Accreditation is a highly suitable system of accountability for independent schools, recognizing their distinctive missions and respecting their institutional diversity while maintaining high standards in every area of program and practice. The accrediting associations that are members of ICAISA provide accreditation services for their member schools. Read more about K-12 accreditation here.



The member associations of ICAISA are accountable to one another through a recognition process patterned on the independent school accreditation model. As a core component of the recognition process, ICAISA Member associations voluntarily commit to engage in a ten-year review cycle that includes a rigorous and impartial review of its accreditation program through self-study, peer visitation, and interim and annual reporting. An assigned review team is charged with confirming compliance with all of the Criteria in the course of its visits and observations. As with school accreditation, the ICAISA recognition process serves two purposes: quality assurance and institutional improvement. The recognition process also challenges member associations to reflect on the changing educational landscape and the association’s role in leading change and innovation. The ultimate goal of the recognition process is to improve accreditation practices to support the permanence and strength of schools served by member associations. Accrediting associations that are members of ICAISA periodically undergo this recognition process in order to achieve and maintain “recognition status” with ICAISA.

The recognized members of ICAISA are committed to developing and maintaining a set of Criteria for Effective Independent School Accreditation Practices drawing on their combined experience. These Criteria provide a common ground for the accreditation policies and practices of state, regional, and international independent school associations. Read more about the Criteria here.


It is exciting and fitting that the former NAIS Committee on Accreditation has grown to become ICAISA. Through its commitment and expertise in accreditation practices ICAISA offers deep knowledge and broad experience in helping schools with their continual improvement. A high level of integrity, professionalism, and reliance on sharing best practice is a hallmark of ICAISA and its members.

– Eric Temple, Head of school, Lick-Wilmerding high school, San Francisco, California

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