CHEA 2018 Recap: A Pivotal Moment for Accreditation

Given the ever-changing regulatory landscape and the sometimes-heated discussions that take place in the media around the role of accreditation in higher education, it came as no surprise to us that the CHEA 2018 Annual Conference sought to explore and define the “new normal” for accreditation. A “new normal” can mean many things, and can feel threatening or foreboding, but that’s not what happened at CHEA–the sessions were inspiring and optimistic, and the positive tone carried through to the many conversations we had with accreditors during the conference.

In our 17 years of building accreditation management software for institutional and programmatic accreditors, we’ve seen firsthand the passion that accreditors bring to their roles, and their dedication to the details: each step of the accreditation process is carefully planned out, executed, and reviewed. Every accreditor we’ve had the privilege to call our partner has operated with integrity, and they have counted on us to develop software solutions that can (1) help them meet their missions, and (2) keep them ahead of the regulatory curve. Our accreditation customers turn to us for innovative solutions that automate workflows and add efficiencies to their busy days.

That’s why the themes that were woven throughout this year’s conference—innovation, transparency, and quality assurance—resonated with us so much. These themes serve as promises that the accreditation community is making to itself, to its constituents, and to the regulators who are always waiting in the wings.

ARMATURE can help you deliver on each of these promises.

INNOVATION: Great Minds + Great Tech

What does it mean to be innovative? For us, innovation starts with inspiration from our customers. We solicit input from the accreditation community and turn those great ideas into product features that make every day easier for the professionals on the front lines of accreditation. Because technology never stops evolving and improving, we keep our ears to the ground and grab onto the best technologies as they surface—and then fold these into our software once we’ve thoroughly vetted and tested them.

You’ll see evidence of smart tech throughout our platform. One example of this is type-ahead search functionality: our software suggests results when users begin typing in a search query, which creates a Google-like experience as you navigate through our platform. Ease, efficiency, and a focus on user experience guide our accreditation management product development efforts.

Our customers deserve—and demand—nothing less than the best when it comes to accreditation management software, and we use their suggestions to inspire regular product upgrades that benefit the entire accreditation community. That’s how innovation happens at ARMATURE.

TRANSPARENCY: The Value of Showing Your Work

CHEA conferences have always fostered a collegial atmosphere, but this year we were struck by the inspiring “we’re all in this together” message that we heard in many of the sessions. Accreditors feel the desire to band together and demonstrate to regulators—and to the media—that they are a singular community that will work together to bring about necessary reform.

A key ingredient to the success of this initiative is transparency. ARMATURE’s accreditation management software shines a light on your processes and captures all relevant documentation so that you can achieve the transparency you (and the USDE) desire. Because you know best how to evaluate quality assurance in your own discipline, we empower you to pour your proven processes into our software so that it reflects the way you like to do things, and leverages your domain expertise at every juncture. ARMATURE’s configurable software helps you deliver on the promise of transparency with built-in collaboration and communication tools, dashboards, and report templates.

Build your own accreditation reports based on the metrics that matter to you.

Quality Assurance: A Smarter Way to Conduct Assessments

Quality assurance—in the form of site visits, assessments, and annual reviews—is the bread and butter of accreditation. This year’s CHEA conference touched on the importance of quality assurance in a number of ways. ARMATURE supports your quality assurance goals with web-based audit and assessment tools that are designed to make it easy for you to configure and conduct your own audits—without rigid templates and prescriptive processes to stand in the way. Our user interface is elegant and intuitive, but there’s powerful technology at work behind the scenes. Our web-based system allows you to:

  • Conduct audits online or offline
  • Sync data that’s collected offline back to the online system
  • Assemble teams and schedule audits with ease
  • Communicate with programs/institutions throughout the audit process
  • Integrate with other enterprise systems using our secure open API
Onsite assessment tools facilitate data collection, communication & collaboration.

The CHEA Conference is one we look forward to each year, and it never fails to deliver on big ideas and inspiration. We loved every minute of it—especially the opportunities we had to chat with you all about your accreditation triumphs and challenges. To keep the conversation going, or to schedule a consultation, please reach out to us at