2022 Revision of 2020 Procedures for Accreditation

On January 31, 2020, the NAAB Board of Directors approved the 2020 Conditions for Accreditation and Procedures for Accreditation. As we continue to implement the new criteria, we are committed to making improvements to the NAAB accreditation experience by streamlining our process and further aligning the accreditation policies and procedures with accreditation norms and practices. In our effort to best support accredited programs, programs seeking NAAB accreditation, and our visiting teams, NAAB conducts written surveys and holds virtual focus groups on a bi-annual basis, following spring and fall site visit cycles.

Over the past several years, NAAB has conducted multiple focus groups, interviews, and data gathering interactions to assess the implementation of the 2020 Procedures and the ease with which programs and reviewers were managing the transition from earlier Procedures. NAAB has also reviewed policies, practices, and procedures utilized by accrediting organizations from related and similar professional fields. NAAB has used what was learned from this research to propose a number of changes to the 2020 Procedures in order to:

  • Increase clarity and reduce the complexity of reporting requirements for programs, and
  • Provide programs with additional mechanisms to demonstrate compliance and provide information to the Board following site visits.

Below is a summary of proposed changes to the 2020 Procedures that are provided in detail, with contextual comments, in this red-lined document.

  1. Plan to Correct Policy: Updated to provide programs with additional time to prepare their Plan to Correct and subsequent to receiving feedback from the Board’s review of the program’s accreditation evidence. The current version of the Conditions requires programs to submit this report following the site visit but prior to the Board’s decision regarding compliance with the Conditions, which precludes an informed response by the Program in preparing a Plan to Correct.

  2. Annual Report Form: Updated to provide programs with an opportunity to demonstrate ongoing compliance required by the outcomes-based nature of the 2020 Conditions. This update streamlines the reporting requirements, removes the need for Interim Progress Reports, and presents accredited programs with on-going feedback from the Board of Directors on the program’s assessment practices.

  3. Annual Report Policy: Includes interim steps, including a Special Report and Plan to Correct, for programs that cannot demonstrate compliance with on-going assessment at the time of the Annual Report. Programs are provided opportunities to address deficiencies in an iterative process without detriment to their accreditation status and term.

  4. Special Report: An interim step demonstrating on-going compliance with the 2020 Conditions. A Special Report will be required when a program has been found to have areas of non-compliance in the Annual Report. This report, together with the expanded Annual Report, helps fulfill the purpose of the previously required Interim Progress Report, allowing for its elimination.

  5. Conflict of Interest Policy: Revised to reflect the best practices of institutional and programmatic accreditation.

  6. Administrative Probation Policy: Identifies NAAB’s actions for programs that fail to submit required reports, fees, or other required materials, after required deadlines and subsequent reminders.

  7. Accreditation Review Committee (ARC): The outcomes-based approach requires on-going assessment by programs that results in annual reviews by NAAB. To support the Board of Directors in their review of programs, the addition of the ARC will help to address the workload as well as provide program directors and faculty with opportunities to participate in the NAAB accreditation process as a reviewer. The ARC is responsible for conducting reviews of annual accreditation maintenance reports, including the Annual Report, Special Report, and Plan to Correct, and making recommendations to the Board regarding programs’ compliance with the 2020 Conditions and Procedures. Members of this committee will be appointed by the NAAB president following a public call, review, and selection. This committee provides an important way for faculty and professionals to gain accreditation experience and greater awareness of architecture educational practices throughout the country.

We hope that these changes will further assist programs in their accreditation compliance efforts and will support NAAB visiting teams in conducting on-site reviews. We invite public comment on these proposed revisions in accordance with Appendix 1 in the NAAB 2020 Procedures for Accreditation. The Public Comment period will be open from September 23 to October 23, 2022.

Please add your comments here, or copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7038635/2022-Revision-of-NAAB-Procedures-Public-Comment.

Thank you for your interest and participation.