Site Visit Information
Below you will find information pertinent to baccalaureate and master's program site visits as part of the reaffirmation process. Although most of the below information applies to accredited programs only, information pertinent to commissioner visits hosted as part of the candidacy process is labeled accordingly.
For more detailed information regarding full site visit policies please visit Sections 2.3 and 2.5 of the EPAS Handbook.
Planning for the Visit
Reaffirmation Resources for Programs and Site Visitors
- Sample Letter of Instruction (LOI)
- Sample Site Visit Agenda
- General Questions Bank for Site Visitors
- Site Visitor Requirements
- Site Visit Report Template
Reaffirmation Resources for Site Visitors
- Site Visitor Availability Sheet (Active Site Visitors Must Complete Annually)
- Audio-Only File of 2021 Site Visitor Training
- PowerPoint of 2021 Site Visitor Training
- 2015 EPAS Site Visitor Training Manual
Candidacy Resources for Programs and Commissioner Visitors
- Sample In-Person Commissioner Visit Agenda
- Sample Virtual Commissioner Visit Agenda
- Candidacy Workshop Training PowerPoint
- Log Commissioner Visit Date Once Scheduled
Resources for Both Reaffirmation and Candidacy
- Policy on Visit Reimbursement
- Insurance Policy for Site Visitors
- Guidelines & Tips for Virtual Visits
Prior to the site visitor’s arrival, travel arrangements and the site visit agenda should be finalized with the program director. The site visit agenda is guided by the contents of the LOI, which will be provided to the site visitor and program director by the program’s accreditation specialist.
Travel and lodging will be paid for by the program, and the program director will inform the site visitor regarding reimbursement arrangements for other expenses. For information on CSWE’s reimbursement policies, please view the Policy on Visit Reimbursement.
Please also review the CSWE Insurance Policy for Site Visitors.
Site Visit Report & Program Response
After completion of the site visit, the site visitor is expected to conduct an exit interview with the program director to summarize the findings of the visit. The purpose of this meeting is to make the program aware of what will be included in the site visit report, so the program may begin drafting its response.
The site visitor is required to submit the Site Visit Report within 2 weeks of the completion of the visit. This should be submitted via email to the program’s accreditation specialist.
The program’s accreditation specialist will send the Site Visit Report to the program with a 2-week deadline for the program’s response. Any materials submitted to the site visitor during the visit should be included directly in response to that standard (not as appendices or separate attachments). It is not the responsibility of the site visitor to submit these materials.
Site visitors operate under the authority of the Commission on Accreditation and are requested to examine the program in relation to the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) as dictated by the LOI. Conversations and meetings that take place during the site visit must be pertinent to standards cited by the LOI and should not deviate from these areas. The role of the site visitor is to be an objective gatherer of information, and the site visitor should stay within the boundaries of this role. It is not the role of the site visitor to discuss compliance of accreditation standards with the program.
Examples of boundary violations include but are not limited to the following:
- Suggesting or insisting on the use of particular texts or readings
- Advocating for particular curricular contents, theory, literature, or practice models
- Citing unsupported complaints from individual faculty members or students as evidence for concern about a standard
- Making value judgments about resources, facilities, or credentials not specified by EPAS
- Criticizing the absence of a particular procedure or strategy to accomplish a mandated function, such as student advisement
- Soliciting information from program constituents in informal or unscheduled meetings
Additionally, prior to the visit please review the ethical guidelines for information on confidentiality expectations and conflicts of interest. If program personnel believe that the site visitor's authority is being exceeded, they should contact the program’s accreditation specialist during or immediately following the visit.