CAEP Inquiry Brief Pathway to  Accreditation Timeline and Process-at-a-Glance Steps

Provider actions

CAEP actions


1. Application

Only if applying for first-time accreditation, provider prepares and submits on-line application.

CAEP staff consults with the provider.*

Providers seeking accreditation for the first time should contact CAEP staff.

2. Formative evaluation

  • Provider attends CAEP workshops on writing the Inquiry Brief self study (optional).
  • Provider submits draft of the self-study with checklist.*
  • CAEP staff reviews draft self-study for coverage, clarity, completeness, and auditability and returns drafts for revisions and resubmission as needed.*
  • First draft should be submitted 9-12 months prior to the scheduled visit.

3. Self-study revisions

  • Provider faculty responds to CAEP staff and reviewers’ comments.*
  • Provider submits final self-study with checklist.

•CAEP declares self-study auditable (self-study is clear and complete) and instructs provider to submit final version.

•CAEP accepts self-study and notifies Visitor Team that it is available.

  • Self study should be declared auditable 4 months prior to the scheduled visit.

4. Call for comment

  • Provider distributes call-for-comment announcement to all stakeholders.
  • CAEP places provider on website’s “call-for-comment” page.
  • Call-for-comment is sent out once self-study is declared auditable.

5. CAEP Survey

  • Provider sends email addresses for preparation faculty, candidates, and mentors or cooperating teachers.
  • CAEP electronically surveys the preparation faculty, candidates, and cooperating teachers or mentors who send their responses confidentially to CAEP through a third-party vendor.
  • Survey is sent out once self-study is declared auditable.


6. Preparation for site visit

  • Provider submits data for site visit as requested.
  • Provider responds to any clarification questions as needed.
  • CAEP schedules site visit.
  • Site visitors review the self-study report and formulate a plan for verifying its accuracy at the site visit.


7. Site Visit

  • Provider receives and hosts Visitor Team during visit (2-4 days).
  • Provider responds to site visit report.*

Visitor Team completes visit to campus Visitor Team prepares site visit report and sends to provider faculty. Visitor Team responds to provider faculty’s comments about the draft site visit report.* Visitor Team prepares final site visit report and sends it to provider, copying state representatives when applicable.

  • First draft of site visit report is sent out four weeks after the site visit.

8. Case analysis

  • Provider responds to accuracy of case analysis.
  • CAEP sends self-study, site visit report, and faculty response to accreditation reviewers.
  • CAEP sends self-study, site visit report with provider response, and case analysis to accreditation reviewers.*
  • Case analysis is sent to reviewers and provider two weeks before accreditation review.

9. Accreditation Council Review Panel

  • Provider representatives and lead Visitor Team member are invited to participate.
  • Accreditation Council Review Panel meets to review documentation, identify weaknesses and stipulations, if any, and make recommendation regarding standards met or unmet
  • The Accreditation Council makes the accreditation decision. (For complete details on process see “How CAEP Decides on Accreditation” section of handbook.)
  • Accreditation review occurs the semester following the site visit.

10. Public announcement

  • Provider accepts or appeals CAEP’s action (within 30 days)*
  • CAEP announces accreditation decisions on its website and informs other stakeholders
  • CAEP sends the provider a certificate of accreditation if applicable.
  • Public announcement is made not later than 30 days after accreditation decision.

11. Appeals Process

  • If provider decides to appeal a decision of denial or revocation of accreditation, the provider submits an appeal petition.
  • If the decision is to deny or revoke accreditation and the provider appeals the decision, the appeal process is initiated.
  • Provider must notify CAEP of intent to appeal within 15 days of receiving the accreditation decision and must file the appeal within 30 days of notification.

12. Annual report

  • Provider submits annual report and fees to CAEP*
  • CAEP’s Annual Report and Monitoring Committee reviews annual reports, and informs the provider if there are concerns*
  • Annual report is due in April of each year.

Key: * signifies the process continues until there is consensus among the parties.