Code of Good Practice
ASPA Member Principles Guidelines
The ASPA Code of Good Practice provides guiding principles for members in conducting the accreditation process.
An accrediting organization holding membership in the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors:
Promotes quality in education through accreditation processes that:
- Focus on student learning as defined by institutional and programmatic missions and goals.
- Evaluate educational quality in an unbiased manner.
- Encourage institutions and programs to provide pertinent, clear and accessible public information about student achievement.
Conducts accreditation processes with integrity and professionalism that:
- Maintain autonomy and integrity in governance and operations through appropriate relationships, practices and avoidance of conflict of interest.
- Create, document and implement policies and procedures to ensure fair and consistent application of standards and decision making that includes due process, confidentiality, and expedient response to appeals and complaints.
- Develop, review and revise standards and accreditation procedures on a regular basis with the participation of communities of interest.
- Maintain sufficient financial, personnel, and other resources for effective operations, while ensuring efficient and cost-effective accreditation processes for institutions and programs.
- Cooperate with other accrediting organizations wherever possible to avoid conflicting standards and to minimize duplication of effort by the institutions and programs.
- Provide evaluations to assist institutions and programs in developing their own approaches and solutions, making a clear distinction between accreditation requirements and recommendations for improvement.
- Provide accurate, clear, accessible, and timely information to communities of interest about accreditation: standards, procedures and status of institutions and programs.
- Maintain an effective training and professional development program for all accreditation staff and volunteers.
- Ensure that site teams have the appropriate expertise and experience for each specific review.
- Include periodic evaluations of the accreditation process that incorporate input from accredited institutions and programs.
Respects institutional independence and academic freedom through accrediting activities that:
- Encourage institutional freedom to make academic decisions while fulfilling the commitment to the accreditation requirements of the profession.
- Promote the rights of institutions and programs to determine and implement missions and goals.
- Encourage experimentation, innovation, and thoughtful change that meet the needs of the profession, students and the communities served.
*Code of Good Practice March 2020
*Original adopted by membership March 21, 1995
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