Accreditation contributes to high quality education and consistently high standards of professional practice in a variety of manners through the potential functions it may perform including:
- a vehicle for organizational change;
- a method to achieve sound quality assurance practices;
- a system for demonstrating accountability to
a) children, youth, and families,
b) students, and
c) child and youth care educators;
- a mechanism to create a community of practice among child and youth care education programs.
There are over 50 publically funded post-secondary institutions offering Child and Youth Care (CYC)/Child and Youth Work (CYW) education in Canada. CYC/CYW educators believe quality of care and service to young people and their families will be enhanced by setting standards for educational programs, assuring both the public and aspiring professionals that graduates of those programs will have a common base of knowledge and skill that can be directly linked to a child and youth care competency document and the affiliated curriculum. The CYCEAB uses a model that focuses on program outcomes with the intent that graduate outcomes will ultimately affect the quality of life and quality of care received by young people who are served by child and youth care practitioners.
The specific standards and the model have undergone extensive and comprehensive review and adjustment based on the feedback of educators and professional associations across Canada. The model will be implemented in conjunction with existing provincial and institutional program approval and program review processes. As new CYC programs develop and as existing programs undertake their regular cycle of review and evaluation, the model will evolve.
The focus in this accreditation is on outcomes and the use of outcome results by programs. Programs must demonstrate that their institutions have plans in place for assessing educational outcomes. They must show evidence that the results of these assessments have led to the improvement of teaching and learning processes and improved preparation of program graduates to enter professional positions upon graduation.
CYCEAB is happy to report that the following post-secondary institutions have achieved accreditation for their Child and Youth Care Programs:
- Cambrian College: Child and Youth Care Advanced Diploma Program
- George Brown College: Child and Youth Care Diploma Program
- Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: Honours Bachelor Degree in Child and Youth Care
- Lethbridge College: Child and Youth Care Diploma Program
- MacEwan University: Bachelor of Child and Youth Care (Diploma Exit)
- Medicine Hat College: Child and Youth Care Counsellor Diploma Program
- Sir Sandford Fleming College Child and Youth Care Advanced Diploma Program
- University of Strathclyde: MSc Child and Youth Care Studies by Distance Learning
Who is the Child and Youth Care Educational Accreditation Board of Canada or CYCEAB?
CYCEAB is a not-for-profit corporation that aims to ensure quality education for child and youth care practitioners through the assessment and review of post-secondary educational programs and the development of standards which support quality improvement.
Who can apply for accreditation?
Accreditation is open to all members of CYCEAB.
What is the cost of membership to CYCEAB?
An annual fee of $400.00 pays for membership from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
Does CYCEAB have a website where I can get more information?
You will find additional information including an Accreditation Process flowchart at www.cycaccreditation.ca.
What is the cost to submit an accreditation application? Is there a deadline?
Please refer to the Accreditation Process overview or flowchart. Submission of the application should include payment of $250.00. Once the application is accepted, a fee of $4750 is due before an institution initiates the accreditation process. The application deadline is September 15 annually. Please contact the CYCEAB office if you have any questions.
Why is there a $5000 fee if CYCEAB is a non-profit organization?
The accreditation fee covers direct and indirect costs of accreditation. Direct costs include the one-on-one service that accreditation applicants or programs undergoing accreditation receive from the Accreditation Coordinator and the stipends paid to the Reviewer and members of the Recommendation Committee. These costs total 62% of each accreditation fee paid to ensure accreditation applicants have the support they need and that qualified reviewers are in place to conduct the site visit and make recommendations to the board on accreditation.
Only 38% of the accreditation fee is directed towards operating costs, survey costs, and the services that accrediting programs receive from the Office Manager. In recent years, we have formalized the accreditation process and developed tools such as the Self-Study Guide and the Reviewer’s Manual. Since our inception, we have worked diligently on ensuring our bylaws, policies and procedures, and business processes are robust and meet the needs of CYCEAB and its members. We ensure financial audits are conducted every three years and we meet every spring to discuss future directions and priorities.
CYCEAB’s mission is to ensure excellence in child and youth care education and ongoing quality enhancement through the assessment and review of post-secondary programs. The volunteer Board of Directors, in every decision it makes, keeps this mission and its vision of leading excellence in child and youth care education front of mind. The board also recognizes that sustainability is key and so cost effectiveness and efficiency and our values of inclusiveness, engagement, reflective practice, and commitment to quality form the foundation of all that we do.
Accreditation activities document efforts to be accountable to children, youth, and families; to students; and to the profession of child and youth care. Our board and all those who contribute to the important work of CYCEAB and accreditation are passionate about accreditation and the accountability we have to excellence in child and youth care education and to the members of CYCEAB.
Who will be my primary contact for the accreditation process? Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Upon an expression of interest to our CYCEAB office (firstname.lastname@example.org), an Accreditation Coordinator will contact you. The CYCEAB office can also answer questions or direct your inquires to the appropriate contact. The Accreditation Coordinator can be reached at email@example.com, 403-393-3574.
My institution is undergoing a program review. How do I align that with the accreditation self-study?
There are options to ensure that institutions do not have to duplicate their work, such as merging the templates for a program review with the CYCEAB self-study template. The Accreditation Coordinator can assist with looking at options.
With respect to CYCEAB, what is a diploma and what is a degree?
Diploma means a two- or three-year postsecondary qualification from a college or university. Degree includes a Bachelors (4 years), Masters, or Doctoral postsecondary qualification.
How long is the accreditation process, from start to finish? What are the deadlines, who sets the deadlines, what if I miss a deadline?
The accreditation process may take up to two years given that a typical program review may take a full academic year and the site visit and report follow the program review. The Accreditation Coordinator will support you throughout the accreditation process and as situations arise, they will provide guidance. Some deadlines are self-imposed and others are regulated as described in the Accreditation Process flowchart; e.g., the Reviewer Report is due 4 weeks from the date of the site visit. Missed deadlines outside those self-imposed by your institution can be resolved through the Accreditation Coordinator.
How much time/resources should I plan for the accreditation process? What should I expect?
First, you should have a primary program contact who can lead the institutional or program process. Resources required depend on the size of the program, the number of people that will be involved, the time the program team has to dedicate to the accreditation process. The Accreditation Coordinator can help you and your program team identify required resources but recognize that unanticipated needs may arise.
What if our program doesn’t meet all the standards; should we still apply? For example, if the CYCEAB requires two courses on families and we only have one course, is it even possible to be accredited? Or maybe practicum hours aren’t enough, or maybe a program has a part-time faculty that doesn’t meet the qualifications yet.
The standards are not prescriptive so any variation should be discussed with the Accreditation Coordinator prior to your application.
How will I know when we’re ready to submit an application?
Go to Part One of the application form which can be found at this link:
When can I see the surveys? How can we access them?
Once your application is approved by the CYCEAB Board of Directors, the CYCEAB Office Manager or the Survey Coordinator will contact you.
Can we use our institutions already existing data, like KPI results? Are the CYCEAB surveys mandatory? That is, can I just use what my institution already has in place?
Questions in the accreditation surveys are linked directly to professional practice. This may not be the information gathered in your institutional surveys. The Accreditation Coordinator can provide guidance.
How long and/or comprehensive is the Self-Study Report and Quality Enhancement Plan?
Please refer to the CYCEAB website for the details on the self-study information to be gathered. And please remember the Accreditation Coordinator is available to work with you.
Who selects the reviewer(s)?
The CYCEAB Office provides a list of approved reviewers and the accreditation applicant selects the reviewer(s) and work with the reviewer(s) directly on scheduling the site visit. You will be expected to select a reviewer outside of your region.
What are the regions as identified by CYCEAB?
West includes British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
Central and Northern include Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
East includes Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
Who pays for the travel required of reviewers?
The accreditation applicant coordinates the travel arrangements with the reviewer(s) and the accreditation applicant pays all costs associated with the site visit.
Is the reviewer compensated for each review?
CYCEAB pays each reviewer a stipend per review.
How many reviewers are required?
The CYCEAB board has an approved list of reviewers who can complete a site visit. Institutions are required to host one reviewer from the approved list. An institution may require additional reviewers and wish to coordinate the process. The Accreditation Coordinator can help identify options when additional reviewers are required.
Who needs to be involved in the site review (faculty, students, etc.)?
Please refer to the sample schedule in the Reviewer Manual which is on the CYCEAB website.
Can we send our reports electronically to the reviewers?
Please refer to the Accreditation Process overview. It is preferred that the accreditation applicant uploads the Self-Study Report which includes the Quality Enhancement Plan to a shared secured site that is managed by CYCEAB. The CYCEAB office provides access to each accreditation applicant on the secured site and to a specific folder designated for each applicant.
If successful, how long will our program be accredited before the next round?