File A Complaint

When a student/resident SHOULD NOT contact the CAATE:

The CAATE will not mediate individual grievances against a program that have to do with established program or institutional policy.  If a student and/or resident has a complaint about faculty/preceptor behavior, grading policies, admissions or retention policies, or other such policies, these grievances should be filed via the institutional (or in the case of residency, sponsoring organization’s) complaint resolution process.  If those options have been exhausted, and the alleged violation has not been resolved, appellate procedures within state systems of higher education, state judicial courts, or institutional regional accreditors, should be used to determine if further action is warranted.


How to file a complaint with the CAATE:


CAATE Complaint Process

Formal complaints to the CAATE must pertain to matters related to program compliance with the Standards.  Complaints may be filed by the program’s stakeholders including individuals, students, groups, or organizations related to the program.

The CAATE will not intercede in institutional student or faculty grievances against a program. Appropriate institutional and professional avenues of appeal must be used by complainants, before filing a formal complaint. The program’s institution assumes responsibility for administering their own policies in these areas. When alleged violations cannot be resolved within the institution, procedures within state systems of higher education or state judicial courts should be used to review and enforce institutional compliance with policies.

The CAATE will keep a complainant’s identity confidential if requested, but will not accept anonymous complaints. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the CAATE Office via email (

Instructions to File a Complaint

Before filing a formal complaint, the complainant is encouraged to contact the CAATE Office. After reviewing the complaint procedures and consulting with the CAATE Office, the complainant may decide whether to file a formal complaint.

Formal complaints must be submitted in writing to the CAATE Office ( with documentation that the complaint meets the following criteria:

  • Documentation must support the complaint demonstrating that the complainant has exhausted all appropriate institutional and professional channels for resolution, if applicable.
  • Documentation that is connected to a possible non-compliance of one or more Standards.
  • Documentation containing the complainants full name, affiliation, and contact information (phone number and email address).

Evaluation to Determine if Criteria Have Been Met

Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the CAATE Director of Accreditation determines whether the criteria for formal complaints have been fully met and whether the complaint falls within the CAATE’s authority.

If the complaint meets the criteria for a formal complaint, the complainant and the program administrators are notified within 10 business days. The program has 30 business days from receipt of the complaint to respond. The documentation from the program will be sent to Review Committee for review and a recommendation and shared with the complainant, who will be given 10 business days to respond.

The Director of Accreditation presents the formal complaint, the program’s response, the Review Committee recommendation, and the complainant’s response to the CAATE Commission during its next regularly scheduled meeting and recommends a decision.

The Commission may decide to take one of the following actions:

  • Find the program compliant with the Standards and dismiss the complaint. If the Commission dismisses the complaint, the CAATE President or Executive Director notifies the complainant and the program, stipulating the reasons for the Commission’s action.
  • Find the program non-compliant with one or more Standards. The Commission will determine the appropriate accreditation action as per the CAATE Policy and Procedures.

If the CAATE determines that the complaint does not meet the criteria for formal complaints or is not within the CAATE’s jurisdiction, the complainant is notified and given specific reasons for dismissing the complaint within 10 business days. The Director of Accreditation informs the Commission of the complaint and the outcome at the next Commission meeting.