Maintaining Your AMS Accreditation

Achieving AMS accreditation opens the door to an exciting and rewarding new journey—one that can help your school build an ever-stronger, ever-closer community. Here are some of the basics about keeping your accreditation active. You can find full details in the AMS School Accreditation Handbook, included with your School Accreditation Packet. If your school is not yet accredited and you are interested in purchasing the packet, you can find it in Shop AMS.  

Accreditation Term

If your school follows the AMS self-study protocol, the accreditation term is 7 years.

If your school follows a cooperative accreditation process and the cooperating agency’s protocol, the accreditation term is dictated by the cooperating agency. It can be anywhere from 3 – 10  years.


We recommend that that you apply for reaccreditation approximately 18 – 24 months prior to your accreditation expiration date. This will enable you to begin your self-study no later than 12 months before the expiration date. You will be required to write a new self-study report for each accreditation term.

Between Accreditations

To maintain accreditation, each of your school sites is must abide by these requirements every year:

  • Submit an Accredited Schools Annual Report by June 30
  • Pay an accreditation fee by June 30
  • Maintain AMS school membership
  • Be in full compliance with AMS Accreditation Standards
  • Document how you are acting on recommendations from the visiting team
  • Maintain efforts to reach the goals in your strategic plan

Non-compliance could result in revocation of accreditation or a school being put on probationary status. The Accreditation Handbook has full details.

Substantive Changes

If your accredited school experiences any of the following substantive changes during the school year, you must file a Substantive Change Form with us within 30 days. Email us, let us know of the change, and we will send you the appropriate form. Or, if the change occurs at the end of the school year, include the details in your Accredited School Annual Report.

  • Change of ownership
  • Change of legal status (i.e., non-profit to for-profit or vice-versa)
  • Resignation or turnover of 51% or more of the governing body
  • Addition of a program or age level
  • Relocation or change in facilities, or addition of a satellite campus or building

The changes will be reviewed and may require submission of additional documentation and/or an onsite visit by an AMS staff member or appointed representative to the site affected by the substantive change. If a visit is required by the AMS School Accreditation Commission, the school is responsible for any costs incurred.

Melanie Thiesse

Senior Director of School Membership & School Accreditation

We’re glad that our journey together doesn’t end once your school achieves AMS accreditation! Please allow us to support you in maintaining your school accreditation, too.

Have questions? Contact me today.