IV.4 Confidentiality and the appeal process
All information related to the accreditation of programs, including the appeal process, is strictly confidential. This includes, but is not limited to, all reports, Program Presentations, files, correspondence, discussions, and Decision Documents.
IV.4.1 Confidentiality of appeal review
The following guidelines apply to all persons involved in the appeal process, including the ARC and Executive Board members:
- Confidential information must be used solely in conjunction with duties performed in the review of the appeal;
- Any material or other information related to the appeal process must be disposed of in a manner that protects confidentiality;
- All requests for information regarding the appeal process or the program must be forwarded to the ALA Executive Office or the respective program.
IV.4.2 Confidentiality of program status during appeal
The COA’s accreditation decision is not made public until the deadline for the notice of intent to file an appeal has passed, or until eight (8) calendar days after the institution has received the COA decision document letter. If the institution files an appeal, the accreditation decision to either withdraw accreditation or deny initial accreditation is not made public until the final determination is made or when the ALA Executive Director and the Office for Accreditation receive a letter from the institution withdrawing the appeal.
The program maintains its accredited status until the appeal process is completed. If the COA’s decision is upheld, then the date of accreditation withdrawal is the date the institution receives the ARC recommendation and report and the ALA Executive Board report and determination. If the institution withdraws its appeal, then the date of accreditation withdrawal is the date ALA receives the letter withdrawing the appeal. (See Section IV.12.)
The ALA tries its best to ensure the confidentiality of the COA accreditation decision and any subsequent appeal. The ALA does not, however, assume any responsibility for unofficial or unauthorized disclosures.