CIAAD is an international organization that offers accreditation, consultancy and licensing services to postsecondary architecture and design education programs worldwide. The voluntary accreditation process uses internationally recognized educational standards to review programs.
Engagement with CIAAD
Institutions issuing relevant degrees in Interior Design and Architecture are welcome to apply for CIAAD accreditation. The process begins with the institution formally applying for CIAADS to review its education program. The invitation should be made by the principal of the college/university or someone with the authority to apply on his/her behalf. It will remain at CIAAD’s discretion whether to accept the invitation and proceed with a review. The beginning of the process is also dependent on the current CIAAD program schedule.
Institutions seeking CIAAD accreditation should undergo a self-assessment procedure to determine their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the required standards. A full examination of internal objectives and long-term goals versus those of CIAAD is required. The purpose of the study is to identify areas where the institutions programs are lacking and to take remedial actions prior to a physical visit by the CIAAD team.
Guidelines to assist with the self-assessment will be provided by the CIAAD point of contact. There may also be an option to engage with one of the CIAAD board members prior to the report submission, in order to obtain informal consultation or workshops where any shortcomings can be addressed.
The results of the self-assessment should be reported in detail in the CIAAD Status Report. This will enable the evaluation team to determine whether a site visit is timely, or if there are further steps required in the process prior to a physical evaluation.
The report also serves as a guide to understanding the unique features and characteristics of the institution, factors that influence the delivery of the programs and the environment in which they operate. The CIAAD team will use the report as their reference document throughout the process.
Physical Site Visit
The CIAAD evaluation team will visit site for a direct assessment on the program standards. The team will focus on the qualifications and competency of the faculty in delivering the program listed in the status report. The majority of the evaluation criteria will focus on the student experience. Through direct interaction, the students will demonstrate their knowledge, competence and level of understanding of the subjects offered in the program. The facility itself will be part of the assessment, as will the support structure, administration staff and demographic accessibility. Also to be studied are the methods of assessment, internship opportunities and outreach programs.
Only factors that are present and evident during the physical visit can be considered as part of the evaluation. Anything included as a planned or forthcoming improvement to meet a CIAAD standard would mean a re-evaluation at a future date.
The CIAAD evaluation would take place over a number of days featuring a team of 3 or 4 members.
CIAAD Report Issuance
The visiting team drafts the Visiting Team Report (VTR) before the visit is concluded. Once it is submitted to CIAAD, two primary reviewers from the Accreditation Commission along with accreditation staff work with the visiting team to finalize the report. CIAAD submits the VTR to the interior design program coordinator for review to check for technical and content accuracy. Content concerns are forwarded to the visiting team, and the team may make changes or write a response based on program concerns. It is the right of the program seeking accreditation to review CIAAD’s Visiting Team Report for accuracy. The program coordinator must acknowledge receipt of the VTR in writing. If the program finds any misrepresentations in the report or any errors of fact, the coordinator must submit a written response, or rebuttal, to the CIAAD office. The program response will be appended to the VTR and circulated to all readers of the report.
The VTR is then reviewed by a group of peer CIAAD site visitors who comment on the accreditation status proposed by the visiting team in relation to the findings presented in the report. The PAR, VTR, the program response, team comments regarding program concerns (if any), and feedback from the site visitor reader group are considered by the Accreditation Commission. Based on this information, the Accreditation Commission makes a final decision on accreditation status for the program. Decisions regarding accreditation status must be unanimous and require a quorum of five members. The Accreditation Commission may, at its discretion, elaborate on or clarify evaluative comments contained in the VTR. The final report resulting from the Accreditation Commission’s action is based on the VTR and is the Accreditation Report.
The Accreditation Commission meets a minimum of twice a year for the purpose of reviewing programs for accreditation. If the Accreditation Commission determines the program is in compliance with its standards, the program is awarded accreditation for six years.
The Accreditation Report may identify areas that require further development or are of concern. All accredited programs must submit a written Progress Report on areas identified as having deficiencies three years from the time of the accreditation decision. The Accreditation Commission may also require an interim on-site review as a condition of accredited status in order to monitor the program’s progress toward improving weaknesses identified at the time of the last accreditation review and the program’s continued compliance with standards. An interim visit is required in addition to a Progress Report if areas for improvement identified from the last accreditation review require on-site evaluation to ensure that the quality of the educational program is being sustained and is not jeopardized by further decline.
A program that is determined not to be in compliance with CIAAD standards will be denied accreditation. In this case, the Accreditation Commission has identified major weaknesses with respect to important aspects of the educational program, which are identified in the Accreditation Report.
A program seeking re-accreditation is not required to submit an application form or fee. Otherwise, the program prepares for a re-accreditation visit as it would for an initial accreditation visit. CIAAD’s accreditation process is intended to facilitate continual program development. Therefore, a program should review its previous Accreditation Report when preparing for a re-accreditation visit to assess its progress since the last site visit.
CIAAD is an international organization that offers professional certification and consultancy services dedicated to ensuring that the highest international standards of process are followed throughout the delivery of your project and that the technical specification of products and services have been adhered to.
Engagement with CIAAD
Companies or individuals looking for CIAAD certification to safeguard that their project has been implemented as per the specification agreed to, and to the relevant international standards, can appoint CIAAD to provide a monitoring, inspection and reporting service. This can include pre-installation inspections at the manufacturers facilities and site visits to ensure the technicians, tradespeople, artisans or others are adhering to the agreed process and deliverables.
Clarification of Scope of Activities
CIAAD will need to understand the full scope of products or services requiring certification. Furthermore, a detailed briefing of the specified elements, the agreed deliverables, finishes, technology, process, procedure, timeline, and potential concerns as well as an introduction to the suppliers of the identified products and services.
Physical Site Visit
Based on a pre-determined schedule of inspections depending on the size and the complexity of the project, the CIAAD team will attend to the site to observe the methodology, process and progress. During this time, they will observe every facet of the delivery, capturing photographic and other evidence as necessary that could influence a satisfactory certification.
Following each visit the CIAAD team will draft a Visiting Team Report(VTR) outlining their findings, and the adherence to the scope of work as specified. The CIAAD team will highlight any shortcomings as well as any potential threats that might affect a successful certification. Furthermore, they will make recommendations as to the necessary action to be taken to ensure the success of the certification.
At the conclusion of the agreed consultancy period, the findings of each VTR will be compiled and presented to a group of peers from CIAAD. They will review the adherence of the methodology and deliverables to those specified, as well as the recommendations made in the VTRs as presented to the client, and/or supplier, throughout the process. Based on this information, the Certification Panel makes a final decision on certification status for the project. Decisions regarding the certification status must be unanimous and require a quorum of three members. The Certification Panel may, at its discretion, elaborate on or clarify evaluative comments contained in the VTR Final Submission. The final report resulting from the Certification Panel’s action is based on the VTR and is the Certification Report.
The Certification Report may identify areas that require further action or are of concern. All projects seeking certification must submit a written Progress Report on areas identified as having deficiencies, at which time the Certification Panel will determine if a further site visit is required prior to the final certification decision. The Certification Panel may also require an interim on-site review as a condition of Certification in order to monitor the progress of the nominated scope of work toward improving weaknesses identified at the time of the last certification review and the work’s compliance with the necessary standards.
A project that is determined not to be in compliance with CIAAD standards will be denied certification. In this case, the Certification Panel has identified major weaknesses with respect to important aspects of the implementation of works, as described in the Certification Report.