In the Practical Nurse program, we need to be accredited by two different groups – the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC (CLPNBC)and the Private Career Training Institutions Agency of BC( PCTIA (think paperwork processes). In order to be accredited, we need to provide proof that we are following the provincial and federal recommendations and guidelines.
CLPNBC is in charge of the provincial curriculum which clearly states WHAT has to be taught in the PN program, in what semester and the requirements necessary to accept a student into the program or the pre-req’s. We need to show that we are compliant with the curriculum in our delivery of education as HOW we teach the curriculum is up to individual institutions. Every 2 years there is a review of course and instructor outlines, staff and students are interviewed, classes and labs observed and based on these it is then determined if we are meeting the expected criteria. Should we not meet some of these criteria they put forward recommendations to which we must show how we plan to meet or are meeting those recommendations. Should we fail to meet these recommendations, they have the ability to stop the PN program at that educational institution until such time all recommendations and criteria have been met to their satisfaction. This process is usually one day but can extend to two depending on size of institution and number of faculty.
PCTIA is more about processes – attritions, registrations, comply with Basic Education Standards, and comply with provincial and federal standards.They usually do their accreditation every 5 years but do have the ability to do this more often if deemed necessary. The caveat here is that registration with PCTIA is mandatory but accreditation is not, however, should your educational institute voluntary apply for accreditation, it puts your college in a higher standing. Through this process, student files are reviewed and checked against the information that was sent to them. Only relevant staff such as admissions, department heads and campus directors are part of this as, like I mentioned before, this is more of a process rather than a delivery approach.
This is an exhaustive and stressful process but necessary to ensure that all educational institutions, both private and public, are delivering the approved curriculum so that all students are receiving the same education. There needs to be these types of checks and balances to ensure that educational institutions are providing approved and quality education to their students and that they are preparing and graduating properly trained students.