Preparing for a Review

Welcome to the world of CEPH accreditation. Download this narrated PowerPoint for a helpful introduction!

Accredited schools and programs: Note your expiration date. This date can be found in the letter that you received with your last accreditation decision. Contact CEPH staff if you have difficulty locating this date. Your site visit will be in the semester that includes or immediately precedes the date.

For example, if the Council conferred accreditation through July 1, 2022, your site visit should take place in winter/spring 2022, between January and June.  If your accreditation continues through December 31, 2022, your site visit should take place in fall/winter 2022, between September and December.

Applicants: Note your self-study due date. This date was provided in the initial letter that you received from CEPH accepting your application.  Contact CEPH staff if you have difficulty locating this date. The site visit will be in semester (spring/fall) AFTER that date.

For example, if your preliminary self-study is due on October 16, 2022, your site visit will be in the spring semester of 2023, sometime between January and June.

CEPH schedules site visits on a first-come, first-served basis, starting approximately a year and a half to two years before the visit.  CEPH staff will mail each program director and dean a letter approximately two years before the visit, inviting the program director or dean to contact CEPH for site visit scheduling.

Site visits typically take place on Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday for programs and  Monday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday for schools.

First, look at your academic and other calendar events during the 4-6 month period that will include your site visit.  Establish three to four sets of preferred dates. These dates should typically be during times when classes are in session, since site visitors will need to meet with a broad array of faculty and students, and this is difficult to accomplish when visits are scheduled during vacation periods. Site visitors will also want to meet with university leaders such as the president or provost and other leaders such as the college dean (for programs) or vice president for health sciences (for schools that are structured to report to such a position).

Next, contact CEPH with your preferred dates. We will communicate with you to confirm dates and will also send a formal letter to the dean or program director outlining the site visit dates and all due dates leading up to the review.

The CEPH Board of Councilors will review the report at its next scheduled decision-making meeting. The council meets to make the full range of accreditation decisions four times a year. When the Council sets its meeting dates approximately one year in advance, CEPH staff will determine, based on the necessary time to accomplish all procedural steps, which site visits will be placed on the docket for each meeting. CEPH staff will communicate the timing of the Council's accreditation decision to the unit between two and six weeks before the preliminary self-study document is due, when staff send information on mailing addresses for preliminary reviewers.

You will receive the Council’s decision in writing, via e-mail, within 30 days of the meeting’s conclusion.  We cannot provide decision information by phone.

Planning and preparing for a site visit typically begins approximately two years in advance.

After scheduling your site visit dates, plan for the Accreditation Orientation Workshop (AOW).  All applicantsmust attend the AOW.  Accredited schools and programs preparing for a self-study and site visit often find it helpful to attend, as it covers the self-study and site visit process in depth.  The AOW is approximately 10 hours of training over a two-day period and is held in Washington, DC. CEPH typically sponsors one AOW per year during the summer months, and attendance is by invitation only. The next scheduled AOW is indicated on CEPH’s Dates to Remember page. For more information on the AOW, contact the CEPH staff. This video outlines the important steps  in preparing for a site visit.

  • To assist schools and programs in preparing their self-study document, CEPH has developed MS Word templates for the self-study document and Electronic Resource File (ERF) guides for schools and programs & standalone baccalaureate programs of public health.
  • Plan for a consultation visit, if applicable. All applicants must host an on-site consultation visit. Accredited schools and programs preparing for a self-study and site visit may find it helpful.
  • Assign key personnel to attend to the logistics of the site visit.  Logistics will include reserving meeting rooms and hotel rooms, providing computer/printer access and arranging meals, and general guidance. More information is available on the SV logistics checklist.
  • Notify your stakeholders of the third-party comment period approximately three months before the site visit. CEPH has provided answers to frequently asked questions about third-party comments.
  • Begin drafting an agenda for the site visit. Draft agendas should include at least tentative names/titles for participants in each session and should list the criteria most relevant for discussion at each session.  Contact the CEPH staff member assigned to your visit no later than eight weeks prior to the site visit with a preliminary draft agenda.
  • Contact the CEPH staff member assigned to your visit with any questions.

  • Payments can be made only by check, payable to Council on Education for Public Health.
  • We cannot accept credit card payments.
  • If you have special concerns (eg, you need certain wording on the invoice, you need to pay in one fiscal year rather than the next, you need to prepay), email [email protected]. We can typically arrange the documentation you require.
  • See the current fee schedule for for costs associated with accreditation.