Accreditation Process - First-Time Accreditation

For the business programs of an academic business unit to be considered for first-time accreditation by the IACBE, the academic business unit must follow the process summarized below:


Be a Candidate for Accreditation in Good Standing
Submit Application Materials for First-Time Accreditation
Schedule Site Visit
Attend a Workshop on Preparing an Effective Self-Study
Prepare and Submit Self-Study
Undergo Accreditation Site Visit
Receive and Respond to Site Visit Report
Accreditation Review by Board of Commissioners
Board of Commissioners Determines Accreditation Status of Business Programs


First-Time Accreditation Requirements

For the business programs of an academic business unit to be considered for first-time accreditation by the IACBE, the academic business unit must:

  1. Be granted candidacy status by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.
  2. Have at least one set of graduates for which there are outcomes assessment results for each program to be considered for accreditation.
  3. Submit an application for first-time accreditation, an application supplement containing programmatic information, and pay its application fee. Applications must be approved and signed by the institution’s chief executive officer (i.e., president, chancellor, director general), affirming the academic business unit’s commitment to abide by the IACBE’s accreditation policies and procedures and to attaining and maintaining excellence in business education. The application must be submitted and the fee must be paid prior to the beginning of the self-study year.
  1. Fully implement its outcomes assessment plan which includes collecting at least one full set of results for each academic program included in the self-study.
  2. Attend a workshop on “Preparing an Effective Self-Study.” This workshop must be completed within one year immediately prior to the beginning of the self-study year.
  3. Prepare and submit a self-study and all supporting materials at least 120 days prior to the scheduled site visit.
  4. Undergo a site visit.
  5. Be reviewed by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.

If two or more institutions have the same parent institution, organization, or entity, or if an institution is a branch campus or a separate educational or instructional site of another institution, and if the institutions maintain separate institutional names, then the academic business units in these institutions must maintain separate memberships with and undergo separate accreditation reviews by the IACBE.

Guidelines for preparing the self-study are found in the IACBE’s Self-Study Manual. It is essential that these guidelines be followed when preparing the self-study. Incomplete, inaccurate, or poorly organized information may jeopardize a program’s potential for accreditation.

A preliminary draft copy of the self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters at least 120 days prior to the site visit. Upon receipt of the draft self-study, IACBE staff will contact the academic business unit to schedule a telephone consultation to conduct an initial technical review of the self-study for completeness and accuracy. This technical review will not include any judgments regarding the quality of the responses contained in the self-study, nor will it evaluate the extent of the academic business unit’s compliance with the IACBE’s Accreditation Principles, policies, and requirements. These determinations are the prerogative of and will be made by the site-visit team and the Board of Commissioners.

The purposes of the technical review are:

  • to identify any technical issues associated with the academic business unit’s self-study (i.e., missing, incomplete, and/or inaccurate information) and
  • to help to ensure a smooth visit by the site-visit team. Any missing or incomplete responses and inaccurate information will be communicated to the academic business unit during the technical review consultation.

Subsequent to the technical review, the academic business unit will then revise its self-study accordingly to ensure that it is complete, addresses all Accreditation Principles, and is in the appropriate format with accurate tables. The revised, final self-study must be submitted to IACBE headquarters at least 60 days prior to the site visit. No explicit site visit travel arrangements will be made and no site visits will be conducted until the IACBE has received the final self-study documents.

If accreditation is granted, it will cover a time period not to exceed seven years. Under extenuating circumstances, an extension of an academic business unit’s accredited status may be requested upon written petition to the Board of Commissioners. In those cases in which an extension is granted, academic business units may be required to pay an extension fee and to undergo a mentoring visit in order to address the issues that led to the extension request.