Complaint Process


Accredited programs are subject to complaints from students and other public stakeholders. CAHIIM will initiate the required process for investigating these concerns if they target non-compliance issues related to the Standards. Complaints must not be anonymous and must show evidence that steps to reach a resolution at the sponsoring institution have been exhausted. Please review the steps for initiating the CAHIIM Complaint Process. Please contact CAHIIM Staff in order to discuss this process before submission.

Complaint Process and Stages

  1. To receive formal consideration, all complaints must be submitted to the Chair of the Commission in writing and signed. The complainant must also demonstrate that reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the complaint or those efforts were unavailing.

  2. On receipt of a written complaint, the Commission staff sends a letter of acknowledgment to the complainant advising of the referral to the Commission.

  3. Following consultation with the Commission staff, the Chair determines whether the complaint relates to the manner in which the program complies with the Standards or follows established accreditation policies.

  4. If the complaint does not relate to the Standards or to established policies, the person initiating the complaint shall be notified accordingly by the Chair within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint.

  5. If the complaint does relate to the Standards, the complainant shall be notified accordingly by the Chair within 20 working days and provided with the Staff prepared processes for handling such complaints. The following shall also occur:

  6. The confidentiality of the complaining party shall be protected unless the complainant authorizes disclosure of his/her identity.

  7. The Chair shall notify the program director and the chief executive officer of the sponsoring institution of the substance of the complaint and shall request a preliminary investigation and report on the findings within 30 days of the sponsoring institution’s receipt of the letter of notice.

  8. The Chair may request further information or material relative to the complaint from the complaining party, the institution, or other relevant sources. On receipt of the responses, the Commission shall consider all the information and formulate the appropriate action according to the following guidelines:

If the complaint is unsubstantiated or not related to the Standards, all parties shall be notified within 10 days.

If the complaint reveals that the program is found not to be in substantial compliance with the Standards, one of two approaches shall be taken:

  • The program may submit a satisfactory Report within 30 days demonstrating compliance. If the Commission accepts the report as satisfactory, then all parties are notified of this action and the program’s accreditation status is unchanged.
  • Should the program’s responses not be satisfactory and is in continued substantial noncompliance, the Commission may request a site visit of the program. The site visit must occur as soon as possible but not more than 30 days following the investigation. The cost shall be borne by the program.