The first step for any new emerging program is for the program to apply for the candidate status. NCOPE has in place the Candidacy Policy Program. The purpose for the candidacy program is to help assure that institutions develop O&P education programs with adequate planning and the necessary resources (e.g., leadership, faculty, physical plant and budget). This program allows developing O&P programs the opportunity to establish a formal and publicly recognized relationship with NCOPE. Candidate for Accreditation once granted is not an accreditation status and therefore students graduating under candidacy would not be graduating from an accredited program and would not be accepted by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics.
For programs that have already been granted "candidate status", they are eligible to proceed to apply for initial accreditation through the CAAHEP system. The request for initial application is requested from the sponsoring institution.
Self-Study Report for Initial and Continued Accreditation
The program faculty and staff are required to conduct a self-evaluation and submit a Self-Study Report to NCOPE. This report is an analysis of the degree to which the program meets or exceeds the published accreditation Standards by outlining the program's sponsorship, curriculum, committed resources, operations, student policies and practices and any plans for addressing program enhancements and factors that fall below standards.
Programs should use the Guidelines for the Self-Study process (below) to assist in preparing the Self-Study Report.
- Self-study Guidelines for Practitioner [PDF Format]
Five (5) copies of the Self-Study report should be prepared and submitted to NCOPE. Programs are encouraged to provide their application/self-study electronically.
A list of schools is available in the Information for Students section.
- Practitioner Standards [PDF Format]
CAAHEP and NCOPE are obligated to the public, its communities of interest, and to its institutional sponsors to ensure continuous quality improvement of the programs it accredits, and the compliance of these programs with the national standards.
CAAHEP-accreditation is attained and maintained through the following processes:
- Introduction and Guidelines for the Self-Study Process [PDF Format]
- Accreditation Manual [PDF Format]
- Application for Accreditation [CAAHEP web site]
- Application for Candidate Status [PDF Format]
- Candidacy Policy Program [PDF Format]
- On-Site Evaluation
- Committee on Accreditation Evaluation
- CAAHEP Accreditation
Candidacy application review – $2,000
Initial application for accreditation – $1,000
Continued application for accreditation – $1,000
Candidacy Visit – Actual expenses
On-site visit of team – Actual expenses
Yearly accreditation fee to NCOPE – $1,000