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About Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary activity initiated by the institution that requires a rigorous self-evaluation and an independent, objective appraisal of the overall educational quality by peers. Accreditation emphasizes quality assurance and a commitment to continuous quality enhancement.

To achieve accreditation by IABSP, an institution must:

  • Comply with rigorous standards;

  • Develop and implement an Institutional Effectiveness Plan;

  • Undergo an annual review of its financial stability, retention and placement rates; and

  • Undergo announced and unannounced site visits.

If judged to be in compliance with established standards, accreditation may be granted for a specific period, ranging from three to six years.


State licensing agencies, higher education commissions, and other bureaus for private postsecondary education grant institutions the authority to operate in their states. IABSP cooperates with the states by considering for accreditation only those institutions which are licensed by the states. IABSP also keeps the states informed of accreditation activities affecting the institutions in their states.

Accreditation Criteria

IABSP supports the concept that periodic evaluation entered into voluntarily by institutions and their peers enhances the quality of the educational process and demonstrates that self-regulation of a profession is superior to outside regulation.

To help institutions and peer evaluators meet their responsibilities in conducting the process, IABSP has developed and periodically has revised a set of policies, procedures, and standards governing the activity. Whether seeking new accreditation or wishing to renew, institutions must be in compliance with these criteria in order to receive IABSP accreditation. These criteria incorporate all changes agreed to by the institutions-as well as organizational modifications-since the last published edition.

Embodied in these criteria is IABSP’s belief that accredited institutions should at all times demonstrate a high standard of professional conduct involving educational practices and business ethics. Accreditation is not a regulatory process in the legal sense. More than simple conformity to standards, the Council encourages a continuous striving for excellence. Only those institutions that subscribe to this tenet should seek accreditation.


The initial step in applying for accreditation with The International Association for Business Schools and Programs is to seek recognition as a Candidate for Accreditation. Only accredited institutions are members ofThe International Association for Business Schools and Programs. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accredited affiliate status with the Association. It is a status of recognition by the Associtation that the institution meets the eligibility requirements and is progressing toward accreditation. It does not, however, imply or ensure eventual accreditation by the Association.

At such time as the institution’s chief executive officer and governing board determine that the Eligibility Requirements are met, the chief executive officer may submit an Application for Consideration to the President of the Associtation. The Application for Consideration consists of a letter of application signed by the chief executive officer, along with one electronic copy of the documents listed below. The application must include the application fee of $7,500. The process of review will include a site visit by the IABSP Liaison, for which the institution will be invoiced for the actual cost of travel.

  1. Thorough written response to each Eligibility Requirement;
  2. Plans for institutional development;
  3. Current Catalog;
  4. Current budget and audited financial statement; and
  5. Articles of incorporation and bylaws, or charter if the institution is independent, and when appropriate, proof of state authority to operate within the state and grant degrees.
  6. Basic Institutional Data Template (available on the Forms and Guidelines page in the Initial Accreditation section)

The Associtation uses the following procedure in reviewing an Application for Consideration:

  1. The institution submits its Application for Consideration not later than sixty (60) days prior to a regularly scheduled Association meeting.
  2. Commission staff review and prepare an analysis of the Application.
  3. The Application is placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled Association meeting.
  4. The institution is invited to send a representative(s) to appear before the Associstion when the Application is considered.
  5. Following the meeting, the institution is notified in writing of the Association’s action.

If the Association judges that the institution meets the conditions of eligibility, the institution’s chief executive officer is advised to proceed with an analytic self-study for Candidacy, and tentative dates for an evaluation committee onsite visit are set. The self-study report and evaluation for Candidacy are to be completed no earlier than one year and no later than three years following acceptance of the Application for Consideration. If the self-study is not completed within three years of the date of acceptance of the Application for Consideration, approval of the institution’s Application for Consideration will be withdrawn.

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