How to Become Accredited

Steps to Becoming Accredited Candidate Status through Initial Accreditation


Welcome to the Accreditation process!   This document is intended to help you understand the main steps involved in the process to become accredited with NACCAS.


You will see several areas that are highlighted in blue.  These items are links to live documents for your review and use.  When you put your cursor anywhere on the blue area and then click it will take you to that specific document that will give you more in-depth information on that item. 


As always, NACCAS staff is available to assist you along the way.  Click here for a directory of the NACCAS Specialist who is assigned to assist schools in your state.  If your Specialist is out of the office you also have Miranda Shurtleff available to answer your questions. Miranda is an Accreditation Manager and can be contacted at


Step 1:

Basic Eligibility (Part 1.3 Rules of Practice and Procedure - the Rules)

The school is licensed as a Post Secondary Educational Institution and is open, operating, and training students.


Step 2:

Workshop Requirement (Appendix 3)

The school attends a NACCAS Accreditation Workshop including the Accreditation for the Candidate School session.


Step 3:

After the school attends the Accreditation Workshop as outlined above, the school completes the electronic Application for Candidate Status including submitting all required exhibits and fees.  Following this link to Application #1 will take you to the Application for Candidate Status where you will see the first element that asks you if you are already an accredited NACCAS school owner.  Many Candidate schools will answer this “no” and need to create and account. As you answer each section you will be guided to your next step of the application.


Step 4:

Application Review (what happens after the school submits the application above)

The application goes through a series of reviews by the NACCAS Pre-Screener, the school’s Accreditation Specialist, and NACCAS management staff.  Once it is considered complete and correct the application is submitted to the Candidate Committee for final review.  Upon approval by the Candidate Committee a letter is sent to the school “Granting Candidate Status”.


Step 5:

Institutional Self –Study (the school’s first attempt at creating the ISS)

(Appendix 5A and Appendix 5C)

The school prepares the Institutional Self-Study (ISS).


Step 6:

Requesting the Consultation Visit

School completes the Candidate Consultation Visit Request Form and submits it with all of the required documents as listed on the form, which will include the ISS


Step 7:

Candidate Consultation Visit

The NACCAS Travel Office arranges the visit date and notifies school of the date. 

The NACCAS Staff Team Lead contacts school with directions for preparation for the consultation visit.  The Candidate Consultation Visit is conducted by a NACCAS Staff Team Lead and a qualified School Owner/Administrator evaluator (Part 2.3(d) of the Rules).  NACCAS sends the school an electronic copy of the Candidate Consultation Visit Report.  The school makes final revisions to the ISS based on findings in the Candidate Consultation Visit Report.


Step 8:

Application for Initial Accreditation Application #2

The school submits the above Application for Initial Accreditation to NACCAS with all required exhibits and fees, including the revised ISS.  The school submits its most recent financial statements audited by an independent CPA directly to the NACCAS Finance Office (Standard VII, Criterion 1 – 3).    Note: Financials submitted can not be older than 14 months from the school’s fiscal year end date when it goes before the Commission for accreditation.


Step 9:

Initial Accreditation Visit

Once all documents submitted are reviewed by NACCAS and considered complete the NACCAS Travel Office staff schedules the full team visit and communicates the visit date to the school.  The NACCAS Team Lead contacts the school with directions for preparation for the full team visit.  The full team visit is conducted by NACCAS Staff Team Lead and a team of qualified school owner/administrator, academic, and practitioner evaluators as appropriate to the programs offered at the school (Part 2.3(d) of the Rules).  NACCAS sends the school an electronic copy of the On Site Evaluation Visit Report after the visit.  If any limitations (areas of non-compliance) are cited, the school responds to the Visit Report within 45 days (Part 3.10 of the Rules)


Step 10:

Commission Consideration of the School’s Application for Accreditation

At the next available Commission meeting the school’s application, ISS, Visit Report, and any response to the Visit Report is reviewed (Part 8.2 of the Rules).  The school is notified by NACCAS of the Commission’s decision within 45 days of the meeting.

·        Please note: there are additional workshop requirements throughout this process depending the length of time from the last workshop attended (Appendix 3).  Additionally, the institution’s Annual Report must be submitted electronically by November 30th of each year during Candidate Status as well as the Initial Accreditation process.  For information on submitting your Annual Report go to the Annual Report Instructions found on the NACCAS website.



 Additional Resources




PDF iconCandidate Schools Steps to Accreditation

Resources and Materials available for schools in the application process

Have you attended a workshop?

Create an electronic application for Candidate status by clicking here.

Fees for Candidate Schools:

Schedule of Fees

Facts About Fees