Background: Accreditation of educational programs involves an independent agency assessing quality against a set of defined standards. Site inspection teams are appointed by an accrediting agency and compile a report with the intention of identifying deficiencies and making recommendations for their rectification and continued improvement. For chiropractic programs accreditation is carried out by Councils on Chiropractic Education (CCEs). However, the reliability of their site inspection teams remains unknown. Recent research has suggested that variability in chiropractic practice may be partially traced back to the education provider. This raises the possibility of deficient accreditation procedures that may include unsatisfactory site inspection standards or processes or the accreditation standards by which they work to.
We sought to compare the various CCEs documented standards and processes for site inspection teams for similarities and differences with the intent of making recommendations to create uniform and high quality standards. Further, we sought to compare a sample of CCEs site inspection team surveys / reports for commonly identified recommendations and quality improvements and determine if they are adequately described in their accreditation standards.
Method: In December of 2018 invitation emails were sent to 4 CCEs through their website portals outlining a proposed study investigating site inspection teams’ standards and processes. Access was requested to all appropriately redacted documentation relating to site inspection teams and their chiropractic program reports. Follow up emails were sent several weeks later.
Results: Only one of four of the CCEs responded by providing the requested information.
Conclusion and recommendations: Three CCEs did not cooperate with this educational research. The possible reasons for the non-engagement is discussed.
Author keywords: Chiropractic — Accreditation — Evaluation — Educational research
Author affiliations: SII, CL-Y, BF: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia; BFW: Institute for Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
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