The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education’s (ACOE) accreditation process includes an evaluation site visit conducted at the program site prior to granting an accreditation status.
The ACOE’s Calendar of Upcoming site visits is updated periodically.
ACOE's accreditation process includes the consideration of complaints and third-party comments about accredited programs. Policies and procedures regarding both are explained more fully in the Policy and Procedure Manual which is available on the Resources and Directories of Programs page.
Complaints Against Programs Related to ACOE Standards, Policies, and/or Procedures
The ACOE accepts and reviews in a timely, fair, and equitable manner any complaint it receives against a program holding an accreditation status that is related to matters that are allegations of noncompliance to the ACOE Standards of accreditation, its Policies, and/or its Procedures as complaints.
The alleged event(s) should have occurred within no more than one (1) year prior to the date of submission of the complaint.
An individual or group desiring to file a complaint about a program with the ACOE shall submit the written complaint, signed by the complainant(s), via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon request and if possible, the Council may withhold or protect the identity of the complainant(s).
Submitted complaints must include the specific Standards, Policies, and/or Procedures associated with the complainant’s allegation(s) of noncompliance, an explanation from the complainant articulating why the complainant alleges the program is not in compliance with each specific Standard, Policy, and/or Procedure cited, and evidence supporting the complainant’s claims.
The Council will not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in any matters.
The ACOE's complaint review committee, which is composed of the ACOE Chair, the ACOE Vice-Chair, an ACOE Public Member, and the Director, will evaluate the complaint and determine relevancy to the ACOE Standards, Policies, and/or Procedures. If it is determined that no investigation is warranted, the complainant shall be so informed.
Upon receipt of a relevant complaint, the Council will forward within twenty (20) business days a copy to the chief executive officer of the program for response. The program will have twenty (20) business-days to respond to the complaint and to provide all information it would like considered. If an evaluation visit is scheduled to begin within ninety (90) days of the receipt of the complaint, then the Council will also refer the complaint to the chair of the evaluation visit team visiting the program for investigation and action during the regular course of the evaluation visit process.
The ACOE provides the opportunity for submission and consideration of third-party comments concerning a program’s qualifications for an accreditation status or Preliminary Approval. Third-party comments must address substantive matters relating to the ACOE standards and policies. Comments must be received no less than 30 days prior to the program’s scheduled evaluation visit date to be considered. In cases where the exact date is not yet determined when the listing is published, the month and year of the visit will be listed, and the comments must be received by no later than the first day of the month preceding the evaluation visit. All third-party comments must be signed. Third party comments should be submitted via email to email@example.com.