10 ways accreditation makes a difference

As demands for accountability increase, professional peer review is vital. IACS accreditation indicates that a counseling center opened its doors to a team of counseling professionals who reviewed and certified that its services meet the highest established standards in the field. This recognized stamp of validation holds value for the center, the school, students and their parents.

Through IACS accreditation, on campus professional counseling centers:

  1. Benefit from external peer review and validation—provides a professional evaluation from current and past center directors experienced in achieving and maintaining accreditation standards, especially important because of the confidential, data-sensitive nature of student counseling centers.
  2. Enhance the status of the center in the university communityrepresents a stamp of approval that is recognized in higher education and viewed positively by administration. Site visits include interviews with staff in all departments that may have interaction with the counseling center.
  3. Validate compliance with national standards and best practices—confirms to campus administration that the center is meeting the recognized standards in the field.
  4. Manage risk, quality assurance and accountability—safeguards the integrity of the center, especially critical in litigation issues.
  5. Refine operations and policies—delivers a detailed report, including recommended adjustments, and promotes healthy self-appraisal.
  6. Enhance staff recruitment—strengthens advantage in attracting more qualified candidates.
  7. Leverage the center’s budget needs—helps secure funding for professional development, additional staff and facility changes. Site visitors do an excellent job of educating administration on what standards should be and why accreditation is important, reinforcing the importance of the center's role on campus.
  8. Strengthen credibility and prestige—enhances public relations for the center and the school with students and parents.
  9. Expand networking resourcesshares access to IACS staff and Advisory Council, as well as other accredited centers.
  10. Ensure the mental health care provided to students meets the gold standard. 

“I think that the IACS field visitor’s information gathering was concise and sharp. Their comments on improving our services were realistic and reasonable, from immediate to long-term challenges… I believe that site visitors increased the perception of stakeholders about the importance of counseling centers.”

Akira Takano, Ph.D., Director
Counseling Center
The University of Tokyo