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ISPA Academic Accreditation Process

Initial Application

The accreditation process is initiated when the academic institution seeking accreditation formally submits its application portfolio to the International Sports Professionals Association (ISPA). This can be done either through electronic means or through physically mailing the materials to ISPA. It is recommended that the Academic Institution contact ISPA prior to submitting an application portfolio to discuss the elements of ISPA Academic Accreditation and review accreditation requirements. Please refer to the document entitled “ISPA Academic Institution Academic Accreditation Guidelines”, available for download by clicking here, for elements required for the accreditation application portfolio.

Determination of Eligibility

After receiving an application portfolio from a given academic institution, ISPA will initiate the process of determining the eligibility for accreditation of the program(s) for which the institution is seeking accreditation. The determination of eligibility is based on the completeness of the information provided by the applying institution. If all required documentation and information is provided by the applying institution, eligibility is granted and the initial review process is initiated.

Initial Review

ISPA’s Academic Accreditation review staff conducts the initial review process. This process can take as little as four weeks and as long as four months. The number of applications ISPA is fielding at the time and the transparency of information between ISPA and the applying institution determine the length of this process. The initial review process consists of an overall evaluation of the institution’s finances, organizational structure, program history, ethics and violation code, competency of staff, quality of program content, length and rigor of program, growth projection models, other accreditations and accolades and standing with the governing educational authority of the country the institution resides. An initial evaluation site visit may also be required during this review period.

Evaluation Site Visit

An initial evaluation site visit by ISPA review staff may be required prior to the official accreditation decision. Typically, ISPA does not require an initial evaluation site visit for the first term of accreditation, granted the applying institution is both thorough and cooperative in regard to the information requested by ISPA during the application and review processes.  A site visit is likely to take place upon renewal of accreditation after the initial two-year accreditation term expires. The duration of a site visit is determined on a case-by-case basis. The institution will be notified of the visiting evaluating group’s composition prior to arrival. The evaluating group will prepare a report to present to the accreditation review committee based on a number of observed criteria pertinent to the standards established by ISPA. This report will generate recommendations for improvement for the institution and will be factored into the decision to grant/renew accreditation for the institution.

 Analysis of Outcome Results

In order for a program to be accredited, data from either a quarter, semester or year must be made available to ISPA that shows the outcome results of all the students in the program seeking accreditation. This data should include: student success rate, retention, matriculation and post course evaluations.

Accreditation Decision (Approval, Denial)

Following the conclusion of the review processes, the review committee will generate an exhaustive report to be presented directly to the office of ISPA President, Dr. John E. Mayer. This report will include a recommendation for approval or denial of academic accreditation for the program(s) the applying institution seeks to accredit. After reviewing this report and taking the committee’s recommendation into consideration, ISPA will then make its decision to approve or deny the institution for ISPA Academic Accreditation. The applying institution will then be notified of ISPA’s decision via mail. 

 Accreditation Period-End Review

Three months prior to the expiration of a two-year accreditation term, ISPA will notify the ISPA accredited institution of the criteria and documentation for required renewing accreditation. Renewal of accreditation is handled on a case-by-case basis in terms of the information and documentation required. ISPA asks that the renewing institution consult its assigned ISPA Representative on all renewal-related matters during this process.

International Sports Professionals Association

The only Internationally recognized Sports Accreditation Authority