In the June e-newsletter, we briefly discussed the revision process for the 2013 Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology, as related to current Guideline language under Standard I.A.,
“Projected for August 1, 2021, all sponsoring institutions should award a minimum of an Associate’s Degree at the completion of the program.”
Let’s review in more detail the process for the upcoming CAAHEP revision to the Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Surgical Technology. As you are aware, every five years the ARC/STSA is required to review the profession’s Standards and Guidelines and provide the CAAHEP Board of Directors with a written report on the outcome of that review. CAAHEP Policy 401 describes the process required for that review*.
401. Adoption and Revision of Standards
A. Standards Template Revisions
The Standards and Guidelines template is reviewed periodically by the CAAHEP Standards Committee and revised as necessary.
B. Adoption of New and Revised Standards
1. The ARC/STSA (The Committee on Accreditation- CoA) is responsible for developing and periodically revising Standards and Guidelines in order to:
a) Maintain compliance with CAAHEP policy; and
b) Maintain congruence between the educational preparation of students and the accepted state of practice for the discipline.
2. The ARC/STSA reviews its profession’s current Standards and Guidelines at least once every five (5) years.
C. Procedures for Revisions to Standards
1. The ARC/STSA is responsible for working with its sponsoring organizations to develop progressive drafts over a period of several months.
2. The ARC/STSA and sponsoring organizations are required to obtain consideration from all applicable communities of interest regarding revisions to the Standards and Guidelines.
a) Communities of interest include practitioners, educators, employers, related professionals, students, institutional administrators, national societies, agencies and the public.
3. The ARC/STSA incorporates suggestions from communities of interest into proposed Standards and Guidelines as it deems appropriate. The ARC/STSA reports to CAAHEP the process by which the ARC/STSA and sponsoring organizations obtained consideration from all applicable communities of interest.
4. The ARC/STSA submits proposed drafts of the revised Standards and Guidelines to CAAHEP and requests a formal review by the CAAHEP Standards Committee. These reviews should take place before the final draft is presented to the sponsoring organization(s).
5. Once the Standards Committee has reviewed and approved the “Open Hearing” draft, it must be sent to the all of the ARC/STSA’s sponsoring organization(s) for endorsement.
6. The ARC/STSA submits the completed “Request for a CAAHEP Open Hearing on Proposed Standards and Guidelines” form.
7. CAAHEP then schedules a public Open Hearing on the proposed Standards and Guidelines.
8. The CAAHEP Standards Committee formulates a recommendation based on the outcome of the Open Hearing and forwards it to the CAAHEP Board of Directors.
9. CAAHEP takes action on the Standards and Guidelines at its next regularly scheduled meeting and notifies the ARC/STSA of its decision.
The process for revision of the Standards and Guidelines for any profession with accredited education programs in the CAAHEP system requires discussion and input from all communities of interest for the profession. As the process moves forward over the coming months, communication is key, and the ARC/STSA is committed to the process.
Our next discussion will focus on the opportunities and challenges inherent in the Associate’s Degree process and how all of us can work together to best serve our communities of interest.
* CAAHEP Policy 401 can be found in its entirety on the CAAHEP website.