The Role and Value of IAAC Accreditation

Accreditation is an activity long accepted in the United States but generally unknown in most other countries, which rely on governmental supervision and control of educational institutions. The record of accomplishment and outstanding success in the education of Americans can be traced in large part to the reluctance of the United States to impose governmental restrictions on institutions of postsecondary education and to the success of the voluntary American system of accreditation in promoting quality without inhibiting innovation. 

Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution or a program that has been found to meet or exceed stated standards of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation is voluntarily sought by institutions and programs and is conferred by non-governmental bodies.

Accreditation has two fundamental purposes: to assure the quality of the institution or program and to assist in the improvement of the institution or program. Accreditation, which applies to institutions or programs, is to be distinguished from certification and licensure, which apply to individuals.

Bodies conducting institutional accreditation are typically national or regional in scope and comprise the institutions that have achieved and maintain accreditation. These bodies consider the characteristics of whole institutions. For this reason, an institutional accrediting body gives attention not only to the educational offerings of the institutions it accredits but also to such other institutional characteristics as student personnel services, financial conditions, and administrative strength. IAAC is a national institutional accrediting agency.

International Aerospace Accrediting Commission 

In fulfillment of one of its primary objectives, i.e., to encourage the assessment and enhancement of quality aerospace and aviation training programs, a group of respected aviation professional educators and industry representatives established IAAC. The agency’s specific duties, responsibilities, and functions are to insure a continual and effective system for the accreditation of aviation and aerospace focused career training and education programs at the certificate and diploma level. 

The IAAC Commission consists of 5 Commissioners, including aviation educators, representatives from aerospace and related industries, and a public-at-large member. The Commission members meet periodically to review, assess, and evaluate schools that conform to IAAC Standards across the United States and internationally.

Objectives of the IAAC Accreditation Process

The objectives of the IAAC accrediting commission derive from the minds and experiences of individuals and groups who are seeking to realize certain educational values and fulfill certain educational purposes in aviation and aerospace careers.

Overall objectives are usually stated so broadly as to make it difficult, if not impossible, for evaluators to make a reasoned judgment about whether or not they are being achieved. It is necessary, therefore, to find specific objectives in official documents of the accrediting body or to construct a set of specific objectives that relate back to, and are consistent with, the overall objectives.

The following represents the overall and specific objectives developed by IAAC.

Overall Objectives 

  1. To provide assurance to the public that institutions and their programs in aerospace and aviation career areas are of acceptable quality.
  2. To provide guidance to schools in the continued improvement of their educational offerings and related activities.
  3. To promote postsecondary and ethical standards of professional education and to enhance the public understanding of the aerospace and aviation fields.

Specific Objectives 

  1. To foster excellence in the field of aviation career training by developing standards and guidelines for evaluating institutional effectiveness. 
  2. To ensure that the accrediting process recognizes and respects the diversity of programs in aerospace and aviation fields.
  3. To ensure that the accrediting process evaluates not only the presence of essential resources and processes but also the achievement of institutional outcomes. 
  4. To require, as an integral part of the accrediting process, a comprehensive self-study that is analytical, interpretive, and evaluative along with an on-site review by a visiting team of peers.
  5. To encourage schools to view their self-study and evaluation as a continuous internal obligation to quality.
  6. To provide counsel and assistance to both developing and established institutions, including disseminating information between and among schools that will stimulate improvement of educational offerings and related activities.
  7. To ensure that the evaluation, policy, and decision-making processes reflect the community of interests directly affected by the accrediting body, including effective public representation.
  8. To publish or otherwise make publicly available the names and affiliations of members of its policy and decision-making bodies and the names of its principal administrative personnel.