4.1.1. Benchmark Model and Initial Accreditation Overview

The benchmark model (as described in section 4) is a systematic, incremental approach to developing a social work program and writing a comprehensive self-study. The term self-study refers to the program’s process of self-examination during the creation of the self-study, as well as the self-study document itself.

Initial Accreditation

The Initial Accreditation Self-Study contains the final group of accreditation standards the program must be in compliance with to receive initial accreditation. These standards were submitted, in draft form, in the Benchmark II document.

The Initial Accreditation Self-Study Document

Like the previous benchmarks, Volume I contains a series of narratives that demonstrate the program’s compliance with EPAS. In the Benchmark III document however, the program assembles the narratives from the compliance sections of all Benchmarks to create a self-study.

Commissioner Visit III

The commission visitor’s primary task is to discuss the the Initial Accreditation Self-Study document with the program and identify areas of compliance and noncompliance with the Initial Accreditation Self-Study .

Commission on Accreditation (COA) Review

In deciding whether a program should receive initial accreditation the COA reviews the

  • accreditation standards in the Initial Accreditation Self-Study
  • Initial Accreditation Review Brief submitted by the commissioner who conducted Commission Visit III (including the commissioner’s recommendation), and
  • the program’s response to the Initial Accreditation Review Brief.