The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits 208 diagnostic medical sonography programs in the United States. CAAHEP is an accrediting agency that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and is a member of the Association of Specialized & Professional Accreditors (ASPA). It works with 21 review committees and accredits more than 2,100 entry-level education programs found in 26 separate health science professions.
The CAAHEP consists of a commission and board of directors. The commission contains representatives appointed to represent the organizations that are part of the CAAHEP, and they approve bylaws, missions, and vision statements. They also determine what health science professions are recognized by the CAAHEP.
CAAHEP Member Organizations
The CAAHEP consists of member organizations that possess extensive knowledge within the health science field, and these organizations provide input when determining if educational programs should receive accreditation. Individuals seeking ultrasound certification should seek out educational programs that are accredited. The five organizations involved in the field of diagnostic medical sonography include:
- American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)
- American Society of Echocardiography (ASECHO)
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS)
- Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS)
- Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU)
Why is Accreditation Important?
CAAHEP accreditation is important because it states that the quality of the institution, program, and service and how they measure up against agreed-upon standards. Attending a CAAHEP accredited institution is a requirement for receiving certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS. In addition, many employers seek potential employees who completed programs accredited by the CAAHEP. Hiring these employees help employers create a qualified workforce full of employees who have met the same high-level standards in sonography.
Is My School Accredited by CAAHEP?
Since there are more than 2,000 CAAHEP-accredited programs across the country, it can be overwhelming to determine which programs are accredited. The CAAHEP offers up-to-date information through its real-time database in which potential students can search through by profession, location, program type, and learning format.
CAAHEP vs ABHES
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) is another accrediting agency that oversees healthcare specific career education. While the CAAHEP is more focused on career specific health care programs, the ABHES accredits more generalized health care education programs and is the only health care accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The ABHES is also recognized by the Liaison Council for Certification of Surgical Technologists (LCC-ST), American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Both the CAAHEP and ABHES are extremely popular accrediting agencies found within the medical community.