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Procedures for First-Time Accreditation
I. Candidate Status
Get your school licensed.
Begin training post-secondary students in Cosmetology and/or in a Cosmetology-related field.
Complete the Application for Candidate Status (Application Form #1) and send it in to the NACCAS office with the required exhibits and fees (the fees are listed in Appendix 2 to the NACCAS Rules of Practice and Procedure;*Schedule of Fees see also "The Facts About Fees"). Please note that if the application is incomplete, or if the fees or any of the required exhibits are missing, the application will not be approved.
In order to be accepted for Candidate Status, the sustaining fees due must be paid. If the required sustaining fees are not paid with the Application for Candidate Status, the school will be billed for the pro-rated annual sustaining fee. Refer to the Facts About Fees which explains fees due during the candidate process. (Please note that failure to pay this fee will cause the school to lose its candidate status.) A reference number starting with the letter "C" will be assigned to the school, and must be included in all correspondence to NACCAS.
The school will also be billed, in two installments, a fee for the consultation visit required by the candidate process once the school has been granted candidate status. The fee must be paid in full prior to the consultation visit.
Register for a NACCAS Accreditation Workshop.
Workshop registration fees for two persons from the school are included in the candidate application fee.
The workshop provides information about NACCAS and how to compile a (Preliminary) Institutional Self-Study.
Prepare a Preliminary Self-Study
After the workshop, work with your staff to put together the (Preliminary) Institutional Self-Study. You must follow the Guidelines for Completing the Institutional Self-Study (Appendix 5A*). Please be sure to contact the accreditation specialist assigned to your school if you have any questions about the self-study, as assisting you through this process is his/her top priority.
Write NACCAS to request a Candidate Consultation Visit.
Once the preliminary self-study has been completed, send a letter to NACCAS (to the attention of the accreditation specialist assigned to your school) stating that you are ready for your consultation visit. Please include a copy of the catalog, contract, and certificate of attendance at the NACCAS Accreditation Workshop with the letter.
The Consultation Visit
The person who went to the workshop in representation of the school has to be present during the evaluation visit. It is suggested that the school have copies of the Preliminary Self-Study available on the day of the visit, for the NACCAS consultant(s), and at least one for the school's own records.
The consultant(s) will evaluate the self-study, answer questions, and review the self-study with the school’s staff. The more complete the self-study, the more beneficial the consultation visit will be to the school. You should also have some student files available for the team to review. This is your opportunity to ask questions about NACCAS and how to comply with accreditation requirements.
At the end of the visit, you and the NACCAS consultant(s) agree to a reasonable deadline for you to make any revisions to the self-study.
A copy of the report of the consultation visit, including the timetable for finalizing the self-study, will be sent to the school within 15 business days of the accreditation specialist’s return to the NACCAS office. You do not have to respond to the consultation report, but will have to take the actions that appear on the timetable that accompanies the report. See step #8 below.
Finish the Self-Study, contact your NACCAS staff person, and submit a copy of the completed Institutional Self Study (ISS) to NACCAS.
Once you have completed the revisions to the self-study, send a letter to the accreditation specialist who visited your school and state that you are ready for the next step.
Request, complete, and submit an Application for (Initial) Accreditation (include required exhibits -- see application form). Please be sure to submit financial statments. You may contact NACCAS' Director of Finance for information on financial requirements and refer to standard VII, Criteria 1 and 2.
An Application for (Initial) Accreditation can be mailed to you, or it can be downloaded from the NACCAS web site. No application fee is due at this time. The only fee that will be due is the on-site evaluation visit fee that will be billed to the school in 5 increments. The visit fee must be paid prior to the visit. The process up to this point cannot take longer than 2 years. Once you submit the (Initial) Application for Accreditation, your candidate period is complete.
II. Accreditation Process
Review of the Application for Accreditation and ISS by NACCAS.
The school’s application, the non-financial exhibits, and the ISS will be reviewed by an accreditation specialist, who will contact the school by mail as to any deficiencies found in the ISS. If most of the documentation is in order, the school will be placed on the list of schools to be visited.
The school's financial documents will be reviewed by the NACCAS accounting department, and if additional financial information is required, the school will be notified. The Institutional Changes and Finance Committee will conduct a final review of the school's financial documents before the Commission meeting at which the school's application will be considered. Please refer to the document titled Financial Requirements for Initial Schools that accompanies the application for accreditation. Failure to meet the financial requirements will delay or stop the accreditation process.
Schedule the on-site evaluation. The NACCAS travel coordinator will contact the school by telephone to schedule the on-site evaluation.
Send ISS to evaluators. Once you have received written confirmation of the on-site evaluation with the evaluation team members names and contact information, mail one copy of the ISS to each of the evaluators visiting the school so that it is received at least two weeks prior to the day of the visit. The school should send the ISS through a trackable means of delivery. Please note that any revisions made to the ISS or to school policies and/or procedures must be sent to the evalutors prior to the visit as well. Maintain a copy of the ISS at the school. A list of documentation that you must have readily available for the team upon its arrival the day of the on-site evaluation will be sent with the team members' names for you to prepare for the visit. The Documentation for On-Site Evaluations is also published in the NACCAS Handbook.
On-site evaluation. A an evaluation team, typically composed of four people, will arrive at the school to evaluate its compliance with NACCAS’ Standards and Criteria. This team will not serve as consultants this time; they will evaluate whether or not the school is meeting NACCAS’ Standards. Information about the on-site evaluation can be found in the NACCAS Handbook (Rules of Practice and Procedure, Part 3).
A report of the team’s findings during the on-site evaluation is sent to the school within 15 business days of the accreditation specialist’s return to the NACCAS office.
Respond to the Team Report. The school will have 45 calendar days from the date of receipt of the report to respond to any limitations found by the NACCAS team. The school must submit five copies of its response to the NACCAS office.
Consideration of the school’s application by the Commission. The school’s application, the ISS, the Team Report of the on-site evaluation, and the school’s response to the report are reviewed by the Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting (there are four each year for initial schools). The school will be notified in writing of the Commission’s decision within 45 days of the close of the meeting.
- What happens next? Once the school receives accreditation, the school’s owners may, if they wish to participate in federal student financial aid, contact the U.S. Department of Education and apply for participation in the federal aid programs. Please note that such application is a process that is entirely independent from NACCAS.
* Refer to the NACCAS Rules of Practice and Procedure.