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The Accreditation Site Visit

The accreditation process for programs and Sponsoring Institutions includes on-site visits to assess compliance with the Program and Institutional Requirements. All accreditation site visits for programs and Sponsoring Institutions are performed by Accreditation Field Representatives who are employed by the ACGME.

Types of Site Visits

Program Applications: A visit is conducted to review the applications of all specialty (core) and many subspecialty programs. The site visit seeks to verify and clarify the application documents in which the program and institutional leadership have described the resources of the program, and how it will comply with the Program Requirements. Applications for some subspecialty programs and for Sponsoring Institutions are reviewed without a site visit.

Osteopathic Programs in Pre-Accreditation: The site visit for an osteopathic program in pre-accreditation is similar in many ways to a site visit for an application. Osteopathic Sponsoring Institutions in pre-accreditation are reviewed without a site visit.

Programs and Institutions with Initial Accreditation: All programs and Sponsoring Institutions undergo a full site visit at the end of the two-year Initial Accreditation period, prior to a Review Committee decision to grant Continued Accreditation.

Annual Data-Prompted Visits and Other Visits Scheduled at the Discretion of the Review Committee: Programs and Sponsoring Institutions undergo an annual review of accreditation data collected by the ACGME via the Accreditation Data System (ADS). If the review suggests a potential problem, the Review Committee may schedule a site visit to clarify and address aspects of the program needing attention or follow-up. Site visits also are scheduled annually to evaluate programs or Sponsoring Institutions with probationary accreditation statuses, and may be scheduled to assess complaints or serious conditions or situations at the discretion of the Review Committee.

10-Year Accreditation Site Visits: All programs and Sponsoring Institutions undergo a full accreditation site visit every 10 years. This is preceded by a comprehensive Self-Study process that includes a description of how the program or Sponsoring Institution creates an effective learning and working environment, and how this leads to desired educational outcomes. For the Self-Study, programs are also asked to review their aims and conduct an analysis of strengths, areas for improvement, external opportunities, and threats, and to formulate and document plans for improvement.

Click here for Eight Steps to Prepare for the 10-Year Accreditation Site Visit


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