Before a programme can be fully accredited by the EHTPA, the Institution offering the programme will have undergone a number of stages of scrutiny. In the first instance, the Chair of the Board and the Accreditation Facilitator will visit the Institution and meet senior staff, following which the Institution is invited to submit a Statement of Intent (SOI) to seek accreditation.
Information included in the SOI must demonstrate that the Institution can meet the Board's criteria for approval. These include the need to be legally constituted, financially secure, appropriately organised and managed, educationally sound, and with sufficient resources to be able to plan, deliver and assess an educational programme which will conform to the EHTPA Core Curriculum.
A documentary review is carried out by selected Board members, who match the information in the SOI to the Board's criteria, and who may elect to visit the Institution. The reviewers then provide a written report for the Board following which the Board will either approve the institution to proceed with the accreditation application or turn down the application.
Approved Institution status based upon SOI approval does not have indefinite "shelf life" and will expire if accreditation has not been achieved (or exceptionally, if significant progress towards validation has not been made) within a reasonable timescale. Two years will normally be considered as "reasonable".
Once an Institution has been approved to proceed, the next requirement is for a Full Submission Document (FSD) to be produced, containing information that demonstrates that Board criteria for accreditation have or will be met. The FSD is scrutinised by the expert practitioners and educationalists appointed by the Board to make up the Accreditation Panel following which a pre accreditation visit meeting is held with one or more senior staff members from the Institution to seek any necessary clarification.
At this point, the Panel may decide that the FSD provides a sufficient basis for the accreditation visit to the Institution, or that the FSD does not provide an adequate basis for the accreditation process to continue. In the latter instance, it may be decided to delay the visit, or refer the issues identified to the Board if it considered appropriate to halt the accreditation process.
At this point, the Panel will decide either that the FSD provides a sufficient basis for the accreditation visit to the Institution to go ahead, or that the FSD does not provide an adequate basis for the accreditation process to continue. In the latter instance, the panel may decide to delay the visit, or refer the issues identified to the Board if the panel recommend that the accreditation process be halted.
The Accreditation Panel spend one or two days in the Institution talking to staff and students, visiting clinics and talking to clinical staff, assessing the suitability of facilities and resources, examining support services, scrutinising documents and making judgements about the appropriateness of the learning environment. At the end of the visit the Chair of the panel will provide brief verbal feedback, indicating only whether or not accreditation is to be recommended and any likely conditions to be met. However, please note that the panel reserve the right to amend the provisional conditions having had time to reflect on the visit whilst producing the written report.
By considering both the written submission, and exploring during the visit how the curriculum is interpreted and presented in practice, the Panel's written report will identify those accreditation criteria that have or have not been met, confirm to what extent the EHTPA standards have been met, and recommend to the Board whether or not the programme should be accredited. It is for the Board to determine if the programme is to be provisionally accredited, for how long, and stipulate any conditions that must be met. This provisional accreditation will remain in place until any conditions stipulated by the Board have been met in full.
Institutions that have successfully completed all of the stages above, and in addition have met any conditions stipulated by the Board, will have their course fully accredited by the Board for a period of between one and five years.