602.12 Accrediting experience.§ 602.12 Accrediting experience.
(a) An agency seeking initial recognition must demonstrate that it has -
(1) Granted accreditation or preaccreditation prior to submitting an application for recognition -
(i) To one or more institutions if it is requesting recognition as an institutional accrediting agency and to one or more programs if it is requesting recognition as a programmatic accrediting agency;
(ii) That covers the range of the specific degrees, certificates, institutions, and programs for which it seeks recognition; and
(iii) In the geographic area for which it seeks recognition; and
(2) Conducted accrediting activities, including deciding whether to grant or deny accreditation or preaccreditation, for at least two years prior to seeking recognition, unless the agency seeking initial recognition is affiliated with, or is a division of, an already recognized agency.
(b)(1) A recognized agency seeking an expansion of its scope of recognition must follow the requirements of §§ 602.31 and 602.32 and demonstrate that it has accreditation or preaccreditation policies in place that meet all the criteria for recognition covering the range of the specific degrees, certificates, institutions, and programs for which it seeks the expansion of scope and has engaged and can show support from relevant constituencies for the expansion. A change to an agency's geographic area of accrediting activities does not constitute an expansion of the agency's scope of recognition, but the agency must notify the Department of, and publicly disclose on the agency's website, any such change.
(2) An agency that cannot demonstrate experience in making accreditation or preaccreditation decisions under the expanded scope at the time of its application or review for an expansion of scope may -
(i) If it is an institutional accrediting agency, be limited in the number of institutions to which it may grant accreditation under the expanded scope for a designated period of time; or
(ii) If it is a programmatic accrediting agency, be limited in the number of programs to which it may grant accreditation under that expanded scope for a certain period of time; and
(iii) Be required to submit a monitoring report regarding accreditation decisions made under the expanded scope.(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099b) [84 FR 58918, Nov. 1, 2019]