After the Site Visit
The responsibilities of the site visit committee are complete following the final conference of the site visit. Should the program have questions regarding the site visit or any recommendations made, the appropriate Commission staff member should be contacted.
Post-Site Visit Evaluation
Programs are requested to complete and return the Post-Site Visit Evaluation. This survey gives the programs the opportunity to comment on the accreditation process, the site visit, and the site visit team. In addition, comments received via the post-site visit evaluation are the basis for any future changes.
The Preliminary Site Visit Report
The written site visit report embodies a review of the quality of the program, and serves as the basis for accreditation decisions. The report also guides officials and administrators of educational institutions in determining the degree of the program’s compliance with the Accreditation Standards. The report clearly delineates any observed deficiencies in compliance with standards on which the Commission will take action.
In the report, the Commission evaluates educational programs based on Accreditation Standards and provides constructive recommendations which relate to the Accreditation Standards and suggestions which relate to program enhancement.
Preliminary drafts of site visit reports are prepared by the site visitors, consolidated by staff into a single document and are approved by the visiting committee. The approved draft report is transmitted to the institutional administrator for factual review and comment prior to its review by the Commission.
The preliminary site visit report reflects the program as it exists at the time of the site visit. Any improvements or changes made subsequent to a site visit may be described and documented in the program’s response to the preliminary draft report, which becomes part of the Commission’s formal record of the program’s evaluation. Such improvements or changes represent progress made by the institution and are considered by the Commission in determining accreditation status, although the site visit report is not revised to reflect these changes.
Response to the Preliminary Site Visit Report
The institution has a maximum of 30 days in which to comment and respond to factual inaccuracies noted in the preliminary site visit report. The Commission has developed the document Guidelines for Preparation of Reports (PDF) to assist the programs in preparing the site visit report response. The program receives this document along with the preliminary site visit report. In addition, programs may wish to report progress in implementing recommendations contained in the preliminary report after the 30-day deadline or may wish to submit other information for review by the Commission. While submission of multiple reports is not encouraged, the Commission will accept supplemental information no later than June 1 or December 1. The visiting committee’s approved draft report, the institution’s response to it, and reports of progress are considered by the Commission in taking the accreditation action.
Commission members and visiting committee members are not authorized, under any circumstances, to disclose any information obtained during site visits or Commission meetings. The extent to which publicity is given to site visit reports is determined by the chief administrator of the educational institution. Decisions to publicize reports, in part or in full, are at the discretion of the educational institution officials, rather than the Commission. However, if the institution elects to release sections of the report to the public, the Commission reserves the right to make the entire site visit report public.
Commission Review of Site Visit Reports
The Commission and its review committees meet twice each year to consider site visit reports, progress reports, applications for accreditation and policies related to accreditation. These meetings occur in January and July. Reports from site visits conducted less than 90 days prior to a Commission meeting are usually deferred and considered at the next Commission meeting.
Formal Site Visit Report and Notification of Accreditation Action
An institution will receive the formal site visit report, including the accreditation status, within 30 days following the official meeting of the Commission. The Commission’s definitions of accreditation classifications are published in its Accreditation Standards documents.
Following assignment of accreditation status, the final site visit report is prepared and transmitted to the institution. The Commission expects the chief administrators of educational institutions to make copies of the Commission site visit reports available to program administrators, faculty members and others directly concerned with program quality so that they may work toward meeting the recommendations contained in the report.
Additional information regarding the procedures followed during the site visit is contained in the Commission’s publication, Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures (PDF). The Commission uses the appropriate Accreditation Standards as the basis for its evaluation of dental and dental related programs; therefore, it is essential that institutions be thoroughly familiar with this document.