Accreditation Eligibility

To be eligible for accreditation by ACCET, an institution must meet the following requirements:

1. It has an identified body of individuals actively involved in a prescribed learning format and setting. Programs offered must provide a clearly interactive component of educational methodology appropriate to the subject matter and expected training outcomes.

2. It meets applicable state licensing requirements.

3. It meets applicable federal requirements, such as those of the US Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security, Student Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP).

4. It has a predominant portion of the participants involved in a continuing education experience convergent with those outlined in ACCET Document 24 – Profile of Institutional Clientele and Programs.

5. It can demonstrate continuous, ongoing, and successful operation of the institution in the delivery of education and/or training programs for at least two consecutive years immediately prior to application. At a minimum, one graduating class must have completed their training. 

The term “continuous operation” means that the principal educational and training activities of an institution, for which accreditation or reaccreditation is sought, have proceeded as scheduled without interruption.

Exceptions may be recognized after the fact when the interruption is caused by forces of nature, civil disorder, or abrupt and unforeseeable change in law or regulation affecting the institution.

An institution may apply for an exception before the fact upon application to the Commission and a showing of good cause for the exception. Applications must be submitted in a timely manner, considering the circumstances, in order to permit proper consideration of the application.

At a minimum, one graduating class from the longest program must have completed the education or training offered.

6. It has not had a prior accreditation withdrawn from a US Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, nor has it voluntarily withdrawn under a show-cause action, within one year prior to application to ACCET.

7. It has been under the same ownership and/or control for at least two years immediately prior to application. This requirement may be waived by the Commission upon provision of acceptable documentation showing the applicant institution is owned or controlled by an organization and/or individual(s) with a reputable history of ethical, competent, and effective management and prior experience operating an educational entity. 

8. It is an educational establishment that offers postsecondary certificates, diplomas, or degrees up to the associate’s level. If the institution offers more advanced degrees, specifically at the bachelor’s degree level and above, that entity will not be eligible for accreditation. This restriction does not apply to a stand-alone department or division, such as continuing education or intensive English programs, within a higher education institution accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education.

9. It prescribes a time requirement for the education and training offered in clock hours and, if applicable, credit hours or continuing education units.

10. It agrees upon application and accreditation to abide by the ACCET Bylaws, Principles of Ethics, Standards for Accreditation, policies and procedures, and to support the goals and integrity of the accreditation process.