GAC Standards Revisions Overview and FAQ

GAC Accreditation Standards Revision Overview

  1. As required of its programs, GAC engages in continual improvement as demonstrated by the periodic revision to its standards contained within the publication of the Handbook of Accreditation for Academic Degrees and Awards in Project, Program, and Portfolio Management and Related Programs Fourth Edition (4.0); hereafter referred to as the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0).
  2. Revisions to the GAC Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards have been developed over the past two and a half years (2013–2015). During this process, the GAC Directors engaged with project management academic and industry stakeholders around the world in face-to-face and virtual meetings, culminating in a public call for comment, where stakeholders reviewed draft standards and made comments prior to final adjudication by the GAC Directors.
  3. GAC’s goal in this process is to ensure that the GAC Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards reflect educational quality with a focus on student achievement of program learning outcomes and the continuous improvement of accredited programs, and to consider the most current thinking in the field of project, program, and portfolio management.
  4. Important areas addressed in this revision:
    1. Including project, program and portfolio management.
      1. GAC recognizes the field of project management is continually evolving, and GAC Standards and processes need to reflect this forward movement. By including project, program, and portfolio management in its standards, GAC is meeting its mission of advancing excellence in project management education worldwide. Additionally, it is playing a larger role in the field by ensuring that GAC accredited educational programs prepare students to meet the current and anticipated needs of businesses and government organizations for qualified professionals.
      2. Academic programs that offer degrees or awards on advanced topics in the field may now be eligible to apply for GAC accreditation.
    2. Recognizing that academic programs develop curricula to reflect their unique contexts and missions, GAC Accreditation Standards moved from a prescribed list of taskoriented learning outcomes to three comprehensive “Core Areas of Focus for Program Learning Outcomes.” This encourages the integration of practice and theory at levels 2 GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0) Overview and Frequently Asked Questions 1 December 2015 appropriate to the program, and the development of forward thinking and innovative curricula.
    3. Clarifying expected levels of academic achievement for bachelor’s, post graduate and doctoral academic degrees or awards.
    4. Focusing on curricula that facilitates active student engagement in learning to ensure graduates of GAC accredited programs are competent professionals upon entering the workforce.
    5. Dedicating a standard to continuous improvement to ensure utilization of assessment data for program performance improvement and enhancement of student learning.
    6. Changing the maximum accreditation cycle for a program to five (5) years, from seven (7) years. This change aligns GAC accreditation standards with better practices within the specialized accreditation community.
  • a. As of 1 December 2015, it will be available on gacpm.org.

    b. As of 1 March 2016, all new applications for GAC accreditation must use the Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards found in the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0).

  • a. Applicant programs are encouraged to immediately begin using the revised GAC Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards found in the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0), in their applications for GAC accreditation.

    b. As of 1 March 2016, all new applications and those who have not received approval to progress into the Self-evaluation Report phase of the accreditation process must use the Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards found in the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0).

  • a. Programs currently in the Self-evaluation Report process may base their responses and evidence on either the 3rd or 4th Edition of the GAC Accreditation Handbook.

    b. Additionally, any program, whose Letter of Intent was accepted prior to 1 March 2016, choosing to use the GAC Accreditation Handbook (3.1) must have their Self-evaluation Report completed and approved by the GAC Directors by 15 September 2016.

    c. Self-evaluation Reports not completed and accepted by GAC by 15 September 2016 must re-submit using the revised GAC Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards noted in the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0).

  • a. The process of GAC accreditation has not changed.

  • a. Below find a crosswalk illustrating the association between the revised and the previous GAC Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards:

    NEW
    GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0)
    Eligibility Requirements
    Section C


    Crosswalk
    Previous
    GAC Accreditation Handbook (3.1)
    Eligibility Requirements
    Section C.1
    C.1: Institutional Accreditation and Legal Authority

    C.1.1: Institutional Accreditation and Legal Authority
    C.2 Degrees or Awards Eligible for Accreditation

    C.1.2: Degree Programs Eligible for Accreditation
    C.3: Period of Operation

    C.1.3: Period of Operation
    C.4: Administrative Structure and Academic Leadership

    Not explicit in previous edition of Eligibility Requirements
    NEW
    GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0)
    Accreditation Standards
    Section D


    Crosswalk
    Previous
    GAC Accreditation Handbook (3.1)
    Eligibility Requirements
    Section C.1
    D.1: Program Mission

    C.2.1: Mission
    D.2: Curricula and Core Areas of Focus for Program Learning Outcomes

    C.2.6: Program Outcomes
    C.2.7: Project Management Core Learning Outcomes
    C.2.8: Student Performance Criteria
    D.3: Program Information in the Public Domain

    C.2.4: Student Support Services/ Information in the Public Domain
    D.4: Faculty and Staff

    C.2.3: Academic Community/Faculty and Staff
    D.5 Students

    C.2.4: Student Support Services/ Information in the Public Domain
    C.2.5: Student Selection
    C.2.9: Library/Learning Resource Center and Educational Innovations and Technology
    C.2.10: Financial Resources, Facilities and Equipment
    D.6: Financial Resources

    C.2.10: Financial Resources, Facilities and Equipment
    D.7: Program Improvement

    C.2.2: Demonstration of Achievement of Mission
    C.2.8: Student Performance Criteria
  • a. The Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards in the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0) have been revised to more clearly define key accreditation elements and provide clarity to prospective, applicant, and current GAC accredited programs

    b. The GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0) focuses on assurance of learning and student achievement of the three GAC core areas of focus for learning outcomes that address generally accepted practices, knowledge, and competencies found within the discipline project, program, and portfolio and documented in professional standards.

  • a. Resources related to applying for accreditation using GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0) are posted on gacpm.org under “Apply for Accreditation.”

    b. Resources for current GAC accredited programs’ use of the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0) are posted on gacpm.org under “Resources.”

  • a. The fee structure has not changed.

  • a. All questions may be directed to GAC Staff at gac@pmi.org or +610-355-1601

  • a. As of 1 March 2016, any GAC accredited program completing mandatory GAC reporting requirements (e.g. Annual GAC Accredited Program Report, Substantive Change, Review and Approval of Additional Academic Degrees or Award After Primary Accreditation, and so forth) must follow the policies and guidelines contained in the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0).

    b. As of 15 September 2016, all GAC accredited programs will follow and comply with the accreditation policies, guidelines, processes, requirements and standards set forth the GAC Accreditation Handbook (4.0).