As AAQEP’s accreditation coordinator, I’m excited to see so many members taking advantage of the option to submit a proposal for formative review ahead of their site visit. With the volume of proposal submissions growing steadily, we will be streamlining how we process them to ensure they receive timely attention from well-matched, fully trained peer reviewers. Handling proposals in batches will facilitate the logistics for assigning reviewers as well as help reviewers plan their schedules around the new dates.
Our new process will match proposals with reviewers on November 1, February 1, May 1, and August 1. Reviews are already in progress for all proposals submitted to date, but any new submissions we receive will be handled on the new quarterly basis. The system is designed to get members feedback from their two peer reviewers within 3 months of the next match date after their proposal is received.
In other words, if you’d like to get feedback by February 1, please send us your proposal by November 1.
What’s a Proposal?
In the AAQEP system, providers have the option to submit a proposal for feedback before they complete their self-study (which is called the Quality Assurance Report, or QAR). Submitted 2-3 years before the site visit, the proposal presents a brief outline of the planned QAR, acquaints AAQEP reviewers with the provider’s context, and records particular challenges and innovations pertinent to the review. The proposal review process is intended to:
- Allow proposal reviewers to confirm that the proposed evidence addresses all aspects of the standards for all certificate or license programs included in the review
- Formally record the provider’s contextual challenges and innovations that may be pertinent to the accreditation review
- Offer a mechanism for generating formative feedback on a provider’s plan in a timeframe that allows the provider to make use of the feedback
- Ensure clarity of expectations at the time of the review
How Does Proposal Review Work?
Once AAQEP receives your proposal, the following steps take place:
- Reviewer assignment. When the next quarterly match date arrives, AAQEP staff will assign two trained volunteers to review your proposal based on criteria requested in the member scheduling form. Each reviewer must sign a confidentiality agreement before receiving an electronic copy of your proposal.
- Timeline for review. Reviewers will have approximately 2 months to complete their review of your proposal. When they finish, each reviewer will email you directly with their written feedback on a Proposal Review Form. (Note that your reviewers will not compare notes or otherwise collaborate on your proposal review, so although they have been trained and calibrated for their role, their responses will not necessarily align with each other—just like peer review of journal articles or conference presentations.)
- Feedback exchange. Once you receive the Proposal Review Forms, you may schedule a feedback exchange meeting with each of them (or even at the same time!) to take place by phone, email, or virtual meeting platform. If you choose to do so, you may make changes to your proposal after you receive the reviewers’ feedback and complete follow-up communication with them.
- Staff completeness check. When you are satisfied that your proposal is complete, please email the Accreditation Coordinator the final version so that AAQEP staff can check it (for completeness only). Staff will then save it as part of the case record to inform your quality assurance review.
- Final proposal communication and follow-up. The Accreditation Coordinator will notify you when the staff review is complete and send you a quick evaluation to help AAQEP continuously improve the proposal process.
How Do I Prepare and Submit a Proposal?
For guidelines on what to include in your proposal, please see the Guide to AAQEP Accreditation or talk with your staff liaison. When you’re ready to send it in, just email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.