Posted on: March 14, 2023
Author: Karen LaMarsh, Ed.D. Chief Accreditation Officer
IACET Accreditation: Should you use a consultant? image

The IACET application process can seem daunting – and while many applicants believe in hiring a consultant, it may not in fact be in their best interest.

We have seen several situations where consultants had put nice applications together. While it met the standards and gave applicants enough information to answer some basic questions, applicants ended up struggling with process-oriented questions during the accreditation interviews.

Furthermore, when standards changed or the organization made changes, applicants could not determine how to modify their impacted policy or process documentation. Sometimes, even completing the Annual Report was a challenge for the Accredited Provider.

As a result, IACET does not recommend the use of consultants in the accreditation process. If you choose to hire a consultant to help you during accreditation, however, our policies will ensure that your application is at its best:

  • If, during the review process, you or your reviewers request a Clarification Call: Your consultant may attend the call but may not speak or make comments.
  • The consultant may attend the Accreditation Interview but may not speak or make comments. 
  • Please make sure the consultant sits beside you - and that you work together to create the documentation and complete the application.

IACET is very careful not to prescribe how to run your organization. We simply ask how you are meeting the standard by addressing each element within the categories.

As the applicant, you need to understand every policy and process that is submitted. It is your organization - and no one knows it better than you do. The policies and processes should represent what you are currently doing or can realistically begin doing.

As the Chief Accreditation Officer, I will always advocate for you, the training organization. We recommend that you choose someone who understands and cares about your organization, your training mission, and your reputation - and can also follow directions, while paying attention to details (this should be your compliance officer).

At IACET, we offer many programs that can help with the accreditation process including:

If you have any questions, my email and phone number are published so that I can help you directly and respond to any questions you may have. We want you to be successful!  

About the Author


As the Chief Accreditation Officer, Karen is responsible for overseeing and implementing the accreditation application process and training solutions for the Commission and external stakeholders necessary to achieve the strategic and operational goals of the Board of Directors. She oversees the management of the application process, including appeals and denials, and the development and coordination of application workshops, application assistance webinars, and professional development learning events.

With over 20 years of experience as a continuing education professional and almost 15 years on the IACET Commission and as a Facilitator, she is an advocate for quality adult training, workforce development, and continuous improvement. Karen also serves as the staff liaison to the Competency-based Learning Task Force and the Distance Learning Taskforce.

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