CEPH continues to search for ways to improve our efficiency and maintain our high levels of consistency and quality while accommodating an expanding workload. The Council agreed to a new operational practice that will 1) allow some schools and programs to receive accreditation decisions more quickly and 2) more evenly spread the Council’s workload to allow for thoughtful decision making on accreditation issues while also freeing up time for strategic discussions.


Beginning in 2018, the Council will adjust its meeting agendas to make the full range of accreditation decisions (including accreditation reviews and initial application submissions) four times a year, rather than the current two. This will not result in any change for schools and programs as they plan and implement self-study processes, nor will it impact current or future accreditation terms. The only effect on schools and programs is that some units will receive accreditation decisions earlier than they do under our current practices.


Specifically, here’s what this change means for schools and programs:


1. All units undertaking a site visit


When the Council sets its meeting dates approximately one year in advance, CEPH staff will determine, based on 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. The table below may be helpful in understanding when decisions will be made based on site visit dates.


Approximate typical site visit dates to be considered at meeting* Actual SV cutoff dates for 2017-2018 Month of Council meeting & decision
September Visits 9/14/17 – 9/29/17 Feb (meeting may be held in Jan or Feb)
Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, early Feb Visits 10/2/17 – 2/9/18 June
Mid-Feb, March, early Apr No meeting dates selected yet Aug or Sept
Mid-Apr, May, June No meeting dates selected yet Oct

* Site visit dates for consideration at each meeting will always be calculated based on actual meeting dates, which are determined approximately one year in advance.


2. Non-accredited units seeking to begin the accreditation process or accredited units seeking to make a transition in accreditation category (eg, PHP to SPH)


CEPH will continue its process of establishing deadlines for final submission of the initial application submission (IAS) each time it schedules a Council meeting. Because the IAS must proceed through multiple drafts of staff review before being assigned to a Council meeting, units may begin the IAS process at any time in the year—submissions are accepted on a rolling basis and will be placed on the decision-making agenda for the next meeting whose docket remains open, after adequate refinement of the draft IAS. Please note that units must also attend a web-based Pre-Application Orientation Workshop and pay an IAS fee before submitting the initial draft. See CEPH’s Accreditation Procedures document (p.18). CEPH’s director of accreditation services can assist units in defining timelines for initial accreditation or transition in accreditation category.


3. Accredited units submitting interim reports


No change: CEPH will continue to define a due date for an interim report at the time the report is assigned. Reports may be due at any of the four decision-making meetings and will be considered at the meeting for which they are assigned.


4. Accredited units submitting substantive change notices


No change: CEPH will continue to consider the substantive change notice at the next meeting of the full Council or Executive Committee for which there is room on the docket. Substantive changes are accepted on a rolling basis, year-round. Units do not have to wait for a response from the Council to begin implementing a substantive change for which notice has been provided.