Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation of nursing and allied health schools and programs therefore assures you and your parents that a school adheres to high quality standards. This means the school's programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the working world. Attending an accredited school or program is therefore often thought to make you more competitive in the job market.
Canada does have a national accrediting board for nursing schools. While there is no Canadian accrediting body for allied health in general, within the various fields that fall under the heading of allied health there are a number of specific accrediting bodies that you can look for in fields such as kinesiology, pharmacy, occupational therapy and music therapy. You can also check to see if a school or program has any memberships in, or endorsements by, discipline-specific professional associations which reflect certain standards of quality, but this is not the same as official accreditation.
Accrediting Agencies Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) Established: 1987 Location: Ottawa, Ontario Web: www.casn.ca/index.php CASN is the national accrediting body for undergraduate nursing programs in Canada.
Some program-specific accreditation bodies Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy programs (CCAPP): Established in 1993, CCAPP accredits university Pharmacy programs in Canada.
Accreditation council for Canadian Physiotherapy Academic Programs (ACCPAP): Established in 2000, ACCPAP assures the quality of university physiotherapy education in Canada through a comprehensive program of accreditation.
Why Accreditation? The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.