The Committee on Accreditation is composed of funeral service faculty, practitioners and members of the public. This autonomous committee of ABFSE evaluates and certifies
programs for accreditation. Colleges and universities which offer funeral service education programs are reviewed by this committee.
DEFINITION AND PURPOSE OF ACCREDITATION
Accreditation is a process through which a program or institution voluntarily submits to evaluation by its peers against an established set of standards. The American Board
of Funeral Service Education, through its Committee on Accreditation, is charged with the responsibility for implementing a process to achieve the following:
- develop, approve and improve the standards of funeral service education and thereby protect the public interest;
- describe the characteristics of an accredited institution of funeral service education;
- assist each institution in upgrading its own standards through a continuing system of self study, visitation, evaluation and consultation;
- provide a dependable basis for prospective students' evaluation and selection of an institution offering funeral service education;
- provide an opportunity for interinstitutional relationships; and
- provide a list of accredited institutions to the public and to all agencies interested in funeral service.
The accreditation process has three major components:
- Self study conducted carefully and thoroughly by the institution. The results are summarized in the Self study Report and
the Committee on Accreditation.
- On-Site Visit, conducted by a visiting committee selected by the Committee on Accreditation. The visiting committee prepares
On-Site Evaluation Report which is submitted to the Committee on Accreditation and reviewed by the program.
- Committee on Accreditation Action, which is based upon a thorough review of all documentation, including the program's
responses to the on-site report.
Each of the above components is discussed in detail in Chapter V (Accreditation Procedures) of the ABFSE Accreditation and Policy Manual.
THE ABFSE COMMITTEE ON ACCREDITATION
The Committee on Accreditation is a standing committee of the American Board of Funeral Service Education. It functions autonomously and independently of the American Board.
The Committee has the sole authority to approve and revise standards, grant candidacy, award or deny accreditation, and take all other actions related to an applicant's accreditation status
except Appellate Review.
The Committee consists of twelve members selected by the Committee, including two public members.
(See membership in Article VI A of the By-Laws.)
Membership includes one representative from each affiliated organization, three representatives of the private institutions of funeral service education, three
representatives of the public institutions of funeral service education and one at-large educator from the College and University Council.
At least 25% of the voting members of the COA (includes one educator and one public member) must demonstrate significant experience in Distance Learning at the supervisory,
developmental, or practitioner level.
Public members cannot be:
a. An employee, member of the governing board, owner, or shareholder of, or consultant to, an institution or program that either is accredited or preaccredited by
the COA or has applied for accreditation or preaccreditation;
b. A member of any trade association or membership organization related to, affiliated with, or associated with the COA or ABFSE; or
c. A spouse, parent, child, or sibling of an individual identified in paragraph a or b of this definition.
The Committee appoints educators from disciplines other than funeral service education to serve as Chairpersons of on-site visiting committees; the chairpersons'
appointments are for three-year terms. The Committee and its staff are responsible for selecting members in accordance with Chapter V of the ABFSE Accreditation and Policy Manual.
- Complaints about accredited program
Alleged Violations of the Standards of Accreditation may be brought to the attention of the Executive Director of the American
Board by submission of notarized affidavits by persons or agencies. Such notification normally must be made within 3 months of the complainant becoming aware of the standard alleged to have been
violated and after all available campus procedures have been pursued. The Committee on Accreditation will not consider alleged violations which can be and are more properly resolved within the
institution's own system of due process and grievance or situations which are outside the accreditation standards. See page 8-3 Chapter VIII. G. of the
ABFSE Accreditation and Policy Manual.
- Complaints about Committee on Accreditation
See Chapter X. N. page 10-6 of the ABFSE Accreditation and Policy Manual for procedures to be used.
Learn more about accreditation in the ABFSE Accreditation and Policy Manual (PDF)
Accreditation Committee (COA) Members (PDF)
Learn more about Accreditation and Degree Mills