Posted on: February 5, 2024
Author: Cathy Liska, Heather Witt, MarĂ­a Antonieta Jaramillo
Exploring the Many Benefits of Achieving IACET Accreditation image

The global trend of evaluating and measuring all the products and services we acquire and consume, as well as questioning various aspects of society in general, is a result of an increasingly competitive environment. Both individuals and organizations need to stay at the forefront and respond to an ever-demanding market. It is important, then, to ensure competencies and guarantee quality, not only from our own perspective and measurement parameters but, more importantly, based on standard criteria and measures from external entities.

Continuing education and training play a vital role in the professional development of both individuals and organizations. Staying up-to-date with the latest knowledge and skills is essential, and because the quality and validity of continuing education programs vary widely, organizations often seek accreditation from reputable institutions to demonstrate credibility. Some accreditations are industry or profession-specific, but one accreditation body that serves all industries and professions is the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

What is IACET?

IACET is a globally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high standards in continuing education and training. Founded in 1968, IACET has been at the forefront of accrediting a multitude of learning organizations and fulfilling their mission to advance the global workforce by providing a framework for consistent excellence in continuing education and training. IACET ensures the creation, distribution, and use of standards and guidelines that directly affect companies across all industries and disciplines. Quality standards regulatory organizations are driven by experts from these different industries to improve global competitiveness worldwide. Under standardized principles, they define the highest parameters that mark and ensure excellence. IACET accreditation provides learners with the assurance that an organization meets the highest standards in its continuing education and training programs.

The Accreditation Process

Accreditation is a process that evaluates management and organization and ensures high quality in the activities carried out by a company. As a general concept, it may seem that accrediting a product, process, or service is an easy process. Many believe that if an institution focuses on quality customer service, maintains structured processes, or has a policy manual, it already meets an accreditation standard. However, organizations that seek IACET accreditation undergo a rigorous evaluation process, which includes a comprehensive review of their organization, programs, instructional design, assessment methods, and overall quality assurance measures.

To be eligible for IACET accreditation, organizations must meet certain criteria, such as being in operation for at least two years, having a sound financial standing, and demonstrating a commitment to quality assurance in continuing education and training. Organizations must also have a clear mission statement, defined learning objectives, qualified instructors, and robust assessment methods.

The application process for IACET accreditation involves many steps and is a hefty investment of time and effort. Once the application is submitted, it undergoes a thorough review by IACET's expert evaluators. As part of the accreditation process, IACET conducts a site visit which allows IACET evaluators to gain a deeper understanding of the organization's operations and ensure compliance with accreditation standards. The site visit is also an opportunity for organizations to showcase their commitment to excellence and answer any questions from the evaluators. Successful applicants are typically granted accreditation for five years, with annual reports and renewal each year, and after the five years, organizations must undergo a reaccreditation process to maintain accredited status.

Maintaining IACET accreditation requires a strong commitment to continuous improvement and quality assurance. Accredited organizations must regularly assess and evaluate their programs, educators, and assessment methods to ensure ongoing compliance with the accreditation standards. This includes collecting feedback from learners, implementing improvements based on the feedback, and staying updated with industry trends and best practices.

The Benefits of IACET Accreditation

One of the primary benefits of IACET accreditation is the enhanced credibility and reputation it brings to training or continuing education programs. Accreditation demonstrates the organization has undergone a thorough evaluation and meets the highest standards in continuing education and training. This validation enhances the organization's reputation, instills trust in learners, and sets it apart from competitors.

IACET accreditation often helps organizations comply with regulatory requirements in various industries and regions. Additionally, many industry-specific regulatory bodies and licensing boards recognize IACET accreditation and consider it a benchmark for quality in continuing education and training. Accredited organizations can navigate regulatory hurdles more effectively and ensure their programs meet the necessary standards.

IACET accreditation opens doors to increased professional opportunities for organizations and individuals. Accredited organizations are preferred by employers, clients, and learners seeking high-quality educational experiences. Accreditation can lead to partnerships, collaborations, and contracts that may not have been possible otherwise. Individuals who complete accredited programs can also benefit from increased employability and career advancement opportunities.

IACET accreditation is more than a one-time achievement; it is an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. Accredited organizations are required to demonstrate their dedication to maintaining and improving the quality of their programs. This includes regular assessments, evaluations, and updates to ensure the content remains relevant and effective. Continuous improvement is essential for organizations to stay at the forefront of their industries and provide learners with the best possible educational experiences.


Case Study: An Accreditation Success Story


HDR has complied with the ANSI/IACET Standard since 2000 and over the past twenty-three years, HDR has successfully completed the re-accreditation process four times. This accomplishment demonstrates continuous improvement is an essential element of our successful organization.

Maintaining this standard proves to be a high-quality guideline for our internal training requirements. Meeting and exceeding this standard drives our organization to create programs designed to improve the skill sets of our workforce. The ANSI/IACET Standard establishes clear guidelines for our learning team to be sure we are creating exemplary learning opportunities with consistency, continuity, and eventually, quantity. The Standard is an external quality standard we offer our internal clients, which meets international standards for learning and gives our organization a competitive edge.

Upholding the standard prepared us to be confident to submit for and win the 2021 Innovation of the Year – Learner Engagement Award.

Our favorite part of sustaining the Standard is to create a space for the voice of the learner. While the standards help us create expectations, it is the learner experience that we hope to impact. Reading our learner evaluations and feedback is such an enlightening way of seeing how our process and implementation impact learners. The feedback from our internal clients has been positive and our Leadership and Organizational Development Director, Joslynn Hon, looks forward to reading evaluations. One employee said, “I enjoyed the online session much more than I expected. I was focused the entire time and took away some great ideas for my projects.”  Another shared, “The breakout sessions were very helpful and informative from a standpoint of learning from others and hearing different approaches.”

At HDR, we will continue our re-accreditation partnership in 2024 through the ANSI/IACET 1-2023 Standard with the continued expectations of elevating the learning experience.


IACET accreditation is globally recognized and respected. It signifies that an organization has met rigorous quality standards in all facets of continuing education and training. The recognition of IACET accreditation enhances the organization's credibility, opens doors to international collaborations and partnerships, increases professional opportunities, and ensures a commitment to continuous improvement. IACET accreditation demonstrates excellence through a rigorous evaluation process that ensures accredited organizations meet the highest standards in instructional design, assessment methods, and overall quality assurance. By seeking IACET accreditation, organizations demonstrate their dedication to providing learners with valuable and impactful educational experiences.


About the Author

Cathy Liska, MCC, Center for Coaching Certification,,

Heather Witt, HDR, Senior Accreditation Specialist, 

María Antonieta Jaramillo, Director of Executive Education, Escuela de Empresas USFQ


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