A program that wishes to achieve candidacy status, as the initial step toward accreditation, must:
- Host a one-day ACAOM staff orientation visit (Master’s-level programs only);
- Submit a Letter of Intent officially indicating, in writing, the program’s commitment to pursue the candidacy review process;
- Attend an ACAOM Eligibility Workshop (Master’s-level programs only);
- Complete an Eligibility Report for Candidacy;
- Host a candidacy site visit; and
- Submit a Formal Institutional Response (FIR) to the site visit report with other required documentation.
For those institutions seeking candidacy status for a professional doctoral program, also see Section 3.6 of ACAOM Policies and Procedures Manual.
The Commission reserves the right to accept Eligibility Reports only from institutions and programs that fall within its scope and for which ACAOM has competence to review. A school or campus seeking candidacy for its master’s or doctoral-level programs must have had students enrolled in the program for at least one calendar year prior to submitting an Eligibility Report.
Post-graduate doctoral programs: An institution that has been approved to offer a post-graduate Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (“DAOM”) program pursuant to the Commission’s substantive change policies, must submit an Eligibility Report on April 1 or October 1, whichever is no sooner than twelve months and no later than eighteen months from the date it first enrolls students under the Commission's substantive change procedures. Substantive change approval to offer a doctoral program will automatically lapse if the institution fails to submit its Eligibility Report within eighteen months from the date it stated it would enroll its first students unless the institution documents, to the Commission’s satisfaction, reasonable grounds for an extension.
The Commission does not consider its acceptance of an Eligibility Report as a measure of the program's potential for accreditation nor as assurance that Candidacy status will be granted.
Upon successful completion of the Eligibility Process, a program that meets the fundamental eligibility criteria for Candidacy, as outlined in the Accreditation Manual, may be granted the status of ACAOM Candidacy.