Accreditation Can Impair Innovation in Education

After 20 years of having courses both accredited and not accredited; we can see that while accreditation controls how bad a college can get; it also controls how good it can get.

By definition, accreditation systems are naturally trying to fit everyone into the same box.

The problem is that when you have an ethical and innovative college that is trying to do a better and more efficient job; the system can become very limiting. It takes money that might otherwise be spent on teaching; and redirects that money into bureaucracy. It stops rapid changes in courses (in a rapidly changing world), and imposes planning and management processes that make it impossible to keep up with the real needs of the world.

How much then is accreditation a measure of what is good? Maybe it is no more than just a measure of what is not bad.

I am forever optimistic; but cannot see how we can approach improved learning while we limit the scope of innovation.

Why do we need accreditation systems anyway? Is it because our teachers are so incompetent and unethical that they need bureaucrats to control them. Who then ensures the bureaucrats are competent and ethical though?

John Mason
ACS Distance Education



Comment from Stephen Eddy Principal of Health Schools Australia November 2007

“With regards to the article written by John Mason, I agree 100%. As an R.T.O. we are constantly bombarded with bureaucracy, which severely hampers our ability to adapt course work and be innovative. It also more importantly impedes our quality of material we teach the students. As Natural Medicine changes so rapidly, the burden of the bureaucracy stifles change, which is essential if we are to improve”.

Comment from Jerry Mintz at Alternative Education Revolution Network

“I do agree, John. We did try to get accreditation with IARC but the process got bogged down

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