eNEWSLINE - Business Education News from AACSB International

Breaking New Ground with the 2013 Accreditation Standards

May 2014

By Bob Reid
Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer, AACSB International

This wasn't your ordinary Continuous Improvement Review (CIR) cycle. For the first time in 10 years, schools that qualified for their CIR had the option to undergo their peer review through the lens of either the 2003 Accreditation Standards or the 2013 Accreditation Standards.

Many factors contribute to this decision, particularly those related to validating mission distinctiveness, the revised faculty qualification model, and the ability to demonstrate impact on a variety of dimensions. In addition, teaching effectiveness, developing professional staff, and engagement with practice continue to remain at the forefront. After weighing all of those factors, 12 schools from around the world chose to be the first to experience the evaluations through the 2013 Standards—along with newly-trained Peer Review Teams (PRT). Everyone was in this new experience together—and the results, thus far, have been encouraging. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we will learn from these initial peer review team visits and make improvements as we move forward.

A post-CIR survey was sent to the schools going through their CIR, as well as the volunteers who comprised the PRT, in order to evaluate their interaction with the new training materials and the experience of working with the 2013 Standards overall. Overwhelmingly, all those involved felt the PRT members were extremely well-prepared for the review, and offered the consultative advice that accredited schools value as part of the CIR process.

We were also pleased to learn that the tools, resources, and Online Volunteer Training platform provided an appropriate level of detail and depth of training required to appropriately apply the 2013 Standards to the important work being done by business schools. Since the approval of the Standards, 16 different volunteer training sessions were held on three different continents during various AACSB events and regional meetings, ensuring that volunteers from around the world were prepared to address the questions and concerns that schools going through the CIR process may have.

As the implementation of the 2013 Standards continues to move forward, we look forward to sharing the insights and information that's inherently revealed through this process—and to seeing the real difference the Standards will make on the relevancy of management education. Exciting times are ahead of us, as more than 70 percent of the CIR's scheduled for 2014-2015 are being done using the 2013 Standards.

Thank you to both the early adopter schools and peer review teams who completed the 2013 accreditation reviews in the past few months.

Bob Reid
Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer, AACSB International