COVID-19: Contingency plans for Accreditation

The Academic Credentialing Council held an urgent meeting regarding COVID-19 issues.  The following letter was sent to the program directors of each University occupational therapy department.

Update: Letter sent on May 4, 2020 


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

Questions regarding occupational therapists entry-level education in Canada

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

The Academic Credentialing Council is responsible for establishing standards, and evaluating education programs.  A recommendation for an accreditation award is submitted to the CAOT board which approves accreditation decisions based on procedural compliance.

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 ACC.P.09) and the addition of satellite sites (policy ACC.P.08) are subject to oversight by the ACC. To find policies, click here. For information on ACC membership, please contact the Exam and Accreditation Officer.
Copyright 2016 Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
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