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Standards:Affiliate Accreditation Process

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The Importance of Affiliate Accreditation

IDEA voting members that have received IDEA accreditation can themselves offer IDEA accreditation to clubs, resource centers, educators (trainers, teachers, coaches) and judges that are affiliated with them and are members of IDEA. Accreditation status is an acknowledgement that a member embodies and employs the principles of IDEA, and has fulfilled its duties as a component of the speech and debate organization.

Local Accreditation Process

The local accreditation process is designed to achieve three goals.

  • to clarify the strengths and weaknesses of the member NGO�s affiliates
  • to help improve the quality of speech and debate activities
  • to facilitate collaboration between IDEA and its members

NGO Encouragement

NGOs should encourage clubs, resource centers, educators (trainers, teachers, coaches) and judges to apply for membership in IDEA and to seek accreditation.

  • NGOs should provide information to its affiliates regarding how to apply for IDEA membership and accreditation.
  • NGOs should provide the necessary training for members interested in participating in the accreditation process.
  • NGOs should provide a checklist of the documents necessary for the accreditation process.

The Affiliate Accreditation Process

The Formal Affiliate Accreditation Process

  • NGOs must submit a plan to IDEA for the accreditation of affiliated local clubs, resource centers, teachers, trainers, coaches and judges.
The plan should outline how local accreditation committees are to be established, the criteria used for determining accreditation, and a grievance procedure for appeals. The plan should stipulate that the rights, responsibilities, and rules for clubs, coaches, judges, and students by publicly displayed.
Any locally accredited entity must agree to, sign and publicly display the appropriate IDEA mission agreement and be entered into DebateTracker.
IDEA has provided mission statements that establish minimum standards. All of the mission statements provided do not have to be used. However, those that apply must be signed in order for the affiliate to be accredited. Local accreditation committees can add clauses to these documents reflecting the ethical code of the NGO.
Local accreditation committees can also translate these documents as long as the spirit of the principles is retained.
  • Once a NGO's local accreditation plan is approved by IDEA, local accreditation committees can, at their discretion, accredit affiliated clubs, resource centers, trainers, teachers, coaches, and judges whom they believe meet IDEA standards and qualifications and which are IDEA members.
Specific guidelines for the accreditation of clubs, resource centers, educators (trainers, teachers, coaches) and judges are provided to NGOs. Locally accredited trainers who wish to become internationally accredited with have one year to submit their portfolios and fulfill the other accreditation requirements.
Please see International Trainer Accreditation Process for more information.
  • NGOs can initially accredit individuals.
Initial accreditation of individuals is the accreditation of program participants upon meeting, at least, certain criteria established by IDEA. It serves to acknowledge the participant's contribution to the development of the association and related activities, internationally, nationally and locally.
The IDEA Accreditation Committee, informed by the IDEA Accreditation Consultant assigned to the NGO, initially accredits individuals from that organization upon nomination by the NGO. A one-page summary of the person's involvement in the program is required with the nomination.
  • The minimum requirements for the initial accreditation of individuals are outlined below:
    • Teachers/educators
      • Minimum of 5 years of involvement in the program activities.
      • Minimum of 4 years of use of debate elements in teaching.
      • Track record of active promotion of debate classroom methodology.
    • Coaches
      • Minimum of 7 years of coaching.
      • Minimum of 3 years of participation of teams in NGO-sanctioned tournaments in which at least 15 teams take part.
    • Judges
      • Minimum of 5 years of judging at debate tournaments.
      • Minimum of 3 times of being a panel member at semi-finals or finals at NGO sanctioned tournaments with participation of at least 15 teams.
  • If a club, resource center, educator (teacher, trainer, coach) or judge seeks accreditation but are not affiliated with an accredited voting member of IDEA, the individual or entity should apply directly to IDEA-NL and submit an application indicating that they have met the appropriate standards for accreditation.
  • In the event that an accredited voting member of IDEA loses its accreditation, the affiliates it has accredited will retain their accredited status as long as they continue to adhere to IDEA standards. The NGO, however, will no longer accrue activity points for those entities.

Local Accreditation Agents

The following agents, each with specific responsibilities, implement the local accreditation process.

  • The IDEA Accreditation Committee helps the member NGO with resources (DebateTracker, small grants, etc.) and provides all official papers, including downloadable accreditation certificates, related to the accreditation process.
  • IDEA Accreditation Consultants act as resource persons for any NGO, helping them to meet IDEA standards. They advise local NGOs on the benefits, standards and procedures of the IDEA accreditation process. They communicate in a network with the IDEA Accreditation Committee to adjust criteria and standards.
  • The governing board or general assembly of the member NGO nominates the NGO Accreditation Committees (NAC). Chosen in an open and transparent way, NACs should consist of a minimum of two members who are qualified and who have knowledge and experience with speech and debate.
NGO Accreditation Committees work with their Accreditation Consultant to develop the plan and agenda for local accreditation. The local accreditation plan is approved by the member NGO and submitted to the IDEA Accreditation Committee.
  • Regional Coordinators disseminate information about local accreditation, organize the process of accreditation (meetings, on-site visits) and perform the routines of collecting and managing information (DebateTracker) necessary for local accreditation.

Revoking Local Accreditation

Local accreditation committees have the right to revoke accreditation status from a club, resource center, educator, or judge, if, in the opinion of the local committee, the individual or organization has failed to uphold the standards and principles upon which accreditation is based.

Clubs, resource centers, educators, and judges may appeal this decision directly to the IDEA Accreditation Committee. The decision of the IDEA Committee is final. Once accreditation has been revoked, the entity or individual may reapply directly to the local accreditation committee one year from the date of the original revocation.

In extraordinary circumstances, the IDEA Accreditation Committee may unilaterally revoke the accreditation of a club, resource center, educator, or judge if, in the opinion of the Accreditation Committee, that individual or entity has acted in a manner unbecoming of the standards provided herein.

This decision is not subject to appeal. However, after one year, the institution or individual may reapply directly to the IDEA Accreditation Committee.

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