-Mar-18
Accreditation Tip of the Month -  We've been an AP for years.  What do we need to know now? image

For those Accredited Providers (APs) that have enjoyed the benefits of IACET accreditation and continued membership, there are many new developments.  With the new ANSI/IACET 1-2018 Standard for Continuing Education and Training (2018 Standard) there is a new application for both initial accreditation and for re-accreditation, along with a new online system for submitting your documents. 

When your organization achieved accreditation for the first time, you may have had to send a binder, a thumb drive or a CD to submit all your documentation.  IACET has a new system for APs to submit evidence for accreditation. The process now resides within the IACET website and is easily accessible from the member portal.  For those who will be seeking re-accreditation, you will be using the application for re-accreditation based on the 2018 Standard.  The application (or re-application) differs in many ways from the application that you completed to seek initial accreditation.

The re-application now asks for your organization to document any changes that have occurred in the organization since your last application.  You will no longer need to recreate the application you compiled five years ago.  In fact, the re-application is very different from the application for initial accreditation.  While the initial accreditation application follows the organization of the Standard (the nine sections of the application match the nine categories of the Standard) the re-application has a different organization. The re-application for accreditation is comprised of only six sections:

  • Organization.
  • Self-Evaluations.
  • Improvements in the last five years.
  • Standard Compliance.
  • Continuous Improvement.
  • Future Plans.

Your organization is still responsible for compliance with the entire 2018 Standard but in the re-application process, IACET Commissioners (reviewers) will examine evidence for compliance through a different set of documents. Each of these documents will have a corresponding category or element in the 2018 Standard.

The documents needed in re-application are:

  • Narratives (detailing changes, recommendations and impact of those changes).
  • Organizational chart and staff lists (noting changes).
  • Strategic planning documents for continuing education and training (CE/T).
  • CEU calculations for each delivery method (distance learning, face-to-face or hybrid/mixed methods).
  • Self-evaluations for the past five years.
  • Learning event documentation showing compliance with the 2018 Standard.
  • Calendar of future plans.

In each of the narratives, the reviewers will want to learn from the Accredited Provider what has changed since the last time IACET visited.  What improvements have you made and what was the impact of those improvements?  The application will guide you through the sections in the re-application where you will upload the narrative (only PDFs are allowed), and it will provide you guidance on what to include in each narrative.

As you remember from the initial accreditation, the 2018 Standard does stipulate the need to have the right personnel in the roles that affect the continuing education and training you provide.  This is why it is still very relevant for the re-application to contain the organizational charts, the job descriptions and the staff lists. The reviewers will use those documents to assess your organization’s conformance with the 2018 Standard (specifically, Category 3.)

One of the newer requirements is to submit a strategic or business plan, budget, annual report, planning checklist, minutes or agenda of planning group meeting showing that the applicant has adequate resources to maintain the human, financial, physical and technological resources required to support quality programs. This has the added benefit of making sure you can articulate the training unit’s needs and value within your organization.

The other sections in the re-application have direct corollary to the 2018 Standard.  The CEU calculations for each delivery method allow the reviewers to evaluate how you are applying the requirements for calculating CEUs awarded.  The self-evaluations uploaded show the reviewers that your organization makes a regular effort to stay compliant with the 2018 Standard.

Typically, the largest documents to upload are the PDFs that contain all the evidence that your learning events or courses are compliant with the design, delivery, assessment and evaluation categories within the 2018 Standard.  In this section you would choose a course or courses that exemplify the training delivery methods that your organization uses.  If, for example, you deliver training face to face and through distance, you would need to upload course documents for two learning events. These documents would include, but are not limited to, the Design Document that details the needs analysis done, the learning outcomes, delivery, content, assessment and evaluation. The last piece includes the calendar of future events. 

The re-application process will still require a site visit.  Once you have been approved for a site visit, your reviewer will be in touch with the expectations of that visit. During the site visit your organization will also be given suggestions for further improvements.  The cycle of continual improvement continues with each five-year accreditation cycle.

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