Response to COVID-19
ACPHA has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and its global impact. We know this will continue to be a rapidly changing situation in each state and country and the safety and well-being of our ACPHA member schools along with the safety for our site team members is our top priority. The ACPHA Commission has decided to implement a virtual site visit policy moving forward until it can be deemed safe to continue with in-person visits. Virtual visits will only be conducted for programs that are due for reaccreditation. At this time, ACPHA will not conduct a virtual site visit for a program seeking initial accreditation. Programs seeking initial accreditation should contact the ACPHA office for more information. Please see the abbreviated ACPHA Virtual Site Visit Policy below with links to the full policy.
With the global impact of COVID-19, the Commissioners, acting under its authority, the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA) has implemented the following emergency measures to allow for virtual site visits.
This policy is effective immediately and will be in effect until updated by the ACPHA Commissioners. This policy has been implemented in keeping with the guidance provided by the United States Department of Education (USDE) on March 17, 2020, allowing temporary flexibility to use virtual site visits to help accrediting agencies serve governing organizations, and in the case of ACPHA, to assist Hospitality Administration/Management programs, and students through the period of COVID-19 interruption.
As allowed by the USDE, ACPHA programs seeking continuing accreditation will be reviewed virtually. The Commission reserves the right to determine when to conduct a virtual site visit based on input from hospitality program representatives. The Commission’s decision is final. ACPHA reserves the right and has the authority to determine whether a delay of the continuing accreditation site visit is warranted. ACPHA reserves the right and has the authority to determine whether a delay of the continuing accreditation site visit is warranted.
The purpose of the Virtual Site Visit is the same as an On-Site visit; to validate the Self-Study Document, and to clarify aspects of the program that cannot be evaluated fully through the initial review of the document. We also want to protect the health and safety of ACPHA peer evaluators, students, governing organization/Hospitality Administration/Management program representatives, the public, and other stakeholders
Virtual Site Visit
1. A virtual site visit is not the customary site visit format used by ACPHA to conduct the review of a Hospitality Administration/Management program seeking continued accreditation. When a virtual site visit is conducted by ACPHA, all or some of the peer evaluators are not physically present at the Hospitality Administration/Management program. A virtual site visit shall use an engaged, interactive format; it shall not rely solely on a review of documents or exchanges of emails.
2. The rigor, quality, and process of the site visit as well as the opportunity for the governing organization/Hospitality Administration program to provide evidence as well as verify, clarify, or amplify evidence must be comparable to an On-Site visit. Therefore, a virtual site visit requires the use of video or web conferencing tools, which allow real-time synchronous communication among participants and visual display of individuals, groups, documents, and/or physical spaces.
3. A Virtual Site Visit will be scheduled accordingly to accommodate time zones of all ACPHA peer evaluators conducting the virtual visit and the time zone of the Hospitality Administration/Management program hosting the visit, with the understanding that adjustments to schedules will be needed of all participants involved.
Technology, Facilities, and Support Services
All Virtual Site Visit activities shall be scheduled using a real-time synchronous virtual meeting system approved by ACPHA.
The Hospitality Administration/Management program is responsible for ensuring that its technology infrastructure, facilities, and support services can accommodate a fully engaged, real-time interactive virtual visit.
The Hospitality Administration/Management program must conduct a technology test prior to the Virtual Site Visit to demonstrate to ACPHA’s satisfaction that it has adequate technology infrastructure and support services to conduct a Virtual Site Visit that meets ACPHA’s requirements, including making 100% of the program’s written report, required appendices, and supporting evidence available virtually to the peer evaluators and ACPHA.
The Hospitality Administration/Management program must ensure that there are adequate meeting spaces (facilities) for Hospitality Administration/Management program representatives to meet virtually with ACPHA peer evaluators, including simultaneous meetings as needed with individuals and groups.
Technology Program Requirements for Virtual Site Visits
1. Programs must have current technology and facilities to facilitate a virtual visit; for all team members participating remotely.
2. The ACPHA Team Chair will conduct a technology test with the Program and the peer evaluators prior to the visit to ensure compatibility.
3. The Hospitality Administration/Management program shall not record via audio and/or any device any portion of the Virtual Site Visit. If evidence of recording is discovered, the team chair will end the site visit immediately, and contact the ACPHA office.
4. The Program will provide technology support during the meeting for their program participants.