The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) has announced that the final version of its 2012 Accreditation Standards: Principles, Processes & Requirements for Accreditation were approved by unanimous vote at the council's January 2011 meeting and will take effect in January 2012. According to the council, only "minor" revisions were made to the draft standards released for stakeholder comment. A Feb. 24 press release stated that the 2012 Standards will be distributed to all CCE-accredited programs and that a comparative analysis of the draft and final versions will be posted online (The final approved version of the Standards is already available at www.cce-usa.org.)
The CCE release does not go into details of the new Standards, including whether any or all of the proposed revisions that stirred debate within chiropractic circles were retained. As readers will recall, the draft document added the words "or their equivalent" to discussion of Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs, which some speculate would open the door to allowing Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree programs; deleted all reference to the word subluxation, long regarded as an essential component of chiropractic education, training and practice; and deleting the phrase "without the use of drugs or surgery," a particularly controversial suggestion considering recent efforts in New Mexico and elsewhere to expand chiropractic scope of practice to include limited prescriptive rights.
However, it does state that "feedback was received from a wide spectrum of the profession, educational institutions, regulatory bodies, professional associations, the public and other interested parties" and that a task force comprised of educational leaders from nine colleges, active CCE members, representatives of "major professional organizations," field practitioners and public members, "spent considerable time analyzing and discussing the many comments and suggestions from the CCE's constituents and stakeholders."
"Periodic review of accreditation standards is not only necessary to satisfy regulations of the US Department of Education, but is also an essential responsibility of an accrediting body to continually monitor and improve its effectiveness, and thereby provide a means to ensure continuous quality improvement in its accredited programs and institutions," said the release, which also stated: "The 2012 Standards provide the DC programs with much greater flexibility in designing curricula and clinical experiences to achieve the required meta-competencies and clinical outcomes. ... [The Standards] also allow DC programs to innovate in educational delivery and curricular delivery, yet still mandate coverage of major topic areas and ensure that chiropractic principles, practices, history and philosophy, are thoroughly addressed in the curriculum."
Read the full release and review the 2012 Standards at www.cce-usa.org.