What is ICAISA
and what is its purpose?

The International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA) is a membership organization committed to providing quality assurance and accountability to K-12 independent and international school accreditors across the globe. ICAISA members are accrediting associations that undergo a periodic, peer-review process that results in recognition status from ICAISA. As part of this process, associations document their compliance and alignment with the ICAISA Guiding Principles. In addition to offering the recognition process, ICAISA ensures a strong professional network for accreditation leaders by providing resources and guidance to its association members.


What are the Guiding Principles of the
ICAISA Recognition Process?

The ICAISA recognition process follows a ten-year cycle with a five-year interim process and annual reports. The three core Guiding Principles are the Criteria for Effective Accreditation Practices, Core Standards, and Essential Capacities. Read more about the ICAISA recognition process.

What is the history of ICAISA?

ICAISA was convened originally in 2002 as a Commission of the NAIS Board in response to a request from independent school accrediting associations to address emerging national and state accreditation issues. A change in public perception and a positive identification with independent schools and our process of school accountability was a desired outcome. NAIS leaders, including past Presidents Pat Bassett and John Chubb, President Donna Orem, and Senior Vice President Jefferson Burnett, were instrumental in the Commission’s success, and its eventual transition to ICAISA. Both the Commission and ICAISA aspired to accomplish several goals: to position independent schools within the conversation on student learning outcomes and school accountability; to improve the independent school accreditation process; and to seek recognition for the accreditation programs of the member accreditation agencies. With full support from the NAIS Board, the Commission was sunset in June 2018 and ICAISA launched as a nonprofit organization on July 2, 2018. On July 1, 2019 ICAISA welcomed its first Executive Director, Bonnie J. Ricci. Having previously served as an association assistant director and former member of the NAIS Commission on Accreditation, Bonnie brings a wealth of accreditation expertise to the ICAISA organization.


Who were the founding
representatives for ICAISA?

Peter Baily

Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools


Phil Bossert

Hawaii Association of Independent Schools


Jefferson Burnett

National Association of Independent Schools


Mo Copeland

Head of Oregon Episcopal School


Claudia Daggett

Independent Schools Association of the Central States


Rhonda Durham

Independent Schools Association of the Southwest


Carole Everett

New Jersey Association of Independent Schools


Barbara Hodges

Florida Council of Independent Schools


Betsy Hunroe

Virginia Association of Independent Schools


Siri Akal Khalsa

Northwest Association of Independent Schools


Jane Larsson

Council of International Schools


Mark Lauria

New York State Association of Independent Schools


Claire Leheny

Association of Independent Schools of New England


Doug Lyons

Connecticut Association of Independent Schools


David Madison

Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools


Patti McDonald

Canadian Association of Independent Schools


Jim McManus

California Association of Independent Schools


Linda Phelps

Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools


Lee Quinby

Association of Colorado Independent Schools


Judy Sheridan

NYSAIS Director of Accreditation


Cameron Staples

New England Association of Schools and Colleges


Eric Temple

Head of Lick-Wilmerding School


Kirk Walker

Southern Association of Independent Schools



How do I join ICAISA?

ICAISA offers several opportunities to join the ICAISA network. Nonprofit accreditors can apply for Full Membership. Nonprofit organizations that do not accredit may join as Associate Members. For profit vendors can apply to Become a Sponsor.