ACEN Accreditation Manual – Section II Policies
POLICY #8 Opportunities for Third-Party Comments
on Nursing Programs Scheduled for Initial or Continuing Accreditation
As part of ongoing efforts to make the accreditation process responsive to a broad range of constituents, the ACEN invites written and oral third-party comments on nursing programs being reviewed for initial or continuing accreditation. The ACEN welcomes comments from interested individuals from the nursing community, students, and graduates as well as the public.
All nursing programs seeking initial or continuing accreditation must provide an opportunity for written and oral third-party comments from the public. This applies only during a program’s comprehensive review or required follow-up visit review and does not apply during a focused visit review.
The ACEN expects a sincere and thoughtful attempt by nursing programs seeking initial or continuing accreditation to identify their constituents and invite written and oral third-party comments regarding the program. The ACEN requires nursing programs to publish information about the visit in appropriate outlets (e.g., nursing program newsletter, governing organization publications, governing organization/nursing program website, email, social media, postings at clinical agencies used by the program).
During the accreditation site visit, a time is to be set aside for the peer evaluators on the site visit team to meet with and receive oral comments from interested members of the public.
Constituents must submit written third-party comments directly to the ACEN. The ACEN will share written third-party comments with the peer evaluators on the site visit team. Written third-party comments may not be given to the peer evaluators during the site visit. An individual interested in submitting information regarding a nursing program to be considered during an upcoming initial or continuing accreditation review should follow Policy #8 Opportunities for Third-Party Comments on Nursing Programs Scheduled for Initial or Continuing Accreditation. The ACEN reserves the right to review and act upon incoming complaints or third-party comments under either Policy #8 or Policy #20 as appropriate to the circumstance.
Policy #8 History
Revised November 2015
Edited March 2019
Revised July 2020
Edited January 2022
Edited June 2023