Section C: The Accreditation Process
The accreditation process is a structured, step-by-step process by which institutions/programs demonstrate how they meet the MEAC Standards for Accreditation. It consists of a preliminary application and self-evaluation report prepared by the institution/program followed by a site visit and interviews conducted by MEAC, a report of the findings of the accreditation review process, and a decision by the MEAC Board of Directors.
The accreditation process is designed to create or support opportunities for the directors, students, faculty and staff of institutions/programs to evaluate their midwifery education program against these national standards as well as any goals set by the institution/program itself. In addition, the accreditation process also provides opportunities for institutions/programs to receive training from MEAC specialists and feedback from teachers, administrators and other peers in the field of midwifery education.
Section C of the Accreditation Handbook details the process for initial and renewed accreditation as well as the fees associated with accreditation.
Detailed policies and procedures regarding all accreditation activities can be found in Section G of the MEAC Accreditation Handbook.
Before initiating the accreditation process, carefully review the MEAC Accreditation Handbook. Consider the specific benchmarks that must be met within each of the standards, the kinds of documentation that will be required, the policies and procedures you must have in place, the costs of accreditation, and the responsibilities of maintaining accreditation status. This may seem overwhelming at first, but if you have a relatively new institution/program, the accreditation process will really help you get organized. If you have been involved in midwifery education for a long time, it may help to know that others have found this process to be very helpful in strengthening weak areas of an existing institution/program.
MEAC provides training and technical assistance to institutions/programs about the accreditation process and may recommend consulting educators, administrators, accountants and/or other professionals for further development of the institution or program. MEAC may require an applicant to attend workshops on the accreditation process. MEAC staff is available throughout the process to answer questions and provide other assistance.
Once you’ve made the decision to seek accreditation, identify the people in your institution/program who will contribute to the preparation of your application and self-evaluation report. The Midwifery Program Director (or equivalent in your institution/program) generally leads the process but faculty, students, staff, board members and other stakeholders will also be involved depending on the size, structure and complexity of your midwifery education program. Get your team together to review the requirements and the initial accreditation timeline. Figure out who needs to do what to put all the pieces in place and get started!
If your schools is seeking reaccreditation, review the timeline for reaccreditation and other specific requirements, policies, and procedures for renewing accreditation in Section G of the MEAC Accreditation Handbook.
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