Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs is the accreditation agency that accredits institutions who offer counseling and related education programs to the students. Learn more about the process involved in receiving the CACREP Accreditation.

TCM Staff

27th December 2019

Commission for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision is one of the first bodies which worked towards conducting voluntary accreditation of counseling programs. Later the ACES combined together with the American Personnel and Guidance Association to establish (Commission for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in 1981. The commission aims to promote leadership and excellence through counseling accreditation and educational programs.

The commission aims to promote professional preparation excellence and improvement in related educational programs. The commission aims to promote services based on ideal human development. The mission of the commission includes the development of preparation standards, excellence in program development, accreditation of professional preparation programs and many more.

Core Values of CACREP

A few of the guiding values of the CACREP include

  • Support and clarification for existing mission and vision statement.

  • advancement in the counseling profession through quality and excellence

  • a fair, consistent and ethical decision-making process

  • serving as a responsible leader in public protection

  • promotion of practices through change, collaboration, and growth

  • Respecting the diverse approaches and strategies.

cacrep accreditationSource:

CACREP Application Policies

A few of the applicable policies of the CACREP are as given below.

1)Pre-application and application review stages

  • Integrity of process

  • Counseling Program Identity

  • Use of program and degree titles

  • Equivalent program requirement

  • Graduate level coursework

  • Core faculty

  • Curriculum Content

  • Duration of Practicum

  • Program Experimentation and Innovation

  • Review of Non-traditional Programs

  • Outcomes Reporting

  • Electronic submission of accreditation documents

  • Programs with time-limited cohorts

  • Programs offered at multiple sites 

2)Policies Governing Timelines

  • Accreditation process timeline

  • On-site visit scheduling requirements

  • Submission of Materials following the institutional response

  • Materials due for Board Decisions

  • Voluntary withdrawal of accreditation status

  • Decision Notification Timeline

  • Extension of Accreditation status

  • Meeting new Standards

3)Policies governing accreditation decisions

  • On-site team findings

  • Categories of accreditation

  • Doctoral program accreditation

  • Revocation of accreditation for failure to submit reports

  • Appeals policy and procedure

4)Policies governing publication of accreditation status and decisions

  • Public notice of accreditation status 

5)Policies governing the recognition of graduates

  • Program graduate qualification for initial accreditation

  • Graduates of withdrawn or denied programs

  • Dual Degree Programs

6)Policies governing fees

  • Non-refundable fees

  • Fees set by CACREP Board

  • On-site team visit fees

  • The release of team Report and Accreditation decisions
  • Submission of annual fees and forms

  • Revocation of accreditation for failure to submit fees

7)Policies governing the confidentiality of submitted documents

  • Disclosure of accreditation materials

  • Statement of Confidentiality

8)Policies governing Program Changes Mid Cycle

  • Significant Program changes

  • Impact of Institutional Accreditation decisions on CACREP

  • Use of current standards for Adding program accreditations mid cycle

  • Adding a specialty area or program during an accreditation cycle

9)Programs governing transitions to new standards

  • Use of new standards encouraged

  • Re-titling programs or degrees when new standards are adopted

  • Transition to a New Program Before All Students have graduated

10)Policies Governing Standards Revision

11)Policies governing complaints

12)Policies governing conflicts of interest

13)Policies governing Submission 

Institutions with CACREP Accreditation

A few of the institutions that received CACREP Accreditation are as given below.

Name of the Institution
North Carolina State University University of Fairbanks
Bradley University Lamar University
St.Bonaventure University Regent University

Purpose of CACREP Accreditation

The self-assessment strategy is used by the commission to grant accreditation.

The mission, goals, and objectives of the program are identified. The program’s desire to be held accountable for educational activities helps students in selecting an appropriate counselor education program.

CACREP is focused on planning, goal-setting, self-design goal measurements, objectives, professional standards and many more. Using a set of procedures established by the CACREP Board, the peer-evaluation process happens.

The self-assessment strategy


Decision-making bodies of CACREP

CACREP Board of directors is made up of 13 to 15 members. The 13-15 member team should consist of at least 8 counselor educators, at least two counseling practitioners, and at least two public members.

Procedure to receive a CACREP Accreditation

A few of the steps to be followed to receive a CACREP Accreditation are as given below.

  • The institution must make a commitment to prove that they adhere to the policies and standards of the CACREP.

  • A comprehensive review is prepared by the program faculty and then an extensive report is generated.

  • The Extensive report is called the Self-Study report and provides an explanation of how the CACREP Policies and standards are met.

  • An intensive and multi-stage review process is performed during the on-site peer review process.

  • Additional evidence of standards and policies that are met are presented


Though the accreditation process usually takes 12 to 18 years, CACREP Accreditation is a faith the institution imparts to its students for its counseling programs. To accreditation decisions, the Board meets twice a year. The CACREP has set its standards to provide quality programs for the welfare of the people. The readiness to seek CACREP Accreditation is the program’s ability to meet the expectations of its occurrence. Before applying to any of the programs in counseling verify if the program is accredited by the CACREP. Moreover, there are federal agencies including Veteran’s Administration, TRICARE and Army Substance has made the CACREP Accreditation mandatory for independent practice in counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.Does CACREP Accreditation expire?

    Yes CACREP accreditation has an expiry period. The CACREP Accreditation cycle is usually 8 years. The program has to submit a reaccreditation application, before applying for accreditation.

  • 2.How long does the accreditation process of CACREP take?

    The accreditation process of CACREP usually takes 12-18 months. Sometimes the accreditation process might extend to two years.

  • 3.Who makes accreditation decisions for CACREP?

    The accreditation decision is made by a team of initial reviewers, site team visitors, and the Board of Directors. Each team plays an important role in each distinct stages of accreditation.

  • 4.Are psychology programs accredited by CACREP?

    CACREP does not accredit psychology programs. It accredits only counseling programs.

  • 5.Does CACREP favor only full-time students?

    No, CACREP favors full-time as well as part-time students.

  • 6.Does the fee remain the same for reaccreditation review?

    Yes, the fee remains the same for the reaccreditation review.

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