Accreditation – What is it all about?

January 12, 2022

There are some major misconceptions around accreditation and what it means in regards to vocational training. On occasion, students will ask if our programs are accredited all the while not even knowing what accreditation means. So let’s clear the air and lay out the facts to what some educators and bureaucrats have made a confusing issue.  

Are the programs offered through CalRegional partners accredited?

The answer is No. In fact, a public or private school, college or university does not need to be accredited to teach Phlebotomy, Medical Assistant or Pharmacy Technician programs.

Then what is accreditation and why do some institutions have it and others do not?

Accreditation is formal recognition by a private organization that a school, college or university meets that organization’s instructional standards. Accreditation is a voluntary designation that schools, colleges and universities purchase in order to qualify for certain state and federal financial aid programs, such as PELL grants.

While most of the community colleges and adult schools where our programs are offered are accredited through WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), accreditation is NOT required by the State of California in order for a school, college or university to teach Phlebotomy, Medical Assistant or Pharmacy Technician programs. 

Is an accredited school better than a school that is not accredited?

No. The only difference is that the accredited school can offer certain state and federal financial aid programs like Pell Grants, while the non-accredited school cannot. In addition, accredited programs can be very costly and time consuming. 

If accreditation is not required for an institution to teach Phlebotomy, Medical Assistant or Pharmacy Technician programs, what is required? 

1. The institution must be one of the following:

•    A public school
•    An accredited school
•    A Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BBPE) approved school
•    A BPPE exempt school

The community colleges and adult school’s that work with CalRegional are public schools that satisfy this requirement.

2.    The program must meet the minimum requirements for curriculum and instructional hours, if any, as set by the agency that approves or sets the minimum requirements for the program. All three programs meet the requirement as follows:

•    The Phlebotomy program is approved by the California Department of Laboratory Field Services (LFS).
•    The Medical Assistant program meets the minimum requirements established by the California Medical Board (CMB). 
•    The Pharmacy Technician program meets the requirements established by the California State Board of Pharmacy.

What should I get from the school once I complete my training?

In most cases, the school will provide you with a certificate that verifies you have successfully completed the training required by LFS for Phlebotomy, CMB for Medical Assistant and California State Board of Pharmacy for Pharmacy Technician.

Once I have my certificate, can I get a job in my chosen profession?

To work as a Phlebotomist in California, you will have to pass at least one of several examinations administered by an LFS approved testing organization and submit your test scores, certificate and externship documentation (included in your training) to LFS for approval and licensure.

To work as a Medical Assistant in California, no further action is required. However, be aware that some employers may require that you pass an examination administered by that organization or one of many private Medical Assistant testing organizations. Most programs include such private testing services as part of their programs. 

To work as a Pharmacy Technician in California, you must submit an application along with a copy of your certificate of program completion to the California Board of Pharmacy. You will then be issued a Registration card. No examination is required.

Please give us a call at (800) 927-5159. We are here to answer any questions you may have.