Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680. Tel: 267-284-5000. www.msche.org
MSCHE Services Provided for a Fee
The Commission seeks to support its members and candidate institutions as they address
accreditation standards and processes by routinely providing services that relate directly to
accreditation, such as staff visits for self-study preparation, visits required by the Commission,
accessibility of Commission staff to answer questions, training for preparation of periodic review
reports, advice to applicant institutions, assignment of outside consultant/reviewers to candidate
institutions and publications.
Additional services are sometimes requested by both member and non-member institutions for
general institutional improvement. These areas often overlap with accreditation standards, and
the Commission is therefore asked to provide these additional services for an additional fee.
They might include, for example, training for strategic and other types of planning, training for
student learning and other types of institutional assessment, and description to non-members of
general accreditation processes and requirements.
The Commission may provide such additional services as an accommodation and for a fee if
there is no present or potential existing or perceived conflict of interest between its primary role
as accreditor of member and candidate institutions and the services requested. For example,
general training on or off campus would not present a conflict, but participating in drafting a
self-study report would.
Therefore, in addition to fees routinely charged for staff visits, substantive changes, PRR
reviews, and other actions related to accreditation and candidacy reviews or support, other
consulting services may be provided for a fee to non-member, accredited and/or candidate
institutions if the following conditions are met:
All such services shall be approved by the President. In cases where the President is the service
provider, or in which the Commission is receiving a fee for circulating to its members
services or materials from third party providers, the President shall submit the issue to the
Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting on such activities.
The service provided is clearly beyond the scope of typical accreditation services, because of its
content, depth, or other reasons. Normally, this will be limited to institutional improvement when
the institution is not in self-study or in decennial, follow-up, or other type of pending
accreditation review, or this will occur by provision of general advice rather than writing
segments of documents such as self-studies or strategic plans. Rendering services to an
individual institution for fewer than three days per academic year may be one indication that the
advice is general.
Policy: MSCHE Services Provided for a Fee 2
The Commission will not supply services for a fee to individual institutions that relate to that
institution=s specific accreditation documents or processes, such as self-studies or periodic
review reports, except for normal review by the institutional liaison for approval of self-study
designs and for determination of readiness for other review.
Staff shall take extra care to ensure that institutions with whom the Commission has a services
for a fee relationship to follow the normal Achecks and balances= review process for
accreditation actions, with review by readers, an advisory committee and the Commission as
Staff are prohibited from consultative services of any kind to member (accredited and candidate)
institutions for personal profit or gain. Staff may not provide such services during vacation time
and are prohibited from using Commission property for private consulting services.
In the case of receiving fees from providers of services and products in exchange for
publicizing to the Commission’s members such services or products, it must be clear to
members that although the Commission provides such publicity as a convenience for its
members, it neither recommends nor endorses such services or products. If the
Commission wishes to recommend or endorse a service or product in exchange for a fee,
it must disclose that fact to its members. In either case, the Commission must have
reviewed the provider and its products to ensure that they meet acceptable quality
standards. The Commission may exercise its discretion to decide whether to provide or
continue to provide services or products from any third party provider.
Provision of services for a fee (or without any additional fee) does not assure that such services
will result in favorable accreditation actions, or assure the quality of any third party provider.
See the Commission=s policy on fees for fee schedules.
Approved April 25, 2006
Revised 111008 (Editorial).