The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing is the national accrediting body for nursing education in Canada. In 1987, the organization accredited its first undergraduate program and today, the accreditation of nursing education programs in Canada has become a core function of CASN.
Accreditation promotes excellence and is recognized worldwide as an important, objective method to assess professional education programs. Accreditation identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement that can guide decision making. The process provides administrators and faculty with information regarding areas that require development, modification and/or resources.
The program of accreditation sets forth overarching quality dimensions, standards, descriptors, and key elements against which nursing programs and their institutional units are assessed while also incorporating flexibility regarding the organizational structure and curriculum. This flexibility enables programs to be autonomous in their academic perspectives and responsive to their particular regional, social, professional, and institutional contexts.
The CASN Accreditation Program is built on the original philosophy and approach of previous programs. It undergoes regular review and change. This is consistent with a constant quality improvement approach. Recent changes to the accreditation program accommodate evolution of distance education, collaborative partnerships and new program models within a new framework and with expanded standards. The following table identifies some of CASN accreditation’s milestone dates.
Key Historic Dates
1987 – CASN institutes a national, voluntary accreditation process, supported by all members.
1994 – CASN becomes a co-founder of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, a national association representing accrediting bodies of over 20 professions and other accrediting organizations.
1995 – CASN completes a major review of the accreditation program.
2004 – CASN program documents were created and approved by Council.
2005 – Revisions were made to the program and approved by the Board of Directors.
2006 – Revisions were made to the program and approved by the Board of Directors.
2007 – Revisions were made to the program and approved by the Board of Directors.
2010 – CASN reviews and makes minor edits to the accreditation program.
2013 – Major review and revision of the CASN Accreditation program. CASN’s accreditation program standards were subject to stakeholder consultation. Changes were made to the values of the program and to the standards along with some key elements and their interpretations.
Requests for information should be sent to Joni Boyd, Manager of Accreditation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-613-235-3150 ext. 24.