Accreditation is an ongoing formal, independent verification that a program, organization, or institution meets established quality standards set by an independent body.
Accreditation matters because individuals and families impacted by autism deserve access to the highest level of care to help them reach their full potential and there is far too much variability in the quality of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services currently available.
In the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), individual professionals become certified and licensed, whereas organizations and institutions become accredited. For example, many ABA providers hold a certification credential from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) and may also hold a license to practice ABA from a state licensure board. Likewise, some higher education training programs are accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI®) and service organizations offering ABA services to individuals with autism may choose to pursue accreditation with the Autism Commission on Quality (ACQ).
ACQ is a mission-driven non-profit accreditation body for organizations offering applied behavior analysis services to individuals and families impacted by autism. Our mission is to continuously improve the impact of applied behavior analysis services for the autism community through education and accreditation of provider organizations.
The Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) is a known and trusted trade association representing over 300 provider organizations serving around 100,000 individuals with autism. ACQ is proudly supported by CASP; however, all essential accreditation decisions are handled independently from CASP. No single organization, including CASP, is permitted to have majority control over the Standards, Accreditation, and Appeals Committees that form ACQ.
CASP’s establishment of ACQ is a natural extension of its previous and current work ensuring access to quality ABA services and resources by publishing guidelines and standards, engaging in advocacy on behalf of ABA providers, and offering trainings on a multitude of relevant and timely topics to the community. CASP established ACQ because it identified the need for a community-supported, mission-driven, non-profit accreditation program.
Yes. ACQ is a single-member LLC that has inherited the nonprofit tax status of its single member.
Some people mistakenly believe that designation as an LLC is inconsistent with being a nonprofit. However, in Massachusetts where ACQ is organized, there are no specific limitations on limited liability companies, which can “carry on any lawful business, trade, profession, purpose or activity.” As a single-member limited liability company, ACQ is a disregarded entity that receives the benefit of its single member’s tax exempt status.
ACQ is a mission-driven nonprofit accreditation body backed by CASP, a known and trusted entity. ACQ’s accreditation standards belong to the community it serves and are not owned by private individuals or groups. ACQ’s nonprofit status aligns with its commitment to transparency, especially as it relates to the financial support it receives.
ACQ accreditation is designed for autism service providers who recognize the benefits of accreditation for their organization and for the field. In other words, organizations concerned about the status quo who wish to join a community dedicated to continuous quality improvement of ABA services for all patients with autism receiving ABA services.
The Autism Commission on Quality’s (ACQ) fee schedule is specific to each applicant organization and is determined by the scope of the services provided and the geographic reach of the provider organization. ACQ’s introductory application pricing starts with a minimum fee of $2,000 for smaller organizations and scales considerably depending on the number of reimbursable service hours and states the organization operates from. Introductory application pricing is subject to change as ACQ determines the cost and resources involved in managing a meaningful and efficient accreditation program. Organizations can request a price quote after scheduling a meeting with an ACQ Representative and answering some basic questions about their organization.
Organizations have 90 days to submit their application for accreditation after signing an accreditation agreement and and paying their application fee. A one-time 30-day extension may also be granted if the written request is received before the 90-day deadline. ACQ will will notify applying organizations of their accreditation determination within 120 days of receiving a completed application. The actual length of time to submit an application and receive a determination is organization-specific.
The duration of ACQ’s Accreditation is a two-year cycle from the date of certification issuance.
Prior to applying for ACQ accreditation, an Organization must have been actively providing applied behavior analysis services (ABA) for at least 1 year. Within an Organization, only locations that have been in continuous operation for 6 or more months by the time the ACQ Accreditation Agreement has been signed may be included within the accreditation application.