The first step in the accreditation process is determining eligibility. Program administrators should carefully review the policies regarding eligibility in the ABAI Accreditation Board Accreditation Handbook. If they believe their program meets requirements, they should submit a formal request for a preliminary review to determine eligibility prior to submitting a self-study. Requests should be sent on institutional letterhead and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs in the United States must be housed in a public or private institution authorized to confer degrees in its state of operation, be accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and have at least one graduate. The ABAI Accreditation Board will not award initial accreditation to a program that is subject to an action by a recognized institutional accrediting organization or government agency that could lead to the suspension, revocation, or termination of accreditation or authority to provide post-secondary education.
Note: The Accreditation Board will not accept accreditation applications for entirely online doctoral programs. Doctoral programs seeking quality recognition should apply to the ABAI Tiered Model of Education as a Tier 2a program. Doctoral programs applying for accreditation may use online technologies for coursework; research and supervised experiential learning must involve on-campus or in-person components.
For programs outside the United States, eligibility is determined by the ABAI Accreditation Board on a case-by-case basis and upon evidence that the programs fall within the scope of the ABAI Accreditation Board's accreditation activities, that there is legal authority to confer higher education degrees, that accreditation will be beneficial to the programs and their students, that there is a commitment by program administrators to remain current on changes to accreditation standards and policies and to participate in continuing professional development opportunities afforded by the ABAI Accreditation Board, and that the program has at least one graduate.
U.S. and non-U.S. programs are evaluated via an identical process using the standards, policies, and procedures of the ABAI Accreditation Board and with regard for applicable laws, regulations, and cultural environments.
Finally, programs applying for accreditation must be in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local government requirements. In cases where accreditation standards and these requirements differ, the more stringent will apply. If conflicts exist between government requirements and accreditation standards, the ABAI Accreditation Board will defer to the government requirements. For non-U.S. programs, where there is a conflict between accreditation standards and policies and local laws, the ABAI Accreditation Board, in consultation with the programs, will attempt to resolve the conflict in a reasonable manner that is beneficial to students.