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How to Get a Trade School Accredited

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Accreditation is the most important step in getting your trade school recognized locally and nationally as a professional organization that students want to attend. The United States has six accrediting bodies based on regions. In addtion, there are larger national and international accrediting bodies, such as the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, where it may be easier to gain acceptance as the regionals require a percentage of general education offered. Accrediting bodies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as are all bodies of higher education (pos- secondary), however, they are nongovernmental bodies.

Written Application For Accreditation Review

Choose a national accrediting body or visit the website of your regional accreditation body.

Fill out the online self-study and report, accurately listing your trade schools mission, program and services.

Pay processing fee and submit it to the accreditation body for review.

Correspond with the accrediting body to arrange inspectors to visit your trade school, where they will evaluate and send a report back for consideration.

Fulfil any further qualifications for eligibility specified by the governing body to complete accreditation.

Maintaining Accreditation

Keep in touch with your accreditation body if you are successfully accredited, responding to rulings, arranged visits, general correspondence and notifying of significant changes.

Submit progress, monitoring and contingency reports as required.

Submit an annual report usually required for data upkeep on registered institutions, detailing number of registered students, facilities and programs.


Tell the truth in your self-study report: examiners will soon find out upon visiting if you've exaggerated facts.


Regional accrediting bodies of general higher education institutions require general education such as social sciences irrelevant to a trade school so in most cases stick with national accrediting bodies.

Be prepared for thorough inspection of all aspects of your trade school and program.


Based in London, Shaun Humphreys began writing professionally in 2007 in his position as news reporter at "Cyprus Mail" newspaper. His articles have appeared in the "Cyprus Mail" and "Time Out London." Humphreys holds a Bachelor of Arts in American and English literature and is pursuing a Master of Arts in print journalism.