Providing Accreditation since 1986


Accreditation: A Process of Systematic Improvement

Accreditation relies on a voluntary, peer review process, engaging educators in hundreds of reviews each year. A self-study process of 12-18 months is undertaken by schools and colleges in regular review cycles. Member institutions undergo a comprehensive evaluation process at least once every ten years.

The four CIFMAT Commissions are authorized to conduct the on-site evaluations at shorter intervals if institutional circumstances so dictate. The standards applied by the Commissions are qualitative and can be adapted and applied to any of the types of educational institutions served. An institution found to be deficient in regard to standards is usually given time to take corrective action. Once the time allowed for appeal by an institution of adverse action (i.e, denial of candidacy, termination of candidacy, denial of accreditation, placement on probation, termination of accreditation) has elapsed, a public announcement of Association action is released. In such cases the effective date, the reason(s) for the action taken, and the Commission’s plans to monitor or work with the institution are stated. 

Accreditation is an expression of confidence in the institution's purposes, performances, and human and financial resources. The goals are  effectiveness, improvement and public assurance. Unlike popular magazines, this does not involve ranking institutions, but rather, establishes a level of acceptable quality for all accredited institutions while respecting the unique missions of the institutions involved.
CIFMAT accreditation is structured in a ten-year cycle of: 
  • Self-study which engages the entire educational community in structured analysis, self-reflection, and planning in response to the standards. 
  • Peer review which brings discipline and perspective to the process through the observations and judgments of a visiting committee of peers from other schools and colleges, informed by the self-study and based on the standards.
  • Follow-up which is monitored by a commission of elected peers and overseen by a professional staff to ensure that planned and prescribed institutional change is accomplished and which provides for intervention, as necessary, to respond to information gathered in regular reports from the institution or through complaints from the public concerning a failure to comply with the standards.

CIFMAT accreditation attests to substantial compliance with established qualitative standards, integrity in statements to the public describing the institution's program, institutional commitment to improvement, and sufficiency of institutional resources.
CIFMAT accreditation does not guarantee the experience of individual students, guarantee the quality of specific programs, compare or rank institutions.
CIFMAT serves as a  clearinghouse for the public and its policymakers in a variety of roles. Professional staff is available to ensure full participation at all levels ranging from accreditation to educational partnerships that strengthen education. The Association is private, nonprofit and thus uniquely positioned to work with other organizations on a regional, national and international scale focusing on improving education.