Association of Independent Living Groups

Accreditation Report Style Guide

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Please read this style guide before writing your reports. It contains some rules we have developed for formatting the reports to provide some uniformity and to get the most important information right up front.

The heading must include the date the report was completed, the name of the FSILG visited, the date of the visit, and the names of the reviewers, identifying the chair and the scribe. Also list the names of the representatives of the FSILG present for the review. If the FSILG brings more than 7 representatives, identify the principal participants, and indicate the total number present. A scanned copy of the attendance sheet will be placed in your team locker to assist you with spelling names correctly.

Section 1 must be just the overall finding. Please use only one of the following three options, worded exactly as below:
    Recommend Accreditation
    Recommend Accreditation with reservations
    Not Recommended for Accreditation

If the finding is "Recommend Accreditation with reservations" you MAY include "A revisit will be scheduled for next term." Do not include any other text in Section 1. Do not list the reservations. No other text goes in Section 1, none at all, under any circumstances. If there are special case changes to the revisitation schedule, please read "Revisitation schedule" below.

Section 2 General comments, introductory paragraphs:

If the finding is not "Recommend Accreditation", you MAY begin Section 2 with a BRIEF (15 words or less) positive statement (e.g. "While we were impressed with many things about XYZ," and you MUST use the text

"The visiting committee has the following reservations:"
in the case of a finding of Recommend Accreditation with reservations
or
"The visiting committee does not recommend accreditation for the following reasons:"
in the case of a finding of Not Recommended for Accreditation
followed by a brief, item by item list.

Do not go into great detail or make recommendations at this point; just list the problems. Use 3 lines or less to describe each problem, giving enough detail to make it clear that the problem is serious enough to rise to the level of a reservation (rather than just an area needing improvement) or a reason for withholding a recommendation to accredit. Your report will be subject to review by the AILG Board, who want to see this particular format. The Board will most likely send your report back for editing if this format is not used.

If the finding is "Recommend Accreditation", the format of your comments here is less strict. Your report won't be subject to review by the AILG Board.

Beyond the heading, the first section and the beginning of the second, which have specific content, we don't want to be overly strict about style, but do want an overall reasonably professional look.

Revisitation Schedule. The standard revisitation schedule is two years for a finding of "Recommend Accreditation", next term for a finding of "Recommend Accreditation with reservations", and occurs when intervention by DSL has completed for a finding of "Not Recommended for Accreditation".

For a finding of "Recommend Accreditation", if you have sufficient justification to recommend a visit in one year, you should state the reasons in the first part of section 2 and state that your committee "recommends that the accreditation committee schedule a review after one year."

For a finding of "Recommend Accreditation with reservations", if you do not believe that any of the reservations can be addressed in one term, then you may include in section 3 (private comments) a recommendation from your committee to the accreditation committee that the FSILG be reviewed in one year. DO NOT include this recommendation in sections 1 or 2 of the report.

"2A. Areas of Excellence". Here's your chance to point out the great things about the organization, to list best practices, and to recommend the organization's ideas to other members of the Community, when appropriate.

"2B. Areas Needing Improvement" is where you describe the actual problems, going into detail on those listed in General Comments. This is where you may make recommendations on how to solve the problems listed as reservations or reasons for withholding a recommendation to accredit. List the most serious problems first, providing additional detail for any that were listed earlier. If you wish to make recommendations, make the recommendation after describing the problem.

The finding given in section 1 is our only recommendation to the Dean's office. Please do not make recommendations for action by MIT. We make recommendations for operational changes only for our member organizations.

IMPORTANT: Except for a plaintext report, you must include a page break before Section 3 (Private Comments) and another page break before Section 4 (Recommendations) to make it easy to separate these sections. You may wish to include the name of the organization again at the top of each of these new pages. If you format your report with page numbers (optional), please do not use "n of m", since the report submitted to MIT will have these additional pages removed. Do not include these sections at all if they are empty.

When sending the report please attach the report to an email "cover letter" composed composed substantially from the sample text provided. The cover letter should be the main body of the email sent to the FSILG, not part of the report document. While you do not need to use exactly this text, please be careful to correctly state our privacy policies as they apply to the specific recommendation from your team.

Visitors will find a folder of sample reports in the team's private data repository.