After reviewing the program’s Benchmark II document, the Benchmark II Review Brief submitted by the commissioner making Commission Visit II (including the commissioner’s recommendation), and the program’s response to Benchmark II Review Brief, the COA makes one of three decisions:
- Grant a Second Year of Candidacy Status. The COA finds that the program is in compliance with Benchmark II and grants the program a second year in candidacy. The decision letter instructs the program to prepare Benchmark III in preparation for its Commissioner Visit III. A commissioner will contact the program to arrange the visit.
- Defer a Decision on a Second Year of Candidacy Status and Request Clarifying Information. The COA decides to defer a decision when the program’s documentation is insufficient to make a decision. A deferral is for one meeting only. Before the next commission meeting the program is expected to submit the documentation or clarification necessary for the COA to make a decision. In extenuating circumstances, and at the COA's discretion, the COA may grant two deferrals at each Benchmark phase.
- Remove From Candidacy Status. A program is removed from candidacy status if the COA finds the program’s Benchmark II document to be inadequate. The program has two options in response to the decision: (1) to accept the decision and apply for candidacy by submitting a Benchmark I document or (2) to appeal by requesting a reconsideration of the decision. The program must notify its accreditation specialist or associate in writing which option it intends to pursue. If the program accepts the decision, it may submit a Benchmark I document and apply for candidacy status no earlier than the second COA meeting following the one at which the COA made its decision.