What is Accreditation?

Accreditation of professional education programs is a process of quality assurance through which accredited status is granted to a program of study once it has met certain standards of education established by the responsible authorities.

Reference: Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC)

Importance of academic accreditation for Canadian occupational therapy education programs

  • serves to maintain consistent national standards;
  • ensures quality professional education;
  • supports the growth and development of educational programs and the occupational therapy profession.
  • monitors educational standards worldwide so as to assess trends and ensure better graduate mobility

Benefits from accreditation of OT programs

The public is the prime beneficiary from access to quality, occupational therapy graduates from academically accredited programs. Students, faculty, funders, decision-makers, and employers have confidence that the educational program meets the standards of quality as determined by the profession.

CAOT's role in academic accreditation

CAOT delegates responsibility for accreditation to its Academic Credentialing Council (ACC) which is responsible for establishing standards, evaluating programs, awarding accreditation status and monitoring quality. CAOT is the sole accrediting agency in Canada which currently has the mandate through the regulatory bodies for the accreditation of all occupational therapy educational programs. CAOT accredits educational programs for occupational therapist assistant (OTA) and physiotherapist assistant (PTA) in Canada in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC).

CAOT holds membership in the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC) with access to their services and support network.

Key Points

  • Seven Year Cyclical Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Accreditation Process
  • CQI approach establishes a clear partnership in the accreditation process by working collaboratively with program representatives to address program quality issues and to value and appreciate program strengths. Once entered into a 7 year cycle, the program will undergo a continual quality improvement process that includes a self-study, off site, and on site review, and CQI plan, using the CAOT academic accreditation standards,.
  • The review will result in identification of strengths and areas for improvement that are documented in a CQI plan. CAOT’s Academic Credentialing Council (ACC) is responsible for oversight and awarding accreditation status.
  • Changes to programs that are deemed substantive (policy 8212) and the addition of satellite sites (policy 8211) are subject to oversight by the ACC. To find policies, click here. For information on ACC membership, please contact the Exam and Accreditation Coordinator.
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