Formerly NAIS Commission on Accreditation

Core Values

The Council Statement of Core Values and Principles of Good Practice for member associations define high standards and ethical behavior for Council operations, members’ accreditation practice, and member interaction.  The Council’s values and Principles of Good Practice are patterned on the NAIS Principles of Good Practice and are intended to promote an intentional culture within the Council that reflects the dedication of member associations to quality education, accountability, and professional conduct.

Statement of Core Values


Member associations and their schools should be self-determining in mission and program, free from government control, governed by independent boards, and committed to a culture of free and open intellectual inquiry.


Collaboration is a means of strengthening Council review and association accreditation programs, improving the quality of education in member schools, and engaging in on-going learning and problem-solving to tackle the most challenging problems with creative and innovative solutions.


The integrity of Council processes requires consistency, candor, honest and respectful communication with member associations and with schools, adherence to the criteria, and continuous assessment of Council effectiveness.


The Council benefits from the diverse perspectives of member associations that accredit and serve a wide range of independent schools both national and international.


Associations should be accountable to one another and to the Council Criteria through the Council review process, just as schools are accountable to their constituencies and the public through accreditation.


ICAISA Principles of Good PracticE

For Council Operations

  • The Council adopts a clear statement of the Council’s mission, vision, and strategic goals, establishes policies and plans consistent with the mission, and engages in ongoing reflection and review of mission, plans, policies, and operations.
  •  The Council defines the criteria for effective accreditation programs of member associations while recognizing that the criteria are not static.  There is ongoing reflection and review of Council processes in light of the changing educational landscape.
  •  The Council respects the independence and autonomy of member associations, in keeping with their unique cultures and missions, provided the association’s accrediting program meets Council Criteria and reflects the Model Core Standards.
  •  The Council’s operations and decision-making processes reflect a deep commitment to integrity and ethical behavior on the part of members and their associations.
  •  The Council will establish its membership to ensure the expertise and perspectives necessary to achieve the mission and strategic objectives of the Council.
  •  Council representatives act in the best interests of the Council while balancing their own personal views and the positions taken by their associations with the interest of the Council. 
  •  Council representatives serving on review teams make every effort to understand the range of schools within that association and how this range is reflected in the association’s standards and practices. 
  • Council members willingly share information/findings gathered through the Council review report with their own associations.
  •  Council representatives willingly participate in data collection in order to understand the evolving landscape of independent education, to gather information on the effectiveness of current accreditation practices, and to provide relevant and timely criteria on which initiatives can be evaluated.   Council representatives should maintain confidentiality of any school or association data received, using such information only for the purposes for which it was intended.
  • All Council representatives share a responsibility to promote Council work and preserve the integrity of what they do by sharing concerns and feedback.

For Association Accreditation Practice

  • Council representatives adhere to a value of holding member associations to the Criteria.
  •  Where overlapping accreditation groups exist, associations inform schools of other accreditation programs that might better/also serve their needs.
  •  The association recognizes the right of currently accredited member schools (or candidates) to consider other or additional accreditation options. 
  •  Council members will share accreditation materials with one another and will respect any limitations on distribution.
  •  Council members may recruit accreditation team leaders and members from other Council associations but as a common courtesy should first contact the executive director/accreditation director before making contact with the potential visiting team member.
  •  Associations that jointly accredit must implement a collaborative process that utilizes agreed upon materials, protocols, and timelines but must make accreditation determinations independently from one another.

For Council Representative Interactions

  •  All Council representatives will act with honesty, integrity, and openness as this promotes a working environment that values respect and fairness.
  •  Council representatives collaborate and cooperate to ensure that member association accreditation practices demonstrate integrity at all levels.
  •  Council members respect the different perspectives and approaches of fellow Council representatives and their respective associations.
  •  Council members believe in sharing accreditation best practices that will help promote and support institutional improvement and quality assurance.