By the CACMS Secretariat: 18-24 months beforehand, the CACMS Secretariat contacts medical schools to establish the dates for accreditation visits in that year. Visits usually are scheduled between late September and mid-May. Full visits usually run from a Sunday afternoon through the following Wednesday afternoon; limited visits end a day earlier. Schools are sent materials and instructions approximately 18 months before the visit, so that they can compile the Data Collection Instrument (DCI) and undertake an medical school self-study. Completion of the DCI is facilitated by the Secretariat providing the DCI electronically.
A year or more before accreditation visits, members of individual accreditation visit teams are appointed by the CACMS Secretariat. All teams have a chair and secretary; full visit teams have two additional members and, when possible, a Faculty Fellow; and limited visit teams have a single member besides the chair and secretary. Every effort is made to see that visit team membership represents a balance of practitioners and basic science and clinical educators.
Three months before the accreditation visit, the team and school are mailed information about the composition of the team and instructions about developing the visit schedule, the conduct of the visit, and compiling the visit report. The dean is invited to challenge any team member for possible conflict of interest.
By the school: The school completes the Data Collection Instrument (DCI) within three or four months after it is received, so that it can be used as the basis for the institutional self-study. The dean appoints a self-study steering committee and subcommittees corresponding to the main sections of the DCI (e.g., Standards 1 to 12). The DCI and a summary of the self-study are mailed to the CACMS Secretariat and to each member of the accreditation visit team three months before the accreditation visit. Instructions are found in the Guide to the Institutional Self-Study.
The mini-DCI prepared for limited visits is completed in time for dispatch to the CACMS Secretariat and members of the visit team at least one month before the visit.
Guide to the Independent Student Analysis (ISA)
Guide to the Independant Student Analysis, describes the important contribution students play in the accreditation process. Students in a school preparing for accreditation visit are expected to organize their own self-study of the educational program, courses and curriculum, student support services, and the environment for learning. They should be members of various committees conducting the institutional self-study. Groups of students will be scheduled to meet with the accreditation visit team during the school’s accreditation visit.
The Accreditation Visit Report Guide
The team secretary will collate written findings from each team member into a visit report that describes the program of education and accounts for the school’s compliance with each of the standards of accreditation as contained in the CACMS Standards and Elements. The preparation, review, and processing of visit reports, and the information considered for accreditation determinations are given in the CACMS Rules of Procedure.