Institutional membership is the entry into ATHEA and the starting point for all institutional members who may seek accreditation. The institution must have legal authorization to operate as a tertiary educational institution, have students in a programme of higher education, be in existence for at least 1 year, and offer and teach their own institution’s programmes. If, for example, an institution is teaching for another institution but has no academic programmes of their own, they could not be an Institutional Member.
An Institutional Member who has completed all of the requirements for candidacy status as stated in the Accreditation Policy Manual will be a considered a candidate for accreditation. The Institutional Member must have graduates of the programme and be in existence for at least 3 years. The specific term used to state the outcome a positive outcome for candidacy is ATHEA-Candidate. In the ATHEA Charter, the specific membership category is Candidate Member. The member therefore becomes an ATHEA Candidate Member, having been granted candidacy status by the Board of Commissioners.
Once an ATHEA Candidate completes a self-evaluation, hosts a site evaluation, and is accepted into accreditation status by the Board of Commissioners, the institution is awarded accreditation. The Candidate Member must have at least 2 cycles of graduates from their institution. In the ATHEA Charter, the specific membership category is Accredited Member. The Candidate Member therefore becomes an ATHEA Accredited Member, having been granted accreditation by the Board of Commissioners.