Founded in 1974, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) began accrediting post-secondary institutions in 1978. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training fully accredits and recognizes different schools and learning institutions that meet their standards of training and practice as outlined through the accreditation process. ACCET also grants accreditation for entities offering either continuing education or professional training outside of the United States.
ACCET itself is one of the few organizations that is fully recognized and accredited as an ISO 9001 Quality Management System agency; the only United States agency that has achieved this recognition. Unlike most other accrediting agencies, ACCET works only with non-collegiate continuing education programs so that organizations can provide a high level of training for their own professional development and continuing education programs. Some groups such as trade and professional organizations, labor or union training programs, and professional development departments within corporations, businesses and industries can all apply for accreditation through ACCET.
Accrediting through ACCET is a voluntary process but does highlight programmatic vigor and quality to its prospective pupils. Businesses and organizations can apply for accreditation through rigorous educational goals, outcome assessments, and current standards. After the internal review is completed, it is reviewed by ACCET and an on-site evaluation is scheduled. The evaluation team then researches the report, evaluates the on-site accuracy of the document, and prepares a report that accompanies the original report submitted by the organization. In the final step, the Commission reviews the reports and grants accreditation for a period of up to five years.
The major goal of ACCET accreditation is to allow the organization to demonstrate their commitment to following the highest standards of continuing education as outlined and upheld by ACCET. A very well recognized addition to any continuing education program, ACCET also provides various professional development options for the agencies it has accredited. These opportunities include accreditation and self-evaluation workshops, an annual workshop that allows members to network and have access to some of the top educational consultants and researchers in the field of continuing education.
The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training is based in Washington, D.C.; however, they offer accreditation to institutions nationwide. More information on the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training can be found at http://www.accet.org/.