What is accreditation, and why is it important?
What are accreditation standards?
What is the role of the Council’s Accreditation Committee (AC)?
Why does CPME allow new schools or colleges of podiatric medicine to open?
Does CPME recognize international degrees?
Accreditation is the public recognition awarded to schools and programs that meet established educational standards. Accreditation ensures that teaching, student achievement, curricula, academic support, and other criteria meet certain levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, such as CPME, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Schools of podiatric medicine that request CPME evaluation and that meet CPME’s criteria are then "accredited."
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that schools of podiatric medicine meet acceptable levels of quality. Accreditation in the United States involves non-governmental entities (accrediting organizations – such as CPME) as well as federal and state government agencies (these three entities are formally known as the Triad).
Accrediting agencies such as CPME set standards and requirements that define expectations for educational quality in colleges and universities. CPME is an accreditor that focuses solely on educational quality in podiatry. Students completing the course of study at an accredited podiatric medical school achieve learning outcomes that equip them with the competencies necessary to enter residency training. The accreditation standards and processes are developed collaboratively with input from subject matter experts in the profession. These subject matter experts include practitioners, educators, employers, the public, and representatives from professional associations and other communities of interest.
The Accreditation Committee is responsible for recommending to CPME candidacy of new and accreditation of existing colleges, programs, and schools leading to professional degrees in podiatric medicine. The AC reviews on-site evaluation reports, progress reports, annual reports, and other information submitted by the institutions within its review area. (Ch. 5, Sec. 2.C. of the CPME bylaws)
CPME’s role in accrediting schools or colleges of podiatric medicine is to ensure that these schools and colleges meet the CPME standards and requirements outlined in CPME 120, Standards and Requirements for Accrediting Colleges of Podiatric Medicine, and CPME 130, Procedures for Accrediting Colleges of Podiatric Medicine. CPME’s sole role is to evaluate schools and colleges of podiatric medicine to determine if they meet CPME standards and requirements. CPME does not control the market and therefore cannot prevent otherwise qualified new schools or colleges of podiatric medicine from opening.
No. CPME only recognizes graduate degrees from accredited colleges and postgraduate studies from CPME-approved residencies in the United States. To determine if a college will accept for transfer credit any training obtained internationally, individuals can reach out to the CPME-accredited colleges listed on the CPME website (www.cpme.org) and also review the admissions requirements on the website of the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine. After graduation from a US-based podiatric medical school, these individuals would need to complete a three-year residency program. Additionally, they would need to be recognized by the state and national boards by taking the appropriate exams.