4.4.2. Program Preparation for the Commissioner Visit

Format of the third Commissioner Visit

The third commissioner visit is to be conducted in-person for all programs, with the exception of online-only programs.

The third commissioner visit is to be conducted virtually for online-only programs. Online-only is defined as holding all regular weekly classes online without regular location-based components. Programs with an annual on-campus component are still considered as online-only. Online-only programs may elect to request an in-person visit in lieu of a virtual visit. Expectations are consistent for both in-person and virtual visit formats.

Travel and Accommodations

The program director should communicate with the commission visitor about arrangements such as travel plans, work space requirements in the hotel and on campus, and the schedule for the commissioner visit. The program’s chief administrator or designee should confirm all arrangements with the commission visitor in writing. Programs are to provide prepaid airline tickets and should consult with the commission visitor about the most convenient airline carrier and flight times. Coach fare is expected. The program should also inform the commission visitor about transportation from the airport to the campus.

The commission visitor should be housed in a hotel, not in a dormitory or other campus housing. The program should make arrangements with the hotel to pay the bill, minus any personal expenses for the commission visitor, directly. Hotel accommodations should be arranged so that the commission visitor has a place to work on the Benchmark III Review Brief.

Ground transportation and meals not taken at the hotel are likely to be out-of-pocket expenses for the commission visitor, and the program should inform the commission visitor how reimbursement for these expenses will be managed.

Communication Guidelines

The program director is responsible for all communication with the commission visitor. Faculty members, students, or others should not communicate with the commission visitor before the arrival on campus, nor after the arrival until the appointed time in the commissioner visit schedule. Constituent groups desiring to meet with the commission visitor should request that the program’s chief administrator arrange time on the commissioner visit agenda. It is inappropriate for the commission visitor to receive anonymous documents, telephone calls, or other similar information. The commission visitor is instructed to discuss any such incidents with the program’s chief administrator and to refuse written or verbal information that cannot be shared openly.

POLICY ON REIMBURSEMENT FOR OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES FOR SITE VISITOR/COMMISSIONER VISITS TO PROGRAMS FOREITHER CANDIDACY OR REAFFIRMATION PURPOSES

It is the policy of the Commission on Accreditation that:

  • Programs are to provide prepaid airline tickets to site/commission visitors.
  • Programs should consult with the site/commission visitors about the most convenient airline carrier and flight times.
  • Programs should inform site/commission visitors about transportation from the airport to the hotel and campus.
  • Programs should house site/commission visitors in hotels, not in dormitories or other campus housing.
  • Programs should arrange for hotels to bill the program for site/commission visitors’ expenses minus  personal expenses.
  • Hotel accommodations should be arranged so that site/commission visitors have a place to work on the site visit report.
  • Requesting site/commission visitors to complete W-9 forms in order to be reimbursed is not supported by the Council on Social Work Education or the Office of Social Work Accreditation.
  • Site visitors and commissioner visitors are not employees of the Council on Social Work or of the program they visit, neither are they vendors selling products which would require a W-9 form. They are simply non-paid volunteers contributing their services to Social Work Programs so if they are uncomfortable completing the W-9 form, they are to submit their expenses to the site visit coordinator ([email protected]), our finance department will reimburse them and invoice the programs.
  • Ground transportation and meals not taken at the hotel are likely to be out-of-pocket expenses and programs should inform site/commission  visitors how reimbursement for these will be managed.