Updated ACEN Guidelines for Written Reports
The ACEN is pleased to announce the publication of updated ACEN Guidelines for Written Reports! The updated guidelines are presented as a comprehensive document that includes a review of all Accreditation Standards and Criteria, sample Focused Questions, and examples of potential supporting evidence. The updated guidelines also include a sample report template, something that programs have been requesting. Written reports for the ACEN include Candidacy Presentations, Self-Study Reports, Focused Visit Reports, and Follow-Up Reports. Because the updated guidelines include all of the Standards and Criteria, it provides guidance to programs that must address all Standards and Criteria, such as when writing the Self-Study Report. Programs that need to address only selected Standards and Criteria, like when writing a Candidacy Presentation, Focused Visit Report, or Follow-Up Report, will use only the information for selected Standards and Criteria for the type of report being written. The updated guidelines should be used by all programs to aid in the preparation of any written report submitted to the ACEN, and it can be used by programs as they review their compliance with the Standards and Criteria, even when a written report is not required.
Additionally, the updated guidelines have a final major component—the inclusion of examples of supporting documentation that can be maintained to document a program’s compliance with the Standards and Criteria. Unless otherwise indicated, the supporting documentation identified in the guidelines are only examples of supporting documentation, and the documentation is not required. Each program is encouraged to identify the documentation it believes best provides the documentation or evidence that the program is in compliance. While supporting documentation should be maintained by the program for its own internal processes and record-keeping, it can also be used to demonstrate to peer evaluators that the program is in compliance with the Standards and Criteria under review. The ACEN has moved toward the use of electronic documentation and submission processes; therefore, supporting documentation should be maintained as virtual supporting evidence (see article below) by the program in an electronic and easily accessible format (e.g., LMS, cloud-based, USB storage drive). As with the Focused Questions, the information provided in the guidelines is not all-inclusive and program leaders and nursing faculty are encouraged to study and scrutinize the Standards and Criteria in order to develop and maintain sources of supporting evidence that are consistent with program policies, processes, and organizational structures.