I do not have a lot of experience with accreditation in the academic sense or setting. I do work for an organization that is externally accredited however through Accreditation Canada. Recently the organization was honoured with an award from Accreditation Canada for program distinction for our Trama Services Program.
What I have learned is that despite what can be messy beginnings or middles it is the end or the outcome that is often measured for success. I often look at learning as messy 🙂
While the outcome is a heavy measurement accreditation is also looking at the process and the quality of that process, as well as the integrity and ethics in the approach of the program or service.
I was surprised to learn that Canada does not have a national accreditation system for higher education and uses the Provincial or American National systems for evaluation of its programs. I think that this is something that we should be looking at a little more seriously. While there is value in this regional approach of evaluation, I think that for valid standards to be enforced, the measurement mechanism should be national as it is with healthcare. I think back to my wife’s experience in the Certified Dental Assisting Program that she attended at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Because some provinces had different standards for education for certification, she was required to take additional tests for her credentials to be valid to practice in all the Provinces and Territories within the same country!
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