CREDIT Evaluation Eligibility and Standards

​​​​​​CREDIT’s Criteria of Eligibility is used to determine whether an organization’s educational program is compatible with CREDIT standards. Organizations are required to demonstrate that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria in order to maintain participation in the program every three years.

Here you can find the categories and general eligibility guidelines.  Detailed information on expectations and standards of practice can be found in our Criteria to Determine Eligibility to Participate​.

 General Criteria

​A. The Organization

  1. The general purpose of the organization and/or training program is compatible with the mission of the American Council on Education (ACE).
  2. Course, exam, and program objectives are clearly defined and communicated. The character, nature, quality, value, source of instruction, services, and benefits of participation are transparent to reasonably diligent learners.
  3. The participating organization is easily identified as being properly licensed with a demonstrated history of bona fide operations.
  4. The organization has been fully engaged in enrolling learners and delivering courses, exams or programs for at least two years.

B. Learning Environment

  1. The learning environment supports and enhances the attainment of necessary knowledge and skills.
  2. Learners receive a complete educational experience that meets their needs, including opportunities for effective interaction with instructional and administrative staff.

C. Instructional and Training Development Personnel 

  1. Instructors, learning facilitators, curriculum or exam developers, and training development staff possess appropriate qualifications and experience in their positions and roles. 
  2. Instructors are regularly evaluated to determine evidence of teaching effectiveness. 

D. Academic Records

  1. Learner records are accurate, confidentiality is ensured, and access is appropriate. 
  2. Instructional and training development staff records are accurate, confidentiality is ensured, and access is appropriate.

 College Credit Recommendation Reviews

  1. Intended learning outcomes must be aligned with post-secondary programs of study. 
  2. Examinations and other evaluative techniques adequately measure achievement of the stated learning objectives.

 Competency Evaluation Reviews

  1. ​Learners must develop and demonstrate professional, workplace-relevant skills, knowledge, and abilities during the training program. 
  2. Assessment techniques adequately measure achievement of the stated learning objectives or competencies for individual students.

 Authorized Test Provider Eligibility

​In addition to meeting the general standards for eligibility, Authorized Test Providers must provide written policies describing:

  1. Record security
  2. Proctor selection and responsibilities
  3. Conflict of interest policies
  4. Test site readiness
  5. Candidate identification procedures
  6. Test monitoring
  7. Retake policies

For more information see the Criteria to Participate as an Authorized Test Provider.

​Evaluation Standards

Once eligibility is established, our reviewers follow clear guidelines for determining the recommendation granted to a course or exam.  Courses undergoing review for college credit equivalencies are evaluated against the expectations of accredited institutions of higher education.  Our experienced faculty consider the scope and currency of the learning materials, depth and challenge of the assignments and activities, structure of the course and grading systems, and rigor and sophistication of the assessments used to determine whether students have met the learning outcomes of the course.

When evaluated for workplace competencies, relevant competency statements are identified in published frameworks with relevance to the appropriate industry or discipline.  Students are only granted credit for competencies if the review determines that all students must demonstrate mastery of that competency in order to achieve a passing grade in a course.

Conditional Reviews

During the review, the faculty evaluation team may decide that a course’s content, scope, assessment, and rigor very closely align to a post-secondary level credit recommendation, but the course requires some adjustments. In that case, the team may offer a conditional recommendation with very specific, measurable expectations.

Conditional recommendations will not involve major action steps for course redesign or substantive course revisions. Conditions typically involve some adjustment with rubrics, minor gaps in course materials, policy documentation, and assessment modifications. Ultimately, it is the organization’s decision whether it is appropriate to make these changes and resubmit the course to meet the conditional expectations. The effective date for conditional reviews is the first date of the month when the conditional is lifted.

Technical Reviews

Participating organizations must report to CREDIT staff, in writing, all changes made during the 3-year period of recommendation to course titles, content, and delivery no later than 30 days before the changes are implemented.  If the changes are deemed substantive, the courses will undergo a Technical Review to determine if the recommendations need to be adjusted.

ACE, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to refuse to work with any organization it deems unfit for any reason, without the need to provide justification.

 The National Guide

Discover corporate training, certifications, exams, and alternative educational programs with ACE credit recommendations and validated competencies.

The National Guide