The general steps that are followed for the application process for both existing and new programs are as follows:
- Submission of a Letter of Intent to determine program eligibility.
- If deemed eligible to apply, completion of a self-study.
- Submission of an application.
- Submission of the application fee and Applicant Agreement.
- Assignment of the RC’s program-specific reviewers (two site visitors and two paper reviewers).
- Scheduling and arrangements for the on-site review.
- Completion of the on-site review.
- Completion of a preliminary written report by the review team.
- Solicitation of the program’s fact-checking response to preliminary report.
- Completion of the paper reviews.
- The RC meeting, review, and decision.
- Summary report of RC’s evaluation and final decision written and sent to program.
- The RC decision is made available to the general public.
- Monitoring of program through annual and interim reports.
- The above review steps, except for the Letter of Intent, are repeated at each accreditation stage for new programs.
- Self-study and renewal application are due near the end of the ten-year accreditation cycle for Accredited, Full, programs.
Other Application Information
Submitting an application: All applications are submitted electronically via a secure access link issued at the time of submission. Where feasible, correspondence regarding applications, scheduling, and official matters other than RC deliberations about specific applications will be carried out electronically, as well, to preserve a record of these interactions, minimize misunderstandings, and maximize transparency. Information about applying for PCSAS accreditation for the first time for existing programs can be found here while information for new programs can be found here.
Costs: The accreditation application and annual fees are in line with those charged by similar accreditation agencies. Currently, the application fee is $10,000. Expenses associated with site visits are covered as part of the application fee. Annual accreditation fees are $2,500 which helps cover operation costs of PCSAS.
Review Calendar: The Review Committee (RC) meets twice each year (normally in May and December) to review applications. There are no deadlines for submission of inquiries regarding eligibility, including a Letter of Intent. However, completed applications are due no later than three months prior to the RC meeting at which they are scheduled to be reviewed (i.e., August 15 and January 15). No application will be deemed submitted and complete until the application fee has been paid in full and a signed Accreditation Agreement has been filed. Site visits should be completed no later than one month prior to the applicant program’s scheduled evaluation by the RC. Programs may expect to receive official notice of the RC decision approximately one month following the RC meeting.
Questions regarding the application process should be directed to PCSAS Executive Director Joseph Steinmetz, firstname.lastname@example.org; 479-301-8008.
Next: The PCSAS Appeals Process