American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Accreditation Quality Management System

Overview | Recent Activities and IndicatorsFeedback

2013 Accreditation Customer Feedback Survey—Results Under Analysis

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) fielded its 2013 Accreditation Customer Feedback Survey in the fall of 2013. This survey gave academic and clinical faculty members at CAA-accredited and candidate programs the opportunity to provide feedback about all things accreditation (e.g., site visits, annual report and re-accreditation processes, CAA tools and forms, program strengths and innovations, and areas for CAA to consider for future focus and resource development).

The CAA was pleased to receive responses from more than 1,200 stakeholders (program directors, academic faculty, and clinical faculty and staff at CAA-accredited and candidate programs). More than 1,700 comments were received and have been organized for further analysis and action into categories related to:

  • reporting processes (annual report, initial accreditation, re-accreditation, candidacy)
  • site visit processes
  • Standards for Accreditation and educational models
  • quality of accredited programs and their graduates
  • CAA communications and education opportunities
  • technology, forms, and processes
  • staffing and resource materials

Currently, the CAA is reviewing each and every comment to target areas for focus and improvement. This feedback is critical to the CAA, which uses the survey results to set priorities for the accreditation program for the coming years and incorporates them into CAA's Strategic Plan in order to continue to provide a quality accreditation program.

Once the CAA has completed its detailed analysis and developed action plans, it will publish on the website a summary of the 2013 survey results and related planned improvements to the accreditation program. See results of the past fieldings in 2007 and 2010. Accreditation stakeholders are welcome to provide feedback at any time by contacting


ASHA's academic accreditation program adopted a formalized Quality Management System in 2005, with the goal of creating, implementing and maintaining an ongoing mechanism for assessment and improvement of accreditation operations and services to academic programs and the public.

Objectives of the system include:

  • create constancy in improvement of services to appropriate stakeholders (e.g., academic programs, students, faculty, Council members, regulators, consumers, general public)
  • identify opportunities for improvement through the use of evaluation mechanisms that seeks feedback from all stakeholders in the accreditation process
  • regularly implement monitors to assure that improvements in quality of service and operations are controlled and maintained
  • sustain operations such that rigor, integrity, and competitive positioning are end results for the accreditation unit of ASHA

The Accreditation Quality Management System follows the traditional DMAIC model of quality improvement:

  1. Define current process (e.g., Standard Operating Procedures, visioning where we want to be in future)
  2. Measure current process (e.g., internal and external audits, customer satisfaction surveys, performance assessments)
  3. Analyze current process to identify indicators for focus of improvement
  4. Improve current process, using results of measurements
  5. Control and maintain improvements

Recent Activities and Indicators

On an ongoing basis, the CAA measures the effectiveness of the current accreditation process (e.g., internal and external accreditation program and CAA audits in 2006, surveys of accredited programs and related stakeholders in 2007, 2010, and again in 2013), then analyzes survey results and performance assessments, and identifies indicators or areas of future focus for improvements in the accreditation program.

The CAA used the results of its 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey as part of a dedicated strategic planning session. During the session, the CAA updated its vision and mission statements, articulated its values for administering a premier accreditation program, reaffirmed its existing Principles of Accreditation, and identified three critical areas of engagement for focus during the next three years (2012–2014).

These broad areas of critical engagement for the CAA over the next several years include the following:

  • Relationship with ASHA
  • Systems, Processes, and Functions
  • Perception and Value of CAA Accreditation

Some common themes or core values that also were identified and re-affirmed by the CAA as part of its new strategic plan development, and as a result of an initial review of Customer Satisfaction Survey comments, include: accountability, transparency, fairness, validity/consistency/reliability, credibility/trust/integrity, and creativity/innovation/respect for diversity. Specific strategies are being developed throughout the rest of this year to accomplish goals in the broad areas of critical engagement listed above. The CAA has read every comment in the recent Customer Satisfaction Survey, is being responsive to the issues raised in the results, has assigned certain topics to specific subcommittees to address, and is taking appropriate steps to improve in the specific areas identified by its constituents. As the Strategic Plan is further developed, the CAA will share more specific details about what has already been done and what plans have been put in place to address other areas, as part of the overall Accreditation Quality Management System.

CAA Customer Satisfaction Survey Results – 2010

During the fall of 2010 the CAA fielded a survey to gather feedback on its accreditation program and other topics. The survey targeted directors and faculty of accredited and candidate programs as well as accreditation site visitors, CAA members and ASHA accreditation staff. In total, 374 people were invited to provide feedback, and 57% chose to participate (an increase of 6% from the 2007 fielding). Results indicated that overall, 58% of respondents are very or somewhat satisfied with the academic accreditation program offered by the CAA. As in 2007, the 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey results (91% of respondents) indicated that the number one value of the CAA accreditation program was the national recognition that CAA accreditation provides and which gives the most benefit.

Excerpts of Specific Survey Results

Specifically, 2010 survey results indicated the following:

Satisfaction with the Re-Accreditation and Annual Report Processes
For those respondents for whom these questions were applicable, 86% indicated that they were able to present a comprehensive picture of their program through the re-accreditation process, while 83% felt that the annual report process allowed them to do so. In addition, 76% of respondents who recently went through re-accreditation were able to find CAA resources in a timely manner, as compared to 80% of respondents who went through the annual report process.

In seeking assistance from accreditation staff, 81% of respondents going through the re-accreditation process contacted staff, while 72% of respondents going through the annual report process did so. Further, 79% of re-accreditation applicants found accreditation staff to answer questions in a timely manner, as compared to 87% of respondents who went through the annual report process. Accreditation staff members reviewed individual comments in the survey related to staff or administrative issues, and made some revisions to current policies, as well as identified areas for follow-up. For example, the policy on office coverage and response time was reviewed, to indicate a commitment to respond to all inquiries within a maximum period of 2 business days, often much earlier if additional information/research is not needed.

Satisfaction with the Site Visit Process
For those respondents for whom these questions were applicable, 93% felt that the site visit allowed them to provide evidence to demonstrate compliance with the accreditation standards, and 77% felt that the site visit facilitated program improvement. Finally, 82% of respondents felt that the site visit report accurately described their program.

Survey Comments
The CAA appreciates the candid responses and thoughtful feedback, including the insights and suggestions offered to assist the CAA in its continuous quality improvement activities. The CAA has carefully reviewed the more than 230 individual comments received, and has used this feedback as a resource for its short- and long-term strategic planning. Specific goals and strategies to address the targeted comments/feedback or to make recommended revisions to current CAA operating procedures, internal processes, or technical systems will be carefully reviewed and rolled out as appropriate in the coming months.

Also, see the 2007 CAA Customer Satisfaction Survey results and areas that CAA targeted for improvement during 2008–2010.

Future Feedback from Programs & Stakeholders

The CAA will continue to seek programs' feedback on an ongoing basis, to ensure that the academic accreditation program offered by the CAA is of the highest quality and not only meets, but exceeds programs' needs and expectations. As part of the Accreditation Quality Management System, a more comprehensive evaluation process (e.g., customer feedback surveys) will occur every 3–4 years.

Feedback may be provided to the Accreditation Office at

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