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Table 4 10 core elements of accreditation systems

From: The role of accreditation in 21st century health professions education: report of an International Consensus Group

Accreditation system element and definition
1. Mandate: The role and purpose of the accrediting body in reviewing the quality of educational programs, institutions, or systems.
2. Accreditation standards (Criteria, Requirements): Measures or generally accepted benchmarks used in making decisions about the quality of a program, institution, or system.
3. Application for accreditation: The process of reviewing an initial request for accreditation by a program seeking to demonstrate compliance with established standards, and which results in a decision about whether to grant new (first-time) accreditation.
4. Self-study (self-evaluation, self-assessment): The internal process of reflection undertaken by a program, institution, or system to evaluate compliance with externally established standards.
5. External assessment of standards: The process of determining the level of compliance of a program, institution, or system with established accreditation standards, undertaken by individuals external to the program, institution, or system.
6. Accreditation reports: The final report by external evaluators regarding the level of compliance of the program, institution, or system with established standards.
7. Accreditation decision: The final decision on accreditation status, and its associated follow-up, as determined by the accrediting body.
8. Accreditation cycle: The phases of an accreditation process dictating how often each program, institution, or system is re-evaluated for compliance with the standards, including the types of phases and activities in the process and any follow-up activities that must occur between external assessments.
9. Site review model: The approach used by the accrediting body in determining the composition of its external site review team, as well as processes for recruiting, assigning, training, and assessing team members.
10. Accreditation system administration: The approaches used by the accrediting body to support the administration and operationalization of the accreditation process; this component includes the business model, the technology used (if any), system review and improvement (including research and scholarship), and oversight and risk management.