Membership Application

The process for applying for ASPA Membership

ASPA is a membership organization. Membership does not equate to recognition, nor does it certify the status, performance or integrity of the accreditation organization. Organizations seeking membership do so on a voluntary basis. ASPA is under no obligation to accept any organization as a member.

ASPA Membership Application

Before beginning the process, please review the Membership Eligibility Criteria below.

Membership Eligibility Criteria

For ASPA Membership, the accrediting organization must:

  • Demonstrate that it meets ASPA’s definition of Specialized or Professional and the supporting definitions (see list of definitions);
  • Endorse the ASPA Code of Good Practice; and
  • Submit the application and other required materials with the application fee of $500.00.

If the membership criteria are met and the applicant is accepted into membership by the ASPA Board of Directors, the term of membership will continue as long as the organization is a member in good standing.


Membership is contingent upon payment of current dues.
Annual dues for July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 are $4700 + ($8.00 x number of institutions that sponsor accredited programs, capped at 500 units). Dues will be pro-rated based on the date of approval for membership. (dues memo)


Use this form to submit a membership application. Applications must address each of the following criteria. The application is reviewed by the Membership Committee, which may seek clarifying information from the applicant prior to formalizing a recommendation to the ASPA Board of Directors for review and action.

Applications must be signed by the chief executive or chief operating officer of the accrediting agency (staff) and the chief elected officer.  The agency must describe how it meets ASPA’s definition of specialized or professional and the supporting definitions (see definitions-specialized-professional).

Demonstrate that the organization’s governing body has endorsed the ASPA Code of Good Practice.

Indicate: a) the nature and scope of accrediting activity, b) the date when the first program/institution was granted accreditation, and c) the number of programs currently accredited.

Provide the names and titles of the principal staff and the decision-making body, including: a) the affiliations of council/commission members and b) the frequency of meetings.

Provide evidence of adherence to good accreditation practice by submitting:

  • i. Documentation (policies/procedures) that describes how the organization (see rubric for guidance):
    • conducts its accreditation process
    • establishes and revises accreditation standards
    • makes decisions on accreditation actions
    • demonstrates respect for institutional autonomy and academic freedom
    • selects and trains reviewers
    • promotes assessment and continuous quality improvement of accredited programs
    • provides public information about accredited programs
    • responds to complaints
  • ii. A copy of the accreditation standards or evaluation criteria.
  • iii. A listing of organizations that recognize or require its accreditation activity (i.e. Certification Bodies, Licensing Boards etc.)

Complete all sections of the application form including clear indications of where evidence can be found in supporting documentation.

Submit the application:

  • i. Mail the non-refundable application fee check for $500 to:
    ASPA, 3023 North Clark Street, #317, Chicago IL 60657. (applicants may request electronic payment option by sending an email to
  • ii. Email an electronic version of all documents in a single bookmarked PDF to

Membership is contingent upon payment of current membership dues.
Applicants will pay dues that are pro-rated based on the date of approval for membership.


The ASPA Executive Director will acknowledge receipt of the application and screen it for completeness. The Executive Director may request additional information* and clarification from the applicant, which may include an updated application. The application will typically be reviewed by the Membership Committee within 2 weeks for quality and appropriateness of responses to the criteria for membership. The Committee may request additional information* or an updated application. The Committee will then forward the application with a recommendation to the Board of Directors. The Board will review the application and make a decision at its next scheduled meeting. The Board of Directors shall have final authority to grant (or continue) membership. All membership decisions shall occur in executive session at an official meeting of the Board of Directors. A decision to grant membership shall require a simple majority vote of the entire Board. Applicants shall be notified in writing of the Board’s decision no later than two weeks following the meeting.
*Note: Applicants must respond to requests for additional information or updated applications within 60 days of the request, otherwise the application will be closed.

Reinstatement of Lapsed Membership

An ASPA-member organization which withdraws from or allows its membership to lapse may reinstate its membership under the following conditions:
The organization must reaffirm that it meets ASPA membership criteria.
If the organization pays the current fiscal year dues no later than July 31 of the first year, reinstatement will occur with no financial penalty or need to reapply following the membership application process.
If membership has lapsed for more than one year, the organization must reapply according to ASPA’s then-current membership application process.
(Effective October 2020)

Accreditor Members

See a full list of accreditors who are members of ASPA and the professions and fields of study for which they set quality standards.

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