Step 4: Site Visit Preparation
Site Reviewer Resource Guide
When preparing for a site visit, consult this presentation that outlines the site visit process' best practices from the perspective of a visited program and the site reviewer: Two Perspectives on Site Visit Preparation.
The costs related to obtaining accreditation by COSMA will vary slightly by program because of the location and size of the site visit team. These costs include a $1,200 application fee plus travel, food, and hotel expenses for the site visit team. Normally, a two-person visitation team is used for programs located in the United States. These team members are paid an honorarium for their work. The chair of the team is paid $300 per day and the other team member(s) is (are) paid $200 per day. Listed below is an approximation of the total direct costs for COSMA accreditation for U.S. programs, assuming a 2-day site visit by a 2-person team.
Site Reviewers - What You Need to Know
Site Reviewer Training - December 2019
Who are COSMA Site Reviewers?
Site reviewers are selected from qualified and professionally trained members of COSMA. Many site reviewers are former Board of Commissioner members, are on the Board of Directors, or are accredited Institutional Members. Individual members and institutional members who are preparing for a COSMA site visit may also act as site reviewers. Each accreditation site visit is conducted by a team of two professionally trained program evaluators. COSMA selects site visit team members from a pool of well-qualified persons with experience in the evaluation process. The team Chair is appointed by COSMA headquarters and is responsible for assuring that the visit is conducted objectively. The composition of the team and the qualifications of its members are influenced by the institution's size, program complexity, and number of off-campus locations. Potential site evaluators must submit a detailed curriculum vitae to COSMA Headquarters and attend a Site Evaluator Training Workshop - in person or via webinar. Site evaluator trainings are offered frequently throughout the year.
What are my Responsibilities as a COSMA Site Reviewer?
The site team members play a key role in maintaining the integrity of the COSMA accreditation process. Accordingly, all members of the team, before accepting an assignment, must agree to avoid impropriety, avoid being partial, refrain from inappropriate activity, and preserve the confidential nature of the information reviewed during the site visit.
What Training Do I Need to Become a COSMA Site Reviewer?
How Do I Avoid Conflicts of Interest?
COSMA is committed to avoiding potential conflicts of interest by evaluators, and thus uses the following guidelines when determining site visit team composition:
Post-Evaluation of Site Team Members
Site team members are evaluated by the program and are also encouraged to review each others' performance in connection with the site visit process that was used. Topics that are addressed by a site visit team member include, but are not limited to:
I am a site reviewer. What gifts may I accept from programs? Tickets to sporting events?
Please refuse any gifts offered to you. The program is allowed to buy your meals, but no memorabilia should be accepted. Tickets to sporting events should not be accepted.
Can I record the interviews I conduct on site?
Please take notes and do not record any interviews. The program should not record interviews either.
Should I interview alumni?
The program will work with you to establish a site review schedule that is acceptable to you. Alumni interviews should be established if that is agreed upon by the program and the site review team. The two-day site visit template in the handbook serves as a guideline, but please tailor the site visit interviews to fit the institution and the program.
Should I interview internship coordinators/athletic groups?
As with alumni, this would be an excellent group to try to interview, particularly if it is central to the program's mission.