Substantive Change Process

Substantive Change Process

This guide is designed to help you navigate the steps required for the substantive change process.  The purpose of this process is to ensure that any changes maintain the quality and integrity of the program in accordance with accreditation standards.

Any significant change that could have a material impact on the status of an accredited program requires immediate notification by the program to CAHME.  Below is a list of the types of “substantive change” and how the program will need to report.


  1. Requires e-mail correspondence:
      • a change in program leadership (program director, department chair)

        CAHME staff will update internal records to reflect this change. Review by Substantive Change Committee is not necessary.
  2. Requires written correspondence (formal letter submitted via e-mail):
      • loss of key faculty that threatens the program’s ability to offer the accredited degree offerings,
      • merger with another program or institution,
      • movement to another school or department in the university,
      • withdrawal of or loss of school or institutional accreditation,
      • withdrawal of program resources by the university that meaningfully threatens sustainability of the program in its current form,
      • other substantive changes that could impact the ability for the program to meet its mission.

        Review by the Substantive Change Committee is necessary. Submit your letter to the VP of Accreditation, Eric Brichto, at The Substantive Change Committee will review and may request additional information or clarification. Once the review process is complete, you will receive an official notification of the decision.
  3. Requires completion of a Substantive Change application:
      • addition of tracks or degrees within the program
                New Track Substantive Change Form
      • major changes to current track or degree, including but not limited to:
          • curriculum
          • degree
          • competency model
          • primary method of delivery (in-person, online, etc)
          • decrease in required numbers of credits
            Existing Track Substantive Change Form

Steps for Submitting a Substantive Change Application Form


Complete the appropriate Substantive Change Application Form. Ensure that all sections are completed accurately and thoroughly. Incomplete applications may result in delays.

Submit your completed application form and all supporting documents to the VP of Accreditation, Eric Brichto at

Our review process includes:

    • Preliminary review for completeness
    • Detailed evaluation by the substantive change committee
    • Possible request for additional information or clarification
    • Detailed desk review (if necessary)
    • Site visit (if necessary)

Once the review process is complete, you will receive an official notification of the decision. If approved, you will receive further instructions on implementing the change. If not approved, feedback, will be provided, and you may resubmit your application after addressing the concerns raised.

Consult the CAHME Fee Schedule for Substantive Change fees.


For More Information:

Eric Brichto
VP of Accreditation
301-298-1820 ext. 4