The mandate of the survey team is to assess the program’s compliance with the requirements for accreditation and provide a recommendation for accreditation status.
The survey team reflects the national perspective of accreditation and its collaborative approach. Each surveyor brings a unique perspective to the assessment.
Most survey teams are made up of experienced and new surveyors. Survey team members are carefully chosen by the secretariat according to their expertise.
Roles of surveyors
The physician/scientist (practicing member of the medical profession or medical science profession) pays particular attention to the clinical relevance of the program and its ability to prepare graduates to function effectively as part of the health care team.
The practitioner (practising member of a designated health science profession) provides expertise relating specifically to the technology.
The educator-practitioner is a member of a health science profession who is involved with didactic education in the profession. This member focuses on whether the program includes all requirements of the national competency profile, and whether it provides students with the education required for current clinical practice.
This surveyor provides expertise in the health science profession and experience in education.
The educator (educational administrator or coordinator) provides expertise in educational methodology and program organization. This representative may also provide information on the educational system of the province in which the survey is taking place.
Provincial regulatory bodies
Provincial regulatory bodies that have agreements with JouleTM for accreditation services appoint a participant to survey teams for programs being assessed in their jurisdiction. The provincial regulatory body representative plays a dual role, participating as a surveyor and being responsible for informing other surveyors about the provincial laws regulating the profession, and any special information regarding the provincial educational system for this profession.
The Conjoint Accreditation Services staff representative assists the team in the administrative aspects of the survey and acts as a resource person on accreditation procedures and precedents.
Conjoint Accreditation Services provides the opportunity for observers to attend accreditation surveys to learn about the accreditation process. Observers do not participate formally in the scheduled meetings and interviews with program personnel.
To qualify as a surveyor of an educational program in a designated health science profession, an individual must qualify for one of four surveyor roles (physician or scientist, practitioner, educator-practitioner, educator).
The individual must agree to participate as a surveyor based on the stated
surveyor competencies and performance expectations. Surveyors are eligible to continue in this role for up to three years following their departure from their field of practice.
All surveyors must complete a conflict of interest and confidentiality declaration form before being recognized as a member of the survey team.
Surveyors represent Conjoint Accreditation Services during an accreditation survey. The credibility of the accreditation process depends on the skills and expertise of the survey team and on the quality of the assessment the team provides to the programs. Every surveyor has an important role to play in the accreditation process.
The agreement to participate as a surveyor could be a multi-year commitment. A surveyor may be invited once a year or once every two years, depending on the survey schedule.
Time commitment required
The conjoint accreditation process operates through the collaboration among physician specialists, health practitioners, educators and employers who donate their time and professional expertise for program surveys. The number of hours involved with the assessment varies depending on the scope of the program and documentation submitted. Surveyors are required to:
- review the program self-assessment report and supporting evidence
- participate in the phase I teleconference (2-3 hours)
- participate in the program visit, which is usually 3-4 days in duration. The scope of the program determines the duration of the survey visit
- participate in any follow-up teleconferences and review any follow-up reports (if applicable)
Surveyors who participate in accreditation surveys may be able to apply for continuing professional development credits with their respective association. A confirmation attesting to the number of volunteer hours contributed (preparatory and on site) will be issued following the survey visit.
The accreditation process operates on a cost recovery basis. The annual accreditation fees from accredited programs cover travel and maintenance costs for surveyors. Conjoint Accreditation Services makes every effort to ensure that the surveyors’ stay is comfortable, while containing costs to programs.
Surveyors will be reimbursed for expenses directly incurred for the on-site visit. Surveyors are expected to cover personal expenses during the visit, e.g., laundry, personal telephone calls, in-room entertainment, etc. There is no provision for an honorarium.