Communication of External Accreditation Reviews

In January 2013, Senate approved the establishment of guidelines on the communication of external accreditation reviews of academic programs.  The objective of the recommendations is to increase the consistency in broadcasting the results of external accreditation reviews across the University and to move towards an increased transparency with respect to these reviews.

Where appropriate, it is recommended that:

  1. All faculty, staff and students of the unit are notified through e-mail of accreditation results following their receipt.
     
  2. Information on program accreditation should be posted in a clear manner on the units' website, noting the accrediting body and years of accreditation.
     
  3. Details of the results should be discussed at the departmental and Faculty councils, ensuring that students are included in these discussions (to take the information back to the respective student organizations where applicable). A public town hall forum to discuss results is encouraged.
     
  4. The accreditation certificate or letter should be clearly posted in the unit office.
     
  5. Where possible and when deemed appropriate, the accreditation report should be made available to all interested parties for review.* If a unit is uncomfortable with posting the detailed report on their website due to the sensitive nature of some content, they should make the report available within the unit's office or comparative public space.
     
  6. Accessibility of the report should be included in the accreditation information on the website and in the e-mail communications sent to faculty, staff and students.

*Any personal information, or information that can be linked to an individual, should be redacted prior to making the report available to interested parties.

Program-Specific Protocols

With the establishment of these guidelines, Deans/Directors will be required to provide a protocol for communicating the results of an external accreditation review to stakeholders in their responses to the reviews.  Justification must be provided where the protocol varies from the guidelines.

It is recognized that in some instances it may be necessary to ensure the privacy of individuals. It is strongly advised that prior to making any accreditation report publicly available, that a unit consult first with the external accrediting body as well as the Access and Privacy Office in regard to the respective FIPPA and PHIA acts.

In addition, to encourage academic units to continue to be forthcoming with information on their programs during the review process, it is advised that external review teams be made aware of the above guidelines to ensure that they make an additional effort to arrive at an accurate view of the academic unit under evaluation.