The Accreditation Process
How to Prepare for NCASES Accreditation
The Need for Accreditation
Accreditation by NCASES
The Standards for Accreditation
The key to success of NCASES meeting its objectives is the appropriateness and comprehensiveness of its Standards and their ability to discriminate between superior quality and mere adequacy. The Standards were developed with input from private and public sector-human service professionals, parents, funders, and institutions of higher education. The Standards will be systematically reviewed and revised based on continuing input from the special education field.
In order for an agency to receive NCASES accreditation it must comply with all Standards applicable to its accreditation-eligible program(s) of service. All programs must meet the Standards. Programs with a residential treatment component and/or vocational program will also be reviewed under the Standards specific to those services.
The design of the Standards assumes all Standards within a relevant section will apply to the applicant program or agency. Standards are composed of one or more Components, some of which may not be required of certain types of programs. The required Components are identified for each Standard. For a Standard to be scored as Compliant all required Components within it must be met. Any Components not required will be identified as non-applicable. The outcome of the Site Review is the aggregate of all the Standards that are scored as Compliant.
There are rare cases when an individual Standard or Component is not applicable to an agency or program. In these cases, a written explanation for each non-applicable Standard or Component must be provided with the self-study when it is submitted to the NCASES office. The Site Review Team, once on site, will determine if a Standard or Component is non-applicable. No Standard or Component that requires a policy can be determined non-applicable. For example, there is a requirement that all agencies have a policy regarding research. If the agency does not conduct research, it must have a policy that states no research is conducted by the program.
Agencies seeking COA accreditation as well as NCASES accreditation have the option of conducting an integrated site review in which the two accrediting bodies work together to determine compliance with requirements. In the case of an agency undergoing an integrated NCASES/COA accreditation several NCASES Standards are relegated to the COA Site Reviewers and are not subject to review by the NCASES Site Review Team. These Standards are highlighted. Following each Component of these Standards there is an indication of the relevant, corresponding COA Standard.
The Self Study
The Site Review Team Visit
The Site Review Team
Function of the Site Review Team
Cost of Site Review
Schedule of On-Site Activities
The Accreditation Decision