Substantive changes require prior notice by the institution/program and advance approval by the Commission to ensure that the change will not adversely impact the institution, its candidate program, or compliance with ACAOM Eligibility Requirements, Standards and Criteria. Plans for substantive changes, except as otherwise noted, are to be reported to the Commission at least 90 days in advance of the change to permit Commission approval before the change is instituted. Plans for substantive change numbers 1, 3, 6 and 8 are to be reported at least six months in advance to permit Commission approval before the change is instituted. Plans for substantive change numbers 4 and 5 are to be reported to the Commission at least one year in advance to permit Commission approval before the change is instituted. Commission review of the change may require a site visit.
Forms for reporting on plans for substantive changes can be obtained from the Commission's main office. The Commission may, in extraordinary circumstances, permit notification in less than the applicable notice period. The Commission may also, for good reason, require that the program suspend implementation of the change pending Commission action, e.g., because insufficient information was furnished, because insufficient institutional evaluation has taken place). Substantive changes may not be initiated by the program prior to the program's receiving approval from the Commission.
When a substantive change is made, the Candidacy of the program is maintained until a full review of the change is completed.
The Commission considers the following to be substantive changes. If it is debatable whether a change is substantive, the Commission staff should be consulted.
- A change in the type of program offered by the program (e.g., change from an Acupuncture to an Oriental Medicine program). (Six month notice)
- A change in the location of the full institutional operation. (Note: A Candidate program may not develop a branch campus while in Candidacy status.) (90 day notice)
- The offering in another language of the same program that is in Candidate status. (Six month notice)
- The development of a doctoral-level program in acupuncture or Oriental medicine. (One year notice)
- The addition of a separate program when the institution is not institutionally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. (One year notice)
- The addition of another program in the field. (Six-month notice)
- A change in the ownership or control or in the legal status of the institution (90-day notice)
a) For non-profit institutions: a change in the majority of the membership of the Board, a change in the sponsorship of the institution, or the initiation or change of affiliation or merger with another/other institution(s), or any other matter that affects ownership or control.
b) For proprietary or for-profit institutions: the sale or change of equity or change in the majority ownership of stock, or the initiation or change of affiliation or merger with another institution(s), or any other matter that affects ownership or control.
c) A change in the tax status (e.g., for-profit to non-profit or vice versa) of the institution.
d) A change in the governance structure of the institution (e.g., from a sole proprietorship or partnership to a corporation or vice versa).
e) A change in ownership or control may require the institution and its program to undergo a total re-evaluation, which would place the program into a new accreditation cycle. If required by the Commission, the institution/program must prepare a new Eligibility Report and host a Team Site Visit with corresponding fees paid to the Commission for the review.
- A change in the mission or objectives of the institution. (Six month notice)
- A change from clock to credit hours or vice versa, or a significant increase in clock hours, credit hours or program length. (90 day notice)
- The establishment of a teach-out agreement. (90 day notice)
- The addition of a permanent location at a site at which the institution is conducting a teach-out for students of another institution that has ceased operating before all students have completed their program. (Note: A Candidate program may not develop a branch campus while in Candidacy status.) (90 day notice)
- Entering into a contract under which an institution or organizationn not certified to participate in the Title IV, HEA programs offers more than 25 percent of one or more of the ACAOM accredited institution's educational programs (90 day notice)