Accreditation of Educational Programmes
Definition of Accreditation
According to the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, accreditation is the process to determine and to certify the achievement and maintenance of reasonable and appropriate national standards of education for professionals.
Accreditation of Doctor of Chiropractic Programmes in Canada
The Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory and Educational Accrediting Boards (the Federation) is the representative body of chiropractic regulatory authorities in Canada and has, as part of its mandate, the responsibility to: accredit, recognize, and certify the quality and integrity of chiropractic programmes; encourage excellence in education within chiropractic programmes; and inform the public, the chiropractic profession, and the educational community regarding the nature, quality, and integrity of chiropractic education.
The Federation undertakes the accreditation function by:
- the development of the Federation's Standards for Doctor of Chiropractic Programmes (Standards) which sets out the accreditation process for review and evaluation of Doctor of Chiropractic Programmes (DCP) emphasizing the use of outcomes assessment measures. The Standards also detail the Criteria for Accreditation which establish the minimum education expected to be received in the accredited DCPs that train students as primary health care clinicians.
- the creation and maintenance of the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada (CCEC). The CCEC will interpret the Standards, implement the process of accreditation, and certify the quality and integrity of DCPs through evaluation of their compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation (as set out in Section III of the Standards). The CCEC will also provide recommendations to DCPs on issues of effectiveness and programme quality.
The purpose of the accreditation process is to determine that chiropractic programmes:
- have clearly defined mission and goals consistent with the Foreword of the Standards, with educationally-appropriate objectives;
- maintain conditions under which the achievement of these objectives can reasonably be expected;
- are in fact achieving these objectives substantially; and
- can be expected to continue to achieve these objectives in the future.
In order to enhance DCP effectiveness, the CCEC will:
- encourage improvement through continuous self study and review; and
- provide counsel and assistance to established and developing DCPs.
Current Accreditation Status
The following Doctor of Chiropractic Programmes hold Accredited Status with the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada.
The Council on Chiropractic Education International also recognizes the accreditation status granted to chiropractic programmes by the following agencies who are members in good standing of the Councils on Chiropractic Education International:
- Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia (CCEA)
- Council on Chiropractic Education - Europe (ECCE)
Accreditation Standards and Policies
- View the Federation’s Standards for Accreditation of Doctor of Chiropractic Programmes (PDF)
- View the Federation’s Accreditation Policies (PDF)
Why is Accreditation Important?
From the point of view of the public interest:
- Accreditation establishes minimum standards for hours of instruction, subject areas to be taught, the competency of faculty, learning resources, finances etc.
- These minimum standards attest to the quality of the programme.
- The qualities of a Doctor of Chiropractic Programme are vested in the
- commitment to excellence by the administration and governing board
- soundness of the institutional programmes
- abilities of its faculty and staff
- calibre of students
- adequacy of its facilities and finances
- The Doctor of Chiropractic Programmes accredited by the Federation's Council on Chiropractic Education Canada are dedicated to the purpose of producing competent chiropractic practitioners who will provide quality patient care.
From the point of view of students:
- The course credits of one accredited programme will be recognised by similarly accredited programmes and will be transferable.
- The degree, certificate or diploma received by a graduate from one accredited programme will be recognised by other accredited programmes and can be taken to fulfil educational requirements that are prerequisite to admission to study for a higher degree.
- The degree, certificate or diploma received by a graduate from an accredited programme will be recognised by the Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board and by the provincial and territorial regulatory boards where licensure is sought.
From the point of view of the programme:
- Accreditation encourages excellence in education by encouraging improvement through continuous self-study and review.
- Accreditation standards qualify those programmes for recognition and chartering by government and their students eligible to receive government funding (e.g. student loans) or other benefits.
Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information by the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada
The primary purpose of accreditation is to ensure that Standards are met and that the regulatory boards can be assured of the level of education of graduates seeking license to practice. Accreditation is therefore conducted in a manner that encourages candour and continuous quality improvement on the path to excellence.
The Council on Chiropractic Education Canada follows the requirements as defined in the Standards and policies. All correspondence and all information concerning programmes are considered privileged information. Therefore, confidentiality is mandatory. According to the Standards, a Sanction of Probation and the granting or withdrawal of accreditation are the only decisions that can - and must - be made public.
The process benefits greatly from the candour of the programmes evaluated, which would be lost if all the available information had to be made public. The Site Teams which periodically inspect the programmes offer very frank comments to them, and such clear communication has led to improvements. Public disclosure of such information would induce a Site Team to constantly minimise the risk of litigation, and therefore, to tone down its comments. As a result, the whole accrediting process would greatly lose in openness and credibility.
The Council will notify other appropriate accrediting agencies, chiropractic regulatory boards and the public within 30 days following the final decision to place a DCP on probation, including the length of the probationary period. In keeping with the need for regulatory boards and other accrediting agencies to fulfil their mandates, the list of Standards for which the Council had found deficiencies will be released, on a confidential basis, to Registrars of Canadian chiropractic regulatory boards, and to the chairs of the other of CCEI member accrediting agencies.
Historical Development of Chiropractic Accreditation
In 1945 the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) was established in Toronto. It sought and obtained recognition from the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE-USA) in the United States and its predecessor organizations.
In 1977, CMCC recommended to CCE-US that a system of international recognition be established in the field of accreditation. CCE-US agreed with this proposal provided that an accrediting agency having similar educational standards was established in Canada. A steering committee, consisting of representatives from CCE-US, the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the Ontario Chiropractic Association, the Board of Directors of Chiropractic of Ontario (now known at the College of Chiropractors of Ontario) and CMCC, approved an international agreement and recommended that the CCA consider establishing a Council on Chiropractic Education (Canada) Inc. (CCEC). In 1978, the CCA voted to form and be a sponsor of the CCEC, and later that year the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs of the Government of Canada granted a charter to the CCEC.
When the CCEC was established, it was based on the premise that there would be a wide variety of organizations that would share the financial burden and control over the accreditation process. The CCA, Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory Boards (CFCRB), Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board and the accredited programmes all appointed representatives on the Board and shared the costs of accreditation.
CMCC achieved “Recognized Candidate for Accreditation” status with the COA of the CCEC in 1982 and became fully accredited in 1986. It has held this status with the CCEC and its successor organization, the Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory and Educational Accrediting Boards (CFCREAB), ever since.
In 1982 the CCEC and CCE-US established a recognition agreement. Subsequent agreements were reached with the Australasian Council on Chiropractic Education (ACCE) in 1986 and with the European Council on Chiropractic Education (ECCE) in 1993.
In 1993 a chiropractic programme was established at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). In 1998 the programme became accredited and has held this status with the CCEC and its successor organization, the CFCREAB ever since.
In 2000 the CCEC became a founding member of the Councils on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI), whose members also include the CCE-US, ECCE and ACCE. The CCEI is an international agency whose primary purpose is to promote and oversee high quality standards for chiropractic education on a worldwide basis. Membership in CCEI and adherence to the CCEI Standards now form the basis for recognition of accredited programmes internationally.
In addition, CCEI makes available its services and expertise to leaders of chiropractic education programmes worldwide. CCEI develops opportunities for accreditation of chiropractic education programmes where, at present, no accrediting agency exists. CCEI aids and recognises new accreditation agencies that implement the CCEI Standards and meet other qualification requirements.
In 2007, the CCEC amalgamated with the CFCRB to form the CFCREAB. The CFCREAB has continued to represent Canada on the CCEI.
In 2010, CFCREAB changed the name of the Commission on Accreditation (COA) to the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada (CCEC).