NNPRFTC has always based its accreditation activities on the Education Department’s recognition requirements. Over the last several months, after thoughtful consideration about its current rock-solid foundation and positioning NNPRFTC for the future, NNPRFTC has implemented three major changes to its accreditation program:
- Accreditation Commission—Previously a standing committee of NNRFTC’s Board of Directors, the Accreditation Committee has been restructured as the Accreditation Commission, an autonomous operational division of NNPRFTC. The Commission has sole authority and responsibility for all accreditation activities, including final accreditation decisions.
- Restructured Accreditation Actions—The types of accreditation actions available to programs have changed. Pre-Accreditation has been eliminated. Accreditation has become Initial Accreditation and Renewal of Accreditation. Initial Accreditation requires a total of $10,000 in accreditation fees with the possibility of a 3-year accreditation term. Renewal of Accreditation requires $4,500 in accreditation fees with the possibility of a 5-year accreditation terms. In addition, for Renewal, there is an annual fee of $3,500 in years 2-5. See table below.
- Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual—The Manual has been revised and expanded to reflect the new accreditation actions, as well as new policies and procedures about Notifying the Public, Substantive Changes, Appeals and Grievances/Complaints.
|Accreditation Actions||New Definition|
|Initial Accreditation||Not accredited by NNPRFTC in immediately preceding year|
|Renewal of Accreditation||Accredited by NNPRFTC in immediately previous accreditation term and continues to meet accreditaiton standards|
|Deferral||Defer accreditation decision|
|Voluntary Withdrawal||Program chooses to withdraw from NNPRFTC accreditation|
|Denial of Accreditation||Accreditation not awarded to program applying for Initial or Renewal of Accreditation|
|Rescind||NNPRFTC withdraws program’s accreditation|
NNPRFTC SUBMITS PETITION TO U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOR INITIAL RECOGNITION
After more than a year of preparation, on June 28, 2019, NNPRFTC submitted its petition to the U.S. Department of Education for Initial Recognition as a programmatic accreditation agency for postgraduate Nurse Practitioner training programs in the U.S. These optional full-time postgraduate training programs have rigorous, highly intentional curricula that provide board certified, licensed (or license-eligible) nurse practitioners with an intensive year of training and mentorship. The goal of this postgraduate training is to provide trainees with the opportunity to practice in a high performance clinical enviornment that is purposefully designed to further enhance their knowledge and skills, and therefore increase their confidence as expert healthcare providers.
Since its launch in 2015, NNPRFTC has accredited postgraduate NP training programs that meet its own strict standards. From the beginning, NNPRFTC leaders made it a priority to attain U.S. Department of Education recognition as a programmatic accrediting agency, which is based on rigorous federal requirements of quality and integrity. Achieving recognition is an public acknowledgement that an agency’s accreditation policies and procedures demonstrate consistent practices emphasizing quality and integrity. In addition, a postgraduate training program’s eligibility for certain types of federal funding may require that the program be accredited by a federally recognized agency.
Recognition is a demanding process that typically takes several years. The agency must provide evidence that its accreditation policies, procedures and activities comply with the U.S. Education Department’s recognition requirements. The agency submits a formal “petition” requesting Initial Recognition to the Education Department. The Education Department staff analysts review the petition for compliance with the requirements. Next, the petition is forwarded for review to the National Advisory Committee on Insitutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), a federally appointed panel of educational experts. Then NNPRFTC presents the petition to NACIQI in a formal public hearing. The Department and NACIQI each make independent recommendations regarding the petition to the Secretary of Education. A final decision from the Secretary’s office is expected by June 2020.
Our goal is to integrate relevant knowledge and procedures from the professional accreditation community at large, to provide rigorous and meaningful accreditation that meets the needs of our stakeholders, and to make sure that our accreditation processes continue to meet the highest standards of quality and integrity.
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