Provisional Accreditation

The Site Visit and Team

The purpose of the site visit is to validate information the program has provided to demonstrate its compliance with the Standards, the nature and manner in which the program's objectives are being pursued, and how the program's self-identified concerns and problems are being addressed.

Upon receipt of a written request for an accreditation site visit from the program administration, mutually convenient dates for the site visit are determined. The ARC-PA identifies a team of individuals to conduct the site visit of the program. The pool of site visitors is composed of PA educators, practitioners, past and present members of the ARC-PA, physician employers of PAs, and others who have insight into the education and practice of PAs.

The program is notified of the site visit team 2- 4 months prior to the site visit, and asked to develop the site visit schedule according to the ARC-PA template.

The tasks of the site visit team are:

  • to study the PA program in relation to its compliance with the Standards.
  • to make on-site observations and verify, validate, and clarify the information and data provided by the program to the ARC-PA.
  • to incorporate the team's findings and conclusions into a written report and to transmit the report to the ARC-PA. The report of the site visit team is compiled on the basis of its observations of the program, interviews with those involved in the site visit, information supplied to the site visit team by the program director and other officials, and information supplied by the ARC-PA.
The site visit team does not have the authority to speak on behalf of the ARC-PA regarding a program’s compliance with the Standards, nor can it predict accreditation actions. Accreditation decisions rest solely with the ARC-PA, which has the sole and exclusive right to determine whether or not accreditation is to be granted or continued.

After the Visit

The site visit team sends a report of the visit to the ARC-PA Executive Director, who then sends a written summary of the report submitted to the Program Director.

Within a specified period of time, programs are invited, but not required, to respond to any of the findings contained in the summary of the site visit in order to eliminate errors of fact or challenge perceived ambiguities and misperceptions. The response should NOT be used to provide new information regarding changes made since the visit or plans for changes in response to the observations contained in the report.