The following statement
of good practice was adopted by the CCNE Board of Commissioners on August 1, 1998.
ASSOCIATION OF SPECIALIZED
AND PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITORS
CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR ACCREDITING BODIES
1. Pursues its mission, goals,
and objectives, and conducts its operations in a trustworthy manner.
primarily on educational quality, not narrow interests, or political action, or
Demonstrates respect for the complex interrelationships
involved in the pursuit of excellence by individual institutions or programs.
Exhibits a system of checks and balances in
its standards development and accreditation procedures.
functional and operational autonomy.
relationships and practices that would provoke questions about its overall objectivity
criticism carefully and responds appropriately by explaining its policies and
actions and/or making changes.
Maximizes service, productivity, and effectiveness in the accreditation relationship.
Recognizes that teaching and learning, not
accredited status, are the primary purposes of institutions and programs.
Respects the expertise and aspirations for
high achievement already present and functioning in institutions and programs.
Uses its understanding of the teaching and
learning focus and the presence of local expertise and aspirations as a basis
for serving effectively at individual institutions and programs.
the accreditation process as efficient and cost-effective as possible by minimizing
the use of visits and reports, and by eliminating, wherever possible, duplication
of effort between accreditation and other review processes.
cooperatively with other accrediting bodies to avoid conflicting standards, and
to minimize duplication of effort in the preparation of accreditation materials
and the conduct of on-site visits.
the institution or programs with a thoughtful diagnostic analysis that assists
the institution or program in finding its own approaches and solutions, and that
makes a clear distinction between what is required for accreditation and what
is recommended for improvement of the institution or program.
Respects and protects institutional autonomy.
with issues of institutional autonomy in light of the commitment to mutual accountability
implied by participation in accreditation, while at the same time, respecting
the diversity of effective institutional and programmatic approaches to common
goals, issues, challenges, and opportunities.
its standards and procedures with profound respect for the rights and responsibilities
of institutions and programs to identify, designate, and control:
their respective missions, goals, and objectives;
educational and philosophical principles and methodologies used to pursue functions
implicit in their various missions,
specific choices and approaches to content;
agendas and areas of study pursued through scholarship, research, and policy developments;
personnel choices, staffing configurations, administrative structures, and other
operational decisions; and
content, methodologies, and timing of tests, evaluations, and assessments.
respect to professional schools and programs, recognizes the ultimate authority
of each academic community for its own educational policies while maintaining
fundamental standards and fostering consideration of evolving needs and conditions
in the profession and the communities it serves.
Maintains a broad perspective as the basis for wise decision making.
and analyzes information and ideas from multiple sources and viewpoints concerning
issues important to institutions, programs, professions, publics, governments,
and others concerned with the content, scope, and effectiveness of its work.
Uses the results of these analyses in formulating
policies and procedures that promote substantive, effective teaching and learning,
that protect the autonomy of institutions and programs, and that encourage trust
and cooperation within and among various components of the larger higher education
accreditation reviews on the development of knowledge and competence.
on results in light of specific institutional and programmatic missions, goals,
objectives, and contexts.
with relationships and interdependencies among purposes, aspirations, curricula,
operations, resources, and results.
Considers techniques, methods, and resources
primarily in light of results achieved and functions fulfilled rather than the
Has standards and review procedures
that provide room for experimentation, encourage responsible innovation, and promote
Exhibits integrity and professionalism in the conduct of its operations.
and documents its scope of authority, policies, and procedures to ensure governance
and decision making under a framework of "laws not persons."
professional judgment in the context of its published standards and procedures.
Demonstrates continuing care with policies,
procedures, and operations regarding due process, conflict of interest, confidentiality,
and consistent application of standards.
its materials and conducts its business with accuracy, skill, and sophistication
sufficient to produce credibility for its role as an evaluator of educational
Is quick to admit errors in any
part of the evaluation process, and equally quick to rectify such errors.
Maintains sufficient financial, personnel,
and other resources to carry out its operations effectively.
accurate, clear, and timely information to the higher education community, to
the professions, and to the public concerning standards and procedures for accreditation,
and the status of accredited institutions and programs.
inaccurate information about itself or its actions.
Has mechanisms to ensure that expertise and experience in the application of its
standards, procedures, and values are present in members of its visiting teams,
commissions, and staff.
a thorough and effective orientation, training, and professional development program
for all accreditation personnel.
with institutions and programs to ensure that site teams represent a collection
of expertise and experience appropriate for each specific review.
evaluations of personnel that involve responses from institutions and programs
that have experienced the accreditation process.
evaluations of criteria and procedures that include responses from reviewers
and those reviewed.
Adopted by ASPA: 1995
can be contacted at:
1020 West Byron Street, Suite 8G
fax: (773) 525-2162
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