Site Visit Essentials

Click on image to enlarge

Once you turn in your self-study report, it's time to attend to site visit preparations. About 6 months before your visit, AAQEP staff will begin guiding you through key tasks such as reviewer selection, third-party comment solicitation, and arrangements for myriad on-site details.

But even before that, you can begin preparing by attending a free webinar and reviewing the resources below.

  • Free Webinar: Site Visit Essentials (offered 2x/year)
    Wondering what to expect as your AAQEP visit draws near? Join us for a walk-through of the steps in the process after you finish your Quality Assurance Report or Initial Accreditation Report. Staff will go over your review team selection (including local practitioners), the provider meeting, and site visit scheduling. We’ll also discuss team travel logistics, the accreditation decision meeting, and key documents used by reviewers.

  • Provider Review Timeline​​ (PDF)
    Here's that checklist you wanted! This timeline outlines key steps and deadlines in the final stages of the 7-year review process. Download the Word version to customize it for your own planning and tracking.

  • Guidelines for Selecting a Local Practitioner​​ (PDF)
    Every AAQEP review team has one member who is a local practitioner nominated by the provider. This individual provides the team with valuable knowledge regarding the local and state context of your program. Download this document to learn more.

  • Site Visit Stakeholder Surveys – Q&A for Providers (PDF)
    As part of its site visit process for initial teacher preparation programs, AAQEP administers surveys to key stakeholder groups in order to supplement the evidence provided in the self-study report. This document answers commonly asked questions about the surveys.

  • AAQEP Travel Policy
    Learn who makes what arrangements and what to budget for related to your review team's travel expenses.

  • Site Visit Schedule Guidance and Sample Schedule (PDF)
    This document is full of useful tips to help you plan an effective schedule for the review team. You'll go over it with staff in your logistics call. Additional guidance is available for setting up videoconference links for any virtual or hybrid interviews, if your team requests them. Download this Excel template to build your own schedule.

  • Stakeholder Interview Purposes (PDF)
    Reviewers conduct a variety of interviews during the site visit to verify claims from the self-study and to gather additional evidence as needed. This document offers more detail about the purpose of each of the stakeholder interviews.

  • Site Visit Observers – Q&A for Providers (PDF)
    AAQEP’s approach to accreditation embraces transparency and collaboration, and observers are welcome at site visits. This document answers commonly asked questions about such participation.

Quality Review Team Templates

Help your reviewers present a complete picture of your program by knowing how their reports will look. You will have an opportunity to make factual corrections to both of these reports before they are finalized. Remember, the Accreditation Commission makes the final decision based on your Quality Assurance Report and the QRT Report.

Looking for information specific to the Initial Accreditation Pathway? Click here

Site Visit FAQs

A: AAQEP review teams normally range in size from 3 to 5 individuals, varying to meet the size and complexity of the program(s) under review. Each team includes a local practitioner, a team lead, and at least one other peer reviewer. Teams are generally on site for 2 to 3 days.

A: A local practitioner is a practicing (or recently retired) local P-12 educator who is nominated by the provider to serve on the site visit team. The local practitioner completes AAQEP’s volunteer training (Modules 1 and 3) and is a full member of the review team, contributing a deep knowledge of the providers’ programs, local school dynamics, and the state education system. See this document for guidelines on selecting a local practitioner.

A: For 7-year accreditation reviews, the site visit cost includes a flat fee ($11,000 for visits taking place through spring 2025) plus travel expenses for members of the Quality Review Team.

The flat site visit fee covers visit-related staff time, volunteer training, technology, and administration costs. Half of the fee is paid a year in advance to secure the visit dates; the other half is due 30 days prior to the visit.

Travel costs are invoiced after the visit and include QRT members’ airfare and/or ground transportation, incidentals, and meal expenses, in accordance with AAQEP’s travel policy. On average, the invoiced cost is $1,250 to $1,500 per traveler. The travel expenses invoice does not cover anything the provider pays for directly (e.g., on-site meals & lodging).

For 5-year initial accreditation reviews, which are fully virtual, the flat site visit fee is $3,500 (for visits taking place through spring 2025).

A: Multiple QARs can be reviewed in the same visit, in which case you will pay just one site visit fee. But each QAR requires its own review team, and sometimes complex QARs require larger teams—which means their travel expenses may be higher. (Note that if you choose to submit a separate QAR for review in a different semester from the first, that will incur a separate site visit fee.)

A: If you need to change your site visit dates, please email with your request. There is no charge to change site visit dates.