American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Accreditation Processes

July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020, is the five-year transition process during which all AOA-approved GME programs must complete the process of securing ACGME accreditation.

During the transition, ACGME standards will evolve as a result of the integration of osteopathic programs into the merged system and DOs being appointed to the Review Committees. Standards revision will occur through the established ACGME process.

The AOA is committed to supporting osteopathic training programs and institutions as they apply for pre-accreditation, demonstrate ACGME accreditation standards are met and achieve full accreditation. We also encourage and support AOA programs to apply for osteopathic recognition.

Program Accreditation

AOA-accredited programs should begin the process and apply for pre-accreditation from the ACGME as soon as they can to ensure adequate time to achieve ACGME Initial Accreditation before the AOA ceases accreditation activities on June 30, 2020. Programs that apply early for ACGME accreditation may have more flexibility regarding eligibility standards for residents/fellows, and more time to correct any issues that may arise during the review process.

Programs should continue with their AOA inspections and maintain their AOA accreditation while progressing through the ACGME accreditation process until such time as they achieve full ACGME accreditation.

  • How to apply: Learn more about the ACGME application process, including the pathways to accreditation for AOA-approved programs

  • Help with applications: All programs are encouraged to contact the applicable ACGME Review Committee Executive Director as frequently as needed before submitting their applications. Applications with errors or incomplete sections will delay the accreditation process. The ACGME has also published an application guide document and video series​ to help programs through the process. You can also contact the AOA's free single accreditation application assistance program.

  • Who has pre-accreditation: View a list of AOA-approved programs with pre-accreditation status.

  • Timeline: Pre-accreditation status is conferred upon the ACGME’s receipt of an application. The review of the application and reach a final decision will take anywhere from 4-9 months, depending on when the Review Committee meeting occurs.​ New AOA standards set deadlines for programs to either apply for ACGME accreditation, or stop accepting trainees if the trainees cannot complete the program by June 30, 2020. See the full chart of program deadlines

  • Fees: The program application fee is $6,200 for Initial Accreditation. The annual accreditation fee is $4,300 for programs with five or fewer residents/fellows, and $5,200 for programs with more than five residents/fellows. Learn more about ACGME's fees. AOA-approved programs with pre-accreditation status are exempt from paying additional application fees should they fail to achieve Initial Accreditation and apply again during the transition period.. AOA-approved programs with pre-accreditation status are exempt from paying additional application fees should they fail to achieve Initial Accreditation and apply again during the transition period.

  • Combined programs: The AOA and the ACGME handle combined/integrated programs differently. The ACGME does not accredit combined programs, but allows access to  the ACGME system, and these programs must follow a different process when applying. Essentially, the parent programs (core programs) of all combined/integrated programs apply for ACGME accreditation separately. Next, the program must submit a curriculum to the appropriate AOA and/or ABMS certifying boards for approval. See the ACGME process document for clarification. 

Institutional Accreditation

Institutions began applying for institutional accreditation on April 1, 2015.

Osteopathic Recognition

Osteopathic principles and practice are recognized as important elements to the future of our health care system. In the past, many ACGME programs sought dual accreditation from AOA as a means of attracting osteopathic graduates. The single system gives us the opportunity to spread these principles and practice to our MD counterparts and help all patients benefit from the care that DOs and those trained in osteopathic principles and practice can provide. It is clear that in the new accreditation system, programs with osteopathic recognition offer something more.

A program may submit an application for Osteopathic Recognition immediately following submission of an application for Initial Accreditation. Although both applications may be processed simultaneously by the ACGME, Osteopathic Recognition cannot be conferred unless and until the applying program achieves Initial Accreditation.



 Share This