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Process for Candidacy for Accreditation Status: International Sites

The process for Candidacy for Accreditation status includes an eligibility application, submission of a self-study report, and a site visit by an ACEND review team. This is a three-step process. ACEND staff is available to assist in answering questions regarding preparation of the eligibility application and the self-study document, and scheduling the site visit. The eligibility and self-study formats outlined should be followed when writing the reports.

Step 1: Procedure for Submitting the Eligibility Application

The program may submit documentation for the eligibility requirements review at any time. Documentation must address the above eligibility requirements for the program type under review. The eligibility application must be in English and should contain the following:

  • Application for Eligibility for Candidacy for Accreditation cover page, with signatures of all institution and program officials. One form must be submitted with original signatures to ACEND; copies of the form may be included in the other documents.
  • Documentation of fulfillment of the eligibility requirements. The program is expected to provide a complete, narrative description showing how it meets the requirements stated for the program type. The report should include evidence of compliance necessary to document these requirements and support the narrative.
  • Supporting data and/or forms developed by the program relevant to a particular requirement may be inserted in an appendix and referenced by page number in the narrative of the report.

Format for the document should be as follows:

  • The application must be typed in English and should not exceed 25 pages, including the appendix.
  • All pages, including those in the appendix, must be numbered. Materials may be duplicated back-to-back.
  • The application should be stapled or inserted in a ring binder so that pages can be turned and read easily.
  • Proof of transmittal is the responsibility of the sender. The original and three copies of the eligibility application should be sent air mail to:

    Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
    Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995

Step 2: Procedure for Submitting the Self-Study Application

Following successful completion of the eligibility requirements review, the program will be notified and a submission date for the self-study addressing the Accreditation Standards will be determined (approximately five to six months later). At this time, ACEND staff will discuss with the program director the potential site visit dates, based on the self-study submission and necessary review time (approximately 12 weeks).

The self-study application must be in English and should contain the following:

  • Self-Study Application for Candidacy for Accreditation cover page with signatures of all institution and program officials. One form must be submitted with original signatures to the Academy; copies of the form may be included in the other self-study documents.
  • A "Table of Contents," with all sections, including the appendix, referenced by page number in the order of their appearance in the self-study.
  • An "Introduction to the Program," providing historical background, a brief description of the organization and of the dietetics program, and of constituencies involved in the self-analysis process.
  • The body of the self-study application consists of documentation of compliance with the Accreditation Standards.
  • The program is expected to provide a complete, narrative description showing how it meets the requirements stated for each standard. The document should include examples of evidence inherent in or necessary to document these requirements and support the narrative.
  • Each standard includes "Evidence of Compliance," illustrating the type of documentation that may be appropriate for the self-study report, for distance education programs, for new programs, and for programs preparing for a site visit. These are intended as guidelines only and are not all-inclusive.
  • Statistical or numerical data may be presented in tabular or graphic form to support the narrative. Lists and outlines are a concise means of presenting supporting materials.
  • Supporting data and/or documentation developed by the program relevant to a particular standard may be inserted in an appendix and referenced by page number in the narrative of the report.

The format for the self-study application should be as follows:

  • The document must be typed in English.
  • All pages, including those in the appendix, must be numbered. Materials may be duplicated back-to-back.
  • The self-study application should be inserted in a ring binder so that pages can be turned and read easily. Loose materials, such as brochures, should be placed in pocket protectors that can be inserted in the ring binder. Catalogs may be included separately.
  • Proof of transmittal is the responsibility of the sender. The original and four copies of the self-study application and five copies of any additional materials should be sent air mail by the postmark deadline specified in correspondence received after review of the eligibility application. All should be mailed to:

    Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
    Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995

Step 3: Procedure for Scheduling the Site Visit

After review of the eligibility application, if the review team determines that all Eligibility Requirements have been adequately addressed and the program is prepared for the self-study and site visit, ACEND staff will schedule the site visit at the convenience of the review team in consultation with the program.

  • In general, the length of the site visit will be seven days as follows: two days allotted for travel, two days allotted for time zone adjustment or additional travel and three days for the on-site program review.
  • ACEND reserves the right to adjust this schedule as needed due to extra travel or multiple program review within the same sponsoring institution.
  • Safety considerations and warnings published by the US Department of State and its consular information sheets (travel.state.gov/travel/) may result in the cancellation of a site visit. In that case, expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the program and sponsoring institution.
  • In general, the review team will conduct the site visit according to the procedures described in the ACEND Policy and Procedure Handbook, Section 3.

Composition of Review and Site Visit Team

Composition of the review and site visit team to non-US-based programs will be as follows:

  • The review/site visit team should consist of at least four individuals: one experienced lead reviewer from the current pool of ACEND program reviewers; two accompanying reviewer (one may or may not be an ACEND program reviewer) and one ACEND staff member to facilitate communication between the program, the program reviewers and ACEND and maintain continuity of the process.
  • Program reviewers will be identified who are willing and able to conduct a non-US-based site visit based on language and cultural skills.
  • Other Academy members, who may not be ACEND program reviewers, but have significant experience in business, industry or education outside of the US, may be asked to participate in a site visit as needed.

Follow-Up to the Site Visit and ACEND Decision

The program will be mailed a copy of the site visit report within six weeks of the site visit. The program will have 45 days from receipt of the site visit report to submit a response to ACEND. The assigned program reviewers will review the self-study, site visit report and program response (if any) and provide a recommendation to the ACEND board regarding Candidacy action at the next scheduled ACEND board meeting.

The ACEND boad will review the team's recommendation and supporting documentation and make a decision regarding the program's status. If the program is found to be substantially equivalent to a US-based program, then Candidacy status will be granted for a period no longer than four years. At that time, if the program wishes to continue to have ACEND-recognition, the programmust submit another eligibility and self-study applicationand schedule an on-site visit for initial accreditation. Candidacy status does not assure initial accreditation will b granted by ACEND.

If the program is not found to be substantially equivalent to a US-based program, Candidacy status will not be granted and the program will be provided a rationale for this decision. No decision made by ACEND during the Candidacy review of a program is eligible for reconsideration or appeal.

Fees

The costs for review and recognition of non-US-based programs will be borne by the programs requesting the service. Based on the estimated costs of international phone calls, postage, travel and other anticipated administrative expenses, ACEND has established the following additional fees for a non-US-based program review:

  • Eligibility application fee
  • Self-study application fee
  • Site visit fee (Varies, based on the estimated costs for travel, hotel and per diem. Costs in excess of estimate will be billed back to the program following the site visit.)
  • Annual maintenance fee

All fees must be paid in US currency. See the Fee Schedule for the current fee amounts.

The program and sponsoring institution must agree to pay the actual costs incurred for the recognition review and site visit, including a bilingual interpreter if necessary. Each program applying for recognition will be invoiced in advance for the above application fees and site visit fee based on estimated costs. The program and sponsoring institution is responsible for the cost of lodging during the rare extenuating circumstances (weather, aircraft maintenance) that might delay the departure of the review/site visit team on any leg of travel. Costs in excess of the standard fee will be billed back to the program and sponsoring institution following the site visit. Non-payment of fee may result in cancellation of the review and/or visit.

Consultation Visit Before Formal Candidacy Application

An institution may request a consultation visit before beginning the formal Candidacy for Accreditation application process. Consultation visits are conducted by an ACEND board member or reviewer and ACEND senior staff. Consultation fees will be $1000.00 per person; actual travel, hotel and per diem expenses will be the responsibility of the university requesting the consultation visit. A consultation visit does not assure Candidacy for Accreditation status will be granted by ACEND.

 


Source: ACEND/April 2008

ACEND reserves the right to periodically review and revise these policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of the program and sponsoring institution to contact the Academy Accreditation staff to request current information.