Definition, Roles and Responsibilities of Accreditation of FETPs Process Participants ( Proposed ) 1_29_2013

Author (s): 

Aftab, Carmen

Definition, Roles and Responsibilities of Accreditation of FETPs Process Participants

List of of Accreditation of FETPs Process Participants -- this sounds good

  1. FETPs requesting accreditation
  2. TEPHINET Governing Bodies; Secretariat, Advisory Board, Program Director’s Meeting
  3. Accreditation Working Group
  4. Accreditation Reviewers and Review Teams
  5. Global Accrediting Body


  1. FETP Programs Requesting Accreditation

Definition and eligibility requirements


Field Epidemiology Training Programs are competency-based, training-through-service apprenticeship programs in applied epidemiology that provide countries and ministries of health (MOHs) with a continuous supply of highly qualified epidemiologist.  FETP program participants (often referred to by programs as officers, fellows, trainees, or residents) acquire core competencies by providing essential disease surveillance, field epidemiology, and emergency response services to their MOHs, with the aims of strengthening MOH capacity and improving population’s health


  1. Programs calendar duration is of at least 21 months and this includes time for a trainee to complete their classroom training, field and in-service training requirements and satisfy core competencies
  2. The program identifies core competencies and requirements that trainees shall complete before graduation.The Continuous Quality Improvement Manual(CQI)  is the main reference for the core competencies, at a minimum it is expected that these will include epidemiology methods, surveillance, public health investigations, and scientific communications
  3. The majority of program duration (≥65%) is spent doing field work and in-service training activities
  4. Training as service: training must be done carrying epidemiology functions and responsibilities within the public health service and in support of the public health system and health priorities of the country
  5. Programs must have established continuous cycles of recruitment and have at least a graduated class
  6. Programs respond to the TEPHINET call for Accreditation of FETPs, receive application guidelines, and complete a FETP Self-Study Report to be considered for accreditation

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Applicant programs organize self-study sessions and gather requested documentation needed to complete the FETP Accreditation Self-Study Report. Self-study sessions involve participation of program staff, trainee supervisors, mentors, faculty and instructors, program partners, Advisory Board members and or MOH leadership supervising the program, trainee placement units leadership, and trainees
  2. Programs provide FETP Accreditation Reviewers, ahead of travel,  with detail logistics information (location and contact information of key places and persons to visit, best airline travel itineraries, hotel accommodations, convenient places to eat, cultural issues and customs to observe, etc.) and assist with visit coordination of meetings and appointments and in-country travel arrangements.
  3. Program should be prepared  to host and accompany the FETP Accreditation Review Team (ART), securing the participation of two senior program staff and include a daily briefing with the program director
  4. Provide at least one room exclusively dedicated for the ART visit. The room should be large enough to accommodate meetings with groups of program participants, have tables, chairs, telephone, be adequately illuminated, free of noise,  personnel traffic, excess humidity, dust, air pollutants such as solvents or irritants, and be reasonably protected from excess heat or cold temperatures.
  5. Applicant program’s  leadership and staff need to block 3 calendar months to prepare their application submission, plan, prepare and host the visit of the Accreditation Review Team  to guarantee the best use of program resources, TEPHINET accreditation expenditures, and time of volunteer epidemiologist reviewing applications and conducting accreditation reviews
  6. To safeguard the impartiality and transparency of the accreditation process, programs need to:
    1. Diligently  prepare their self-study report
    2. Compile  and organize all requested documentation
    3. Guarantee timely and satisfactory completion of the agenda prepared for the ART visit
    4. Maintain  regular and candid communication with the designated Accreditation Review Team
    5. Promptly review  the  Review Team Visit Report and immediately report discrepancies, erroneous, missing, or incomplete information
    6. In case an accreditation decision is deemed incorrect timely follow and completion the requirements of the Accreditation Appeal process.


II.   TEPHINET Governing Bodies; Secretariat, Advisory Board, Program Director’s Meeting

Roles and Responsibilities

TEPHINET Secretariat

  1. Has the overall responsibility for the accreditation of FETPs process, including its technical soundness, fairness,  administrative and financial support, and transparency
  2. Provides administrative and technical support to all accreditation participants
  3. Issues annual call for accreditation applications
  4. Conducts administrative and technical oversight of the process
  5. Prepares annual accreditation budget, procures funding, and reports expenditures
  6. Organizes and convenes the annual accreditation session of the Global Accrediting Body
  7. Takes specific steps to continuously maintain and improve the quality of the accreditation process
  8. Informs programs of the accreditation decisions made by the GAB
  9. Prepares annual accreditation evaluation report and informs all TEPHINET governing bodies of the report results

TEPHINET Advisory Board

  1. Requests and reviews annual accreditation evaluation reports
  2. Provides oversight and guidance necessary to maintain technical soundness, fairness, and transparency of the accreditation process
  3. Issues recommendations aimed at maintaining and improving the quality of the accreditation process
  4. Advocates for funding and support to sustain annual cycles of accreditation

TEPHINET Program Directors

  1. Request and review annual accreditation evaluation reports
  2. Include accreditation evaluation and results as part of its regular meeting agendas
  3. Provide input and issue recommendations aimed at maintaining and improving the quality of the accreditation process
  4. Implements actions and delegate  persons and programs responsible for the implementation of recommendations
  5. Advocates for funding and support to maintain regular accreditation cycles

III. Accreditation Working Group (AWG)

 Proposed terms of reference for the AWG


The AWD is a working group of TEPHINET organism formed by regional members designated by the regional meetings and by representatives designated by CDC and WHO. The objective of the group is to provide coordination and oversight to the TEPHINET accreditation of FETPs. The AWD is the warrantor of the quality and transparency of TEPHINET accreditation of FETPs process and results.


Designation and Eligibility


AWG candidates are proposed by the programs to the regional TEPHINET organizations and confirmed by a majority vote (70% approval) of the regional PDs meeting. AWG members can invite other PDs and program staff to participate of AWG activities or to make part of sub-committees designed to support its activities. Members who can’t continue participating of the AWG activities could designate candidates to replace them.



Current and former FETP directors and technical staff of the programs with more than five years of full-time experience supporting trainee field activities are eligible to participate. Partner organizations designating representatives to the AWG are directed to use these same criteria to select their representation.


Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Provide technical guidance, and leadership for the continuous development of the TEPHINET Accreditation of FETPS
  2. Develop and approve an annual AWG workplan
  3. Review and update the accreditation standards and procedures
  4. Review and update guidelines,  documentation, and training materials related to the accreditation of FETPs
  5. Issue quarterly activity reports to the TEPHINET Secretariat, Advisory Board, and PDs regional meetings
  6. Meet monthly via conference call to follow-up the development of its annual workplan (meetings can be cancelled if items included on the annual workplan do not require conferencing)
  7. Procure input and feedback from program directors and program partners  from the regions represented on the AWG
  8. Compile and maintain a registry of eligible candidates to carry out  Accreditation Application Reviews and Accreditation Review site-visits
  9. Assist in the selection, invitation, and briefing of skilled and competent Accreditation Review Teams
  10. Contribute information, analysis, and recommendations necessary to develop the annual  FETP Accreditation Evaluation Report


IV. Accreditation Reviewers and Accreditation Review Teams

Accreditation Reviewers


  1. Field epidemiologists with extensive national public health experience (10 years)
  2. Graduates or technical staff of FETP programs proposed by their programs or who individually submit their interest to the AWG
  3. Who complete on-line accreditation review training and pass certification test
  4. Available to  complete  within four months:
    1. a review of a Self-Study Report
    2. conduct a program accreditation visit
    3. coordinate activities and schedules with another reviewer
    4. prepare an accreditation visit report and recommendations
  5. Perform the activities listed above on a volunteer basis without monetary compensation (travel, accommodations, and per-diem reimbursed or provided in-kind by TEPHINET)
  6. Speaks the national language of the country but has no previous or concurrent affiliation or services transactions with the program to be visited
  7. Has very good oral and  written communication and reporting skills

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Following accreditation review guidelines assesses completion and quality of FETP Accreditation Self-Study Reports to determine if an application request is approved
  2. Conduct the actual site visit to the program to discuss the documentation submitted, areas of strength and possible gaps in the programs current structure, processes and outcomes included as part of the accreditation standards
  3. Prepare a draft report of the accreditation visit to share with the program for accuracy and completeness
  4. Issue a final report of the accreditation visit and recommendations which will accompany the program Accreditation Self-Study Report, to inform the debate and decision of the GAB
  5. Coordinate travel dates and Accreditation Review Visit agendas with the other team member applicant programs, TEPHINET Secretariat.
  6. Prepare travel expenditures report and or reimbursement voucher as needed


Accreditation Review Team


Group of two epidemiologists, satisfying the Accreditation Reviewer eligibility requirements, responsible for reviewing and the applicant program Accreditation Self-Study Report, recommending and accreditation visit, conducting an accreditation review visit, and preparing a final accreditation review report



  1.  In addition to the accreditation reviewer requirements, ARTs will be formed by one member who has full command or whose native language is the language spoken in the applicant program country and the other has very good  English writing skills
  2. Participants are cognizant of the other designated team participant and agree to  be part of the team and to constructively communicate and negotiate activities and communications with applicant programs and   other involved parties


Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Coordinate among themselves  the conduction of each of the tasks listed above
  2. Designate a RT team leader
  3. Coordinate concise and efficient communications with TEPHINET Secretariat, applicant program and AWG
  4. Prepare an English version of the Accreditation Review Report according to guidelines which would be a  close translation of the report prepared
  5. Carry themselves at all times with dignity and respect to the applicant program participants and partners, acknowledging and respecting local culture and customs
  6. Abstain of any other professional, business, or leisure activities during the course and duration of the Accreditation Review Visit.


V. Global Accrediting Body (GAB)


External panel of accreditation decision makers (4 members) nominated by TEPHINET governing bodies formed by senior public health experts


  1. Senior public health experts, with  ≥15 years of public health practice, of recognized technical, professional, and moral authority who are willing to dedicate 2 to 3 days of work to conduct panel reviews and issue accreditation decisions
  2. Have no previous or concurrent affiliation with FETP programs under accreditation review
  3. Willing to participate as GAB member without expectations of any monetary compensation from TEPHINET, TEPHINET governing bodies, staff, or its affiliate programs
  4. GAB members are willing to dedicate 2 to 3 days of work to conduct panel accreditation reviews and issue accreditation decisions
  5. Willing to take the on-line GAB review training and take self-assessment test
  6. Willing to participate on an extraordinary GAB session to address FETP Accreditation appeals

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Assemble annually to review FETP Accreditation Review Reports and Recommendations
  2. Follows FETP Accreditation Review Guidelines to inform discussions and accreditation decisions
  3. Issues objective accreditation decisions based on FETP and ART review reports
  4. Reconvenes to revise appeals to accreditation decisions
  5. Evaluates and issues recommendations to improve accreditation procedures, reports and support for GAB functions and activities
  6. Informs TEPHINET Secretariat and Advisory Board of accreditation decisions, evaluation of process and support for GAB functions and activities


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