Policy on Postponements


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NASM reviews member institutions for continuation of accredited institutional membership on a regular cycle. This cycle is established by the original date accreditation is earned. The date of an institution’s next full on-site review is confirmed in an institution’s Commission Action Report received after and upon approval of an institution’s comprehensive application for accreditation or reaccreditation. The date is also published with the institution’s listing on the NASM website.

From time to time, institutions with NASM accredited institutional membership may require additional time to prepare for a comprehensive review and therefore find it necessary to seek postponement of the scheduled date of a full reaccreditation review.

Should such a request be necessary, the following protocols and guidelines apply.

  1. A first-time postponement from one academic year to the next may be granted by the NASM staff upon the presentation of reasonable cause from the institution.
  2. A postponement of more than one academic year may be granted only by the appropriate Commission on Accreditation upon the presentation of reasonable cause from the institution. (Please note: One- and two-year postponements advance the subsequent cyclical review year by the length of the postponement. Postponements beyond two years do not advance the subsequent cyclical review year.)
  3. At the time of any request, an institution seeking a postponement is expected to be current with all obligations required of accredited institutional members of NASM. These include but are not limited to:
      a. Filing annual reports including the HEADS Data Survey, the Accreditation Audit, the Affirmation Statement, and if a free-standing music institution, the Supplemental Annual Report;
      b.   Seeking Plan Approval for any new or proposed curricula;
      c.   Requesting review of any substantive changes;
      d.   Responding as specified to any current and ongoing request(s) of the Commission;
      e.   Filing a Notice of Intention to Apply for continuation of accredited institutional membership as required by NASM procedures and protocols or by the Commission;
      f.   Responding as specified to any current and ongoing request(s) of the NASM staff regarding matters that fall within the responsibilities of staff. A request for postponement will not be considered unless the institution is current in all respects with its NASM obligations, as outlined above.
  4. The NASM staff will review all required and requested documentation to ensure that the institution is current with all obligations.
  5. If a request for postponement is granted, institutions must remain current with all obligations outlined in item 3. above during the period of postponement. Failure to do so may result in (a) Administrative Warning, (b) Accreditation Warning, (c) actions specified in Article I., Section 4. of the Bylaws, (d) a Commission-mandated interim on-site review by an NASM visitor, and/or (e) other specific requests, actions, or requirements to determine conditions at the institution.
  6. Institutions granted postponement(s) may be asked to:
      a.   File one or more Progress Report(s) during the period of postponement as requested. The content and schedule of such Progress Reports will be determined by the appropriate Commission based upon the circumstances described by the institution and the reasons for the request, and the length of the postponement granted.
      b.   Proactively file with the Commission, by submission to the NASM staff, any information indicating and documenting current or predictable conditions that may place the accredited institution or unit at risk of falling out of compliance with standards regarding the institution’s fundamental operational viability and/or its ability to deliver the curricula that (1) fall under the purview of NASM, or (2) have been approved and listed previously by NASM.
  7. Institutions receiving approval from the Commission to postpone for a period of more than two years may be asked by the Commission to provide to the Commission a draft or completed text of one or more sections of the Self-Study as specified by the Commission. This may include but is not limited to (a) curricular charts for all programs falling under the purview of NASM, (b) information required in the Instructional Programs Portfolio section of the NASM Procedures for the Self-Study Document (Format A, B, or C), and/or (c) a copy of each year’s HEADS Data Survey. Specific category and content requirements and schedules will be established for each institution by the Commission.
  8. Should, in unusual circumstances, the Commission grant a postponement of three years or more, it may require an interim on-site visit by NASM visitors, for the purpose of reporting to the Commission the extent to which fundamental conditions at the institution appear to be consistent with NASM standards.
  9. The procedures outlined above do not alter the applicability of other published NASM procedures and requirements regarding accredited membership in the Association.

Amended by the Board of Directors (November 20, 2015)