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Accreditation Types and Review Cycle

The accreditation process is voluntary and is initiated only at the invitation of the PA program and sponsoring institution.

Categories of Accreditation

The ARC-PA recognizes the following categories of accreditation:

  1. Accreditation - Provisional
  2. Accreditation - Continued
  3. Accreditation- Clinical Postgraduate Program
  4. Accreditation - Probation
  5. Accreditation - Administrative Probation
  6. Accreditation Withheld
  7. Accreditation Withdrawn
  8. Voluntary Inactive Status

Accreditation-Provisional

Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation - Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. Accreditation - Provisional is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

Accreditation-provisional remains in effect until the program achieves accreditation-continued after its third review, closes or withdraws from the accreditation process, or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.

Accreditation-Continued is granted 1) when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the Standards, 2) in the case of a program holding Accreditation-Probation when the program has demonstrated that it is once again in compliance with the Standards, or 3) when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional demonstrates compliance with the Standards after completion of the provisional review process. Accreditation-continued status remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.

Accreditation-Clinical Postgraduate Program is the status of accreditation granted when a new or currently accredited clinical postgraduate program is in compliance with the Standards for Clinical Postgraduate Programs. Accreditation-clinical postgraduate program remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards, ARC-PA requirements or procedures.

Accreditation-Probation is a temporary, status of accreditation, limited to two years, granted when a program holding an accreditation status of accreditation-provisional or accreditation-continued does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.  Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having its accreditation withdrawn.

Accreditation-Administrative Probation is a temporary status granted when a program has not complied with an administrative requirement, such as failure to pay fees or submit required reports. Once placed on Administrative Probation, a program that fails to comply with administrative requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having its accreditation withdrawn.

Accreditation Withheld is a status granted when an entry-level program, seeking accreditation-provisional, or a clinical postgraduate PA program seeking accreditation-clinical postgraduate program, is not in compliance with the Standards. The program receiving this accreditation status may voluntarily withdraw from the accreditation process within the 30-day appeal timeframe.

Accreditation Withdrawn is a status granted when an established program is determined no longer to be in compliance with the Standards and is no longer capable of providing an acceptable educational experience for its students, or when the program has failed to comply with ARC-PA accreditation requirements, actions or procedures. The program may voluntarily withdraw from the accreditation process within the 30-day appeal timeframe.

Voluntary Inactive Status may be granted to programs that temporarily suspend instruction and cease to matriculate students. The conditions of this status are determined program circumstances necessitating this status.