On July 4, 2023, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA Standards were created in 1977 and updated in 2016 to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry. The National Consortium of Breast Centers joins an elite group of more than 130 organizations representing over 315 programs that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation. Click here for the official press release
Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards by a third party. Accreditation offers an independent affirmation that the program has met accepted standards of quality regarding various elements of a credentialing program. When in compliance with these standards, it is awarded accreditation. Unless there are specific legislative or regulatory requirements, seeking accreditation is a voluntary process on the part of the credentialing program. Third party accreditation includes a review of the following components and validates that the program has met accepted standards for them:
- Independent governance structure (protection from undue influence)
- Testing practices and psychometric analysis (legal defensibility)
- Policies and Procedures (transparency)
- Ongoing maintenance (continued focus)
- Ethical practice (integrity of program)
- Financial sustainability (continuing value for credential holders)
View the National Consortium of Breast Centers Digital Badge for BHCN™
I.C.E. digital badges are proof of NCBC's achievement. Digital badges allow anyone to easily click to verify NCBC's credentials by providing a link to I.C.E. metadata that cannot be falsified or duplicated.
Value of Accreditation
Accreditation provides value to credentialing programs, credential holders, employers and the public by assuring all stakeholders that an independent third party has reviewed it according to stringent standards set by the credentialing community. The process of complying with the standards and documenting that the standards are met helps a credentialing program attain, improve, and maintain quality and consistency. Achieving accredited status is also a market differentiator as it demonstrates that a program has sufficient confidence to submit itself for evaluation by a third party.
National Commission for Certifying Agencies
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the accreditation arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). ICE’s predecessor, the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies (NCHCA) was originally created by Congress through a grant to the Division of Quality Assurance in the Bureau of Health Professions, a division of HHS. The intent was to develop standards of excellence for voluntary certification programs in healthcare. The standards have evolved to include all professional occupations. The accreditation process is based on NCCA standards which were originally written in 1987 and have been revised several times in recent history. Currently, over 300 personnel certification programs have been accredited from approximately 125 professional organizations.
Unless specific state legislation requires it, seeking accreditation is a completely voluntary process on the part of the certification program. There are a variety of reasons why a program may choose not to apply, including the fact that new programs must be in place for one year or have assessed 500 candidates to be able to analyze their process, review their assessment instrument, and to set a reasonable cut score based on actual data review.
A certification program can still be legitimate without accreditation (i.e. it can follow best practices and generally accepted standards overall), but accreditation lends credibility by helping to ensure to the public that the program is valid and reliable because a neutral third party has reviewed it. Accreditation lasts five years at which time a program must submit for reaccreditation. The programs are also required to submit annual reports and highlight any significant changes to their program.
List of Accredited Programs/Sponsoring Organizations
For the most accurate and complete list of NCCA accredited program, visit our Accreditation Services Toolkit page or directory, updated daily: https://www.credentialingexcellence.org/nccadirectory