Advantages of Accreditation

In the National Survey of Counseling Center Directors, counseling services accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) were asked to comment on specific benefits to their centers from their accreditation. Here is an abbreviated summary of the responses to this question:

  1. Enhances the status of the center in the university community. Viewed positively by administration.

  2. Review from outside eyes, new ideas, political piece for student affairs, leverage for administration to hear
    your needs.

  3. Prestige

  4. Give opportunity for outside review and evaluation of center. Helps with staff hiring policies.

  5. External audit review.

  6. Helped us to further refine our operations. Also, it has further enhanced our positive image on campus.

  7. Used as a lobbying tool at budget time to justify increased funding for professional development and
    additional staff.

  8. Value to periodic outside review and encourages meeting standards of practice and provides valuable input.

  9. Maintain professional standards.

  10. Site visit includes Vice President. Justifies some accountability procedures for staff.

  11. We had offices soundproofed and renovated and licenses paid for as a result of accrediting process.

  12. Their recommendations have helped us with administration, e.g., office space for intern, a computer, and support for professional confidentiality.

  13. Helps establish validity of requests for staff funding, etc.

  14. Maintain staff after a vacancy occurs; self-evaluation.

  15. Primarily PR with students, parents, general campus community regarding quality of services.

  16. Helps our credibility as a center.

  17. Accreditation has helped significantly in supporting desired facility changes, policies, and issues resolution.

  18. Campus recognition with respect to allocation of resources, source of ideas for improvement in center overall operations and staffing patterns. Provision of standards to strive for.

  19. Site visit evaluation helped get us more space.

  20. Status on campus promotes professionalism, serves as a consulting resource.

  21. Statement of standards, annual self-study, able to communicate quality to users.

  22. Formal affirmation that center meets or exceeds standards of practice.

  23. Stamp of approval is viewed as important to other programs, agencies on campus.

  24. Attests to our meeting of approved standards.

  25. I use information to strengthen case for funds, staff, etc.

  26. Respected by administrators.

  27. Helps to maintain high standards.

  28. The administration here thinks we do wonderful work and I think a lot of the reason they think that is that we are accredited - keeps us on our toes.

  29. Especially helpful in maintaining professional/ethical standards in the face of demands by upper administrators.

  30. Credibility.

  31. University administrators respect/respond to external standards.

  32. Qualifications of people hired, training/professional development funding, and credibility throughout institution.

  33. IACS has provided information and advocacy to university administration via letters and face to face contact during site visits to reinforce importance of center's role on campus. Public relations.

  34. Has enhanced our status with faculty and staff, especially those in programs which are also subject to accreditations; anticipate it as a plus when recruiting new staff in the counseling center; site visit report was very useful to us.

  35. Outside evaluations are viewed as more objective.

  36. Increased budget; prestige on campus.

  37. Helpful in supporting standards of practice, staffing, and budgeting to university administration.

  38. Increased credibility on campus, accreditation process itself promotes healthy self-appraisal.

  39. Recruitment, data bank information, directory listing, networking capabilities. Intangible - reputation.

  40. It gives us helpful peer review. It helps us further our requests to the administration regarding areas of need that require resources, e.g. staff development and training.

  41. Consistent review that provides support for salary increases and supports quality of the agency.

  42. Has given us some greater institutional status and gives us an outside look at service functions distinct from training function.

  43. Have been able to use IACS standards to prevent actions that were against standards; prestige.

  44. As with any accreditation it allows objective review of programs and facilities and provides additional rationale for requesting resources to remediate deficiencies.

  45. Both external and self-evaluations keep us on our toes.

  46. Highlights quality of services; gets attention paid to areas of concern; V.P. is involved in process.

  47. Quality control.

  48. Helpful in self-review; constructive suggestions result; it's also helpful to higher administration to know that we are already accredited by peer review.