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CEPH: Seeking Comments on Proposed Revised Accreditation Procedures

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) invites review and comment on its proposed revised Accreditation ProceduresThe call for comments is open until the close of business on Wednesday, May 10.

As a reminder, CEPH’s Accreditation Criteria document defines the standards by which schools and programs are assessed in the accreditation process. The Accreditation Procedures document, which is currently open for revision, defines the process by which CEPH carries out its accreditation functions.

Comments must be submitted to using the comment form available on the CEPH website. Comments in letter or other form will not be accepted.

Highlights of the draft revisions are as follow:

  1. Information has been substantially reorganized and condensed to remove repetition and improve clarity.
  2. The procedures explicitly state concepts that reflect the Council’s consistent interpretation over time on a number of requirements in defining the unit of accreditation for PHP and SBP.
  3. The procedures more explicitly define the public disclosures required of all units affiliated with CEPH to ensure accurate information about accreditation status.
  4. CEPH proposes several changes to the initial application process:
    1. Units seeking initial accreditation must attend a webinar that explains the process before submitting documents for Council review. This change intends to improve units’ experience and success in preparing documents for Council review.
    2. The document that CEPH currently refers to as the “application” has been more accurately retitled “initial application submission” (IAS).
    3. IAS content is updated to reflect revised criteria.
    4. The procedures accurately describe, and formalize, the iterative process of submitting drafts of the IAS to CEPH staff to review for clarity and completion before submission to the Council.
    5. The procedures require payment of a new IAS fee to address the time and effort spent with units preparing initial submissions for Council review.
  5. CEPH clarifies and expands procedures relating to accrediting units located outside of North America. These changes address growing global interest in quality assurance and focus on ensuring that CEPH’s procedures recognize and reflect the cultural context of institutions outside of North America.
    1. The procedures acknowledge the differing terminology used in universities outside of North America. Even in English-speaking nations, terms such as “faculty,” “school,” “college” and “department” have different meanings and connotations, or are sometimes not used at all.
    2. Given CEPH’s experience with the structure of institutions outside of North America, the procedures define the expectation that most units outside of North America are eligible for accreditation only in the PHP or SBP categories, rather than the school of public health (SPH) category. Exceptions may be made in individual cases if the unit meets all requirements of a North American SPH.
    3. Given the above concepts and the different institutional history and context for public health higher education outside of North America, the procedures clarify that accredited PHP outside of North America may sometimes be housed in a unit called a school of public health. When such PHP are accredited, the procedures define specific disclosure requirements to ensure that the unit does not suggest or communicate accreditation in the SPH category. This exception applies outside of North America only.
  6.  The procedures streamline the self-study review process by defining two reviewers for each preliminary self-study document: the team coordinator and the team chair.
  7. The procedures clarify and streamline the complaint process for individuals with complaints against a CEPH-accredited unit or against CEPH itself.