It's no secret that confidentiality promotes integrity, professionalism and builds trust. Working in an environment of trust and respect encourages critical thinking and debate. The Council on Education's (COE's) accreditation activities are enhanced through a critical assessment of a school's compliance to the COE Standards of Accreditation. Veterinary education takes place in different settings and formats. It is one of the Council's responsibilities to evaluate these differences in regards to conformity with the Standards.
The Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) considers trust critical to the success of the accreditation process. They list it as one of their Core Values and principles. Trust can be difficult to establish and easy to destroy.
One method the Council uses to ensure and maintain trust is its confidentiality policy. This policy allows COE members to conduct business with integrity and objectivity. It also promotes full and uninhibited disclosure of information from the college being reviewed. This policy applies to COE members, former COE members, non-COE site team members, AVMA staff, and the AVMA Executive Board liaison to the COE. Adherence to a confidentiality policy is also part of the best practices of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, which recognizes COE accreditation activities.
COE members are also expected to comply with the Council's Statement on Integrity and the Conflict of Interest Statement.
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2015 American Veterinary Medical Association