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July 27, 1970

Accreditation as a Stabilizing Force in Allied Health Professions

Author Affiliations

From the Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility staff, Office of Education, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1970;213(4):604-607. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170300052013

In approaching this subject, I think that it might first be in order to ask ourselves some questions about this thing which we call accreditation, how it has come into being, and where it is going.

We of the Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility staff of the Office of Education define accrediting as follows:

the process whereby an association or agency grants public recognition to a school, institute, college, university, or specialized program of study having met certain established qualifications of standards as determined through initial and periodic evaluations. Increasingly, accrediting also infers stimulation toward quality improvement beyond the minimum standards specified by the accrediting body.

On the other hand, one noted authority, Dr. William Selden, former executive director of the National Commission on Accrediting, refers to accreditation as basically a struggle over standards in education. The implication here is that this is a struggle conducted largely by competing groups of