Q: How is COE different from, or similar to, the accrediting body for human medicine (LCME)?
A: There are similarities and differences between the two accrediting bodies. Like the COE, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is supported by the professional organization (AMA) and by the organization of medical schools (Association of American Medical Colleges [AAMC]); but unlike the COE, which is largely funded by the AVMA and fees charged to colleges, the LCME is financially supported 50/50 by the AAMC and AMA. Both LCME and COE are programmatic accreditors, and both have been recognized by USDE since the first list of accreditors was published in 1952. The COE is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), but the LCME is not. CHEA recognition is based on best practices for accreditation.
Both accrediting bodies have autonomy in their decision making; accreditation decisions are made by the accrediting body itself, with no input or approval from the governing bodies of the associations.
The process of member selection is similar for COE and LCME. The AMA Council on Medical Education selects seven members of the LCME and one student member. The AAMC also selects seven professional members and one student member. The LCME selects two public members. The new AVMA COE Selection Committee selects eight COE private-practitioner members and the new AAVMC COE Selection Committee selects eight academic members. The COE selects three public members.
Both the COE and LCME have a representative from Canada, chosen by the organization they represent (the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, respectively). All current professional members of the LCME are deans (9) or associate deans (5) of medical schools except the Canadian member (professor). The academic members of the COE currently include one dean and three associate deans of veterinary medical schools, including the Canadian member.
Both accrediting bodies accredit schools in Canada. The COE accredits schools in nine countries outside of Canada and the U.S. The LCME currently accredits one medical school in Puerto Rico; a school in the U.S. Virgin Islands has applied for LCME accreditation.
Both the COE and LCME accredit distributive-model schools.
The AVMA shares the cost of accreditation of domestic veterinary schools with the accredited colleges. The schools pay 50% of the direct and indirect costs of accreditation plus 100% of the site visit expenses. New domestic schools and foreign schools pay 100% of the direct and indirect costs associated with accreditation, including all site visit expenses. The LCME charges developing programs for the accreditation process, but the accreditation process is free for established schools.