IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PHARMACY SCHOOL ACCREDITATION
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredits
professional programs of colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Accreditation is the public recognition accorded a professional
program in pharmacy that is judged to meet established qualifications
and educational standards through initial and subsequent periodic
evaluations. It applies to degree programs and is to be distinguished
from certification or licensure, which applies to individuals.
The values of accreditation are several and the ACPE accreditation
process serves concurrently several constituencies including
the general public, students and prospective students, licensing
bodies, colleges and schools of pharmacy and their parent
institutions, providers of continuing pharmaceutical education
including certificate programs in pharmacy, and the profession.
Graduates of accredited professional programs in pharmacy
should be educationally prepared for practice and should satisfy
educational requirements for licensure. However, decisions
concerning eligibility for licensure reside with the respective
licensing bodies in accordance with their state statutes and
administrative rules and regulations.
ACCREDITATION STATUS AND PHARMCAS
AACP and PharmCAS are not involved in the pharmacy school
accreditation process nor can guarantee the quality of a particular
program. A college or school of pharmacy is eligible to participate
in PharmCAS provided they are a member institution (at any
level) of AACP and are recognized by ACPE with pre-candidate,
candidate, or fully accredited status. The accreditation status
for each PharmCAS institution is available on its School Page.
The Accreditation Status ...at-a-glance table provides a list of the accreditation levels of all colleges and schools of pharmacy.
TYPES OF ACCREDITATION STATUS
The professional program of a college or school of pharmacy
is granted initial or continued accreditation if it has been
demonstrated to the satisfaction of the ACPE that the program
complies with accreditation standards and guidelines, including
the appropriateness of program mission, the adequacy of resources
and organization to meet its mission, the demonstration of
educational outcomes which indicate that the mission is being
met, and the reasonable assurance of the continued meeting
of its mission. The customary on-site review cycle for purposes
of continued accreditation is six years. However, programs
may be reviewed in less than or greater than six years, at
the discretion of the Council. Such early reviews may be based
either upon an onsite evaluation or a written report from
the institution. Institutional representatives may exercise
the option of personally presenting such reports to the Council.
Program monitoring during the accreditation period includes
annual reviews, requested reports and/or review of specific
information, special on-site evaluations, or staff visits.
In the event that evaluation presents program concerns of
such character so as to impact upon prospects for continued
compliance with a standard or standards and/or may result
in non-compliance with a standard or standards if not adequately
addressed, the chief executive officer of the institution
and the dean of the college or school of pharmacy are given
a period of time, generally not more than one year, to demonstrate
that the program is and will continue in compliance. This
notification is designated as Cautionary Notice. If the response
is inadequate and the program is found to be in non-compliance
with a standard or standards, the program will be placed in
a probationary status.
A newly instituted professional program of a college or school
of pharmacy may be granted one of two pre-accreditation statuses,
pre-candidate or candidate, depending upon its stage of development.
In the instance of a newly founded college or school of pharmacy,
the programs generally progress through both statuses.
Pre-candidate: A new program that has no
students enrolled, but has a dean, may be granted pre-candidate
accreditation status. This indicates that the college’s
or school’s planning for the professional program(s)
has taken into account ACPE standards and suggests reasonable
assurances of moving to the next step, that of candidate status.
Full public disclosure by the college or school of the terms
and conditions of pre-candidate status is required.
Candidate: A new program that has students
enrolled but has not had a graduating class may be granted
candidate status. The granting of candidate status denotes
a developmental program, which has taken into account ACPE
accreditation standards and is expected to mature in accord
with stated plans within a defined time period. Reasonable
assurances exist that the program will become accredited as
programmatic experience is gained, generally, by the time
the first class has been graduated. Graduates of a class designated
as having candidate status have the same rights and privileges
as graduates of a program that has accreditation status.
The accreditation status of probation is given to a program
of a college or school of pharmacy that has been accredited
and is subsequently determined to be in noncompliance with
a standard or standards. Graduates of a program that has been
placed in a probationary status retain all rights and privileges
associated with accreditation status. A program in probationary
status reflects a diminished status and presents serious concern.
Adverse action, defined as withdrawal or denial of an accreditation
status, will be taken if a college or school fails to bring
the program into compliance within the time period specified
by the Council; such time period shall not exceed two years
and may be extended only for good cause.
DENIAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF ACCREDITATION
When ACPE determines that a professional program of a college
or school of pharmacy fails to comply with standards and that
identified deficiencies have not been satisfactorily addressed,
initial accreditation or pre-accreditation may be denied, or
the existing accreditation status may be withdrawn. Withdrawal
of accreditation will generally, but not necessarily, occur
after cautionary notice and/or a period of probation. In the
event of denial or withdrawal of accreditation or pre-accreditation
status, institutions may initiate a formal appeal in accord
with published procedures, which include the right of the
institution and ACPE to be represented by counsel.