National Professional Organization Accreditation: Alignment with the California Accreditation System

Education Code 44374 (f) provides for the option of a program or institution to substitute National Professional accreditation for the Commission's accreditation activities. But this ability to "substitute" is restricted by the conditions delineated in the Accreditation Framework.

Section 7B of the Accreditation Framework provides the following language related to national accreditation of a credential program.

B. National Accreditation of a Credential Program

  1. The accrediting entity agrees to use the adopted California Program Standards for the specific credential under Option 1, or the standards used by the national entity are determined by the Committee to be equivalent to those adopted by the Commission under Option 1.
  2. The accreditation team represents ethnic and gender diversity.
  3. The accreditation team includes both postsecondary members and elementary and secondary school practitioners; a minimum of one voting member is from California.
  4. The period of accreditation is consistent with a seven-year cycle and is compatible with the accreditation activities established by the state.
  5. Nationally accredited credential programs participate in the unit accreditation process. The national accreditation of the program serves in lieu of the state's Program Assessment process.

There are two steps in the process to 'substitute' a National Professional accreditation for some part of the California accreditation process:

Alignment of Standards: The first step in applying a national or professional organization's accreditation towards California's accreditation procedures is to complete an alignment study of the adopted California standards with the National Professional organization's standards. The table below lists the National Professional organizations for which the standards alignment has been completed or is in progress. At the April 2009 Committee on Accreditation meeting, the COA adopted alignment matrices for two types of Pupil Personnel Services educator preparation programs: school psychologists and school counselors. Please consult the alignment matrices in the table on this page. For more information on using national or professional standards for Pupil Personnel Services programs in the Commission's accreditation system, please contact Karen Sacramento

Alignment of Professional Organization's Accreditation Activities: The second step in utilizing a National Professional organization's accreditation process is to conduct a study of the accreditation activities utilized by the professional accrediting organization. Once the study of the accreditation activities has been completed, the Committee on Accreditation (COA) will make a determination of which, if any, of California's accreditation procedures may be waived or amended due to the organization's accreditation procedures.

Program Review: Professional accreditation of an educator preparation program may stand in lieu of the Commission's Program Review process if the COA has determined that the procedures address the critical aspects of California's Program Review process.

Site Visit: The Commission will be involved in site visits designed to assess the institution or program sponsor's institutional capacity to offer educator preparation programs. These visits may be "joint visits" if the National Professional organization's accreditation procedures support this type of collaboration.

The table below lists the National Professional organizations with which the Commission has begun or completed alignment activities:

National Accrediting OrganizationStandards Alignment Matrix
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) 

CAEP Standards Crosswalk [PDF]

CAEP Initial and Advanced Programs [PDF]

Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)AAQEP Standards Alignment Matrix [MS Word]
Program-Specific AccreditationStandards Alignment Matrix
Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy Standards and Accreditation Standards (CSWE-EPAS)Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy Standards and Accreditation Standards and CTC School Social Work (Adopted June 2013)
American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)This matrix is currently out for editing. Please contact for more information.
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)Council for Accreditation of Counseling and CACREP Standards Alignment Matrix [MS Word]
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

NASP Standards Alignment Matrix [PDF] (Updated April 2014)

CTC PPS Psychology and NASP Standards Crosswalk [PDF](Adopted October 2020)

An institution or program sponsor approved to offer educator preparation in California may elect to be accredited by CAEP or AAQEP in addition to CTC accreditation. The Commission's accreditation procedures are designed to align with much of CAEP's and AAQEP's accreditation process. Please review the state protocol and the standards crosswalk. For more information, please email

For more information on using either the ASHA, CACREP, or NASP standards for an accreditation activity in California, please email

Updated September 22, 2021