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HVACR Programmatic Accreditation Turns Twenty

Twenty years, programmatic accreditation of HVACR educational programs began in the United States.
In the late 1990’s technology was rapidly changing and many schools and school systems worried that their technology programs may not be keeping up with all of the advances. One of these systems, the Tennessee Board of Regents wanted to verify they were preparing their students to be competitive in the workplace. To accomplish this, they mandated that all career and technical education programs attain third-party, programmatic accreditation.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology welcoming the HVAC Excellence accreditation team.
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology welcoming the HVAC Excellence accreditation team.

Programmatic accreditation is an independent, non-governmental, third-party review of an educational program. The process identifies educational programs that possess the resources, and administrative support, to prepare students for entry-level positions in the HVACR industry.

At that time the Tennessee Board of Regents discovered that no national accreditation agency had ever been established for the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) industry. Furthermore, when contacting various industry groups, none were interested in establishing one. That is until they contacted HVAC Excellence, an organization dedicated to improving the technical competency of the HVACR industry.

In 1999, HVAC Excellence having established the national standards for HVACR educational programs, launched the HVACR industry’s first accrediting body.

These standards require a thorough examination of: mission of program, administration responsibilities, finances and funds, student services, instruction design and program elements, physical facilities, equipment and tools, cooperative training and instructor qualifications. HVAC Excellence programmatic accreditation identifies educational programs that possess, the resources and administrative support, to prepare students for entry level positions in the HVACR industry.

The initiative that begin in Tennessee, has grown into a national movement towards higher standards in HVACR educational programs. There are now accredited programs aligned to the HVAC Excellence standards across North America.

Now in its twentieth year, the demand for third party validation continues to grow. To assist instructors through the process, HVAC Excellence has published a more comprehensive programmatic accreditation website.

The new site provides:

  • Programmatic accreditation standards.
  • The process to earn accreditation.
  • An overview of the onsite accreditation visit.
  • Biographical information on accreditation team leaders.
  • The benefits of accreditation.
  • A list of HVAC Excellence Accredited Programs.

Learn more about programmatic accreditation at https://www.escogroup.org/accreditation/.