Accreditation Process

It is the policy of IMEAc that the accreditation process following international protocol with Fairness, Accountability, Integrity, Transparency and Heartiness.

1. Quality Assessment Requirements

1.1 Eligibility for Assessment

To be eligible for quality assessment, the applying medical school must fulfill the following condition:

  • Registered medical school of the Medical Council;
  • The education program has been approved by the university council

1.2 Requirements for Assessment

The applying medical school shall meet all the following requirements stated by IMEAc and assessors to ensure that the quality assessment is carried out efficiently and effectively.

  • Prepare an in-depth self-study report, so-called Self-Assessment Report (SAR), and submit it to the TMC/COTMES/IMEAc. Thereafter it will take at least 4 months ahead of site visit assessment;
  • All key documents and evidence should be properly labeled and located in one room for the assessment team to facilitate the verification of evidence;
  • Fulfill all assessment, administrative and logistics requests made by IMEAc office and assessors for the purpose of carrying out the assessment efficiently and effectively;
  • Release and share best practices in IMEAc Benchmarking Database;
  • Pay the full assessment fees within 30 days before the site visit assessment; and

1.3 Medical School Self-Study and Requirements for Self-Assessment Report (SAR)

SAR submitted by the applying medical school shall meet the following requirements:

  • The SAR should be prepared using the IMEAc SAR template which consists of Organization Profile and all 199 standards of TMC.WFE.BME 2017 standards. It should be written in font TH SarabunPSK or TH Sarabun New size 16 or in English font Times New Raman size 12. Organization chart and a glossary of abbreviations and terminologies used in the report should be provided;
  • The SAR should be submitted or made available in both hardcopy and digital files (7 sets) to the IMEAc office;
  • Hardcopies of the supporting documents and evidence clearly labeled and displayed in the discussion room for assessors during site visit; and
  • The SAR should not be more than 150 A4 pages. The content of the SAR should consist of:
    • Part 1: Introduction
      • Executive summary of the SAR
      • Organization profile: Brief description of the medical school, faculty and department – outline the history, vision, mission, assets, human resources, stakeholders, and quality policy of the medical school.
      • Detail of teaching hospital and if any, all affiliated/community hospitals used for clinical teaching including number of students in each site.
      • Other quality assessment and assurance frameworks used by the medical school
    • Part 2: Standard Criteria Requirements

This section contains the write-up on how the medical school addresses compliance with the following set of global standards. These standards are structured according to AREAS which are defined as broad components in the structure, process, content, outcomes/competencies, assessment and learning environment of basic medical education and cover:

  • Mission and outcomes
  • Educational program
  • Assessment of students
  • Students
  • Academic staff/faculty
  • Educational resources
  • Program evaluation
  • Governance and administration
  • Continuous renewal

As a guide to medical schools completing SAR, besides the SAR template, IMEAc provides related documents containing guidance on how to write SAR and types of supporting evidence required.

IMEAcs performs a pre-screening of SAR whether the medical school is eligible for site visit assessment using checklist. If the SAR is needed to be rewritten or revised, the medical school must amend the SAR and re-submit it to IMEAc within a given period.

 1.4 Requirements for Logistics and Facilities

The logistics and facilities to be provided by the applying medical schools are as follows:

  • Preparing and arranging the site visit activities including opening and closing sessions, interviews, site tour, etc. as specified by assessor team;
  • Providing meeting rooms and secretarial support with all necessary equipment for the assessment team to discuss and prepare report and presentation;
  • Providing internet access to all assessors throughout the assessment;
  • Providing local transport between affiliated hospitals/institutes and other assessment site(s);
  • Providing meals as specified by IMEAc office;
  • Providing escorts or security personnel inside and outside the assessment site(s), if necessary

2. Quality Assessment Process 

2.1 The Assessment Process

IMEAc is responsible for the accreditation of medical schools through our quality assessment. The typical timelines for activities in assessment process have been settled, starting from application through site visit, final result, and follow-up.

2.2 Assessment Team

The assessment team will be appointed by the IMEAc director based on assessor’s background, experience and language ability. Each team should comprise no more than 6 members from different medical schools. A typical site visit takes three days and consists of four assessors. As a guide, the number of assessment teams assigned to the types of quality assessment is as follows:

Assessment Type Institutional / Program level
Number of Assessors No more than 6 assessors per program
Duration of Site Visit 1 to 4 days

The assessors need to establish contact with the members of the assessment team(s) and IMEAc office. It is important that the SAR reaches all assessors at least three months before site visit so that the assessors have sufficient time to carry out individual assessment and seek clarification with the medical school to be assessed if needed. In addition, IMEAc prepares the instruction and templates for the assessor to use for site visit assessment.

2.3 Schedule and Itinerary

The assessor team is required to prepare the schedule and itinerary of site visit.

A typical assessment itinerary will spread over 1 – 4 days, depending on the type of quality assessment, and the size and complexity of the medical school to be assessed.  It normally consists of:

  • Opening session
  • Direct observation of the teaching/learning and relevant activities
  • Interviews with stakeholders
  • Document reviews
  • Site tour
  • Report preparation
  • Exit meeting

2.4 Individual and Consensus Assessment

Individual assessment is the first initial step before the site assessment. It is a document review exercise which involves a preliminary assessment of the quality assurance system based on the SAR and available documentation. The individual assessment facilitates the development of an assessment plan. The purpose of assessment planning is to gather evidence of practices that meet WFME guidelines and criteria. The plan should include:

  • Sources of information and evidence
  • Planning to clarify and verify evidence as well as identifying documents and records for review. Planning may include interview, site visit, document review, website access, etc.
  • Identifying individuals to be interviewed and plan schedule of interviews and site tour
  • Preparing questions needed to clarify and verify evidence

After the individual review, the lead assessor and team members communicate to exchange his/her findings in a consensus meeting. The lead assessor facilitates and plans to clarify the SAR with the medical school and requests some more evidence, if necessary. The responses from the medical school will be used by the assessors to determine the specific areas and subareas to be verified at the site including the clinical training centers. Providing that the SAR is the most critical document for individual and consensus assessment, it should be given to the assessors in advance before the actual assessment.

2.5 Site Visit

Site visit consists of an opening meeting with key administrative representatives of the medical school. The opening meeting is normally followed by a presentation of the Dean or the Program director. After which, interviews would be held with the various stakeholders. Site tour may be arranged between the interviews or after the interviews. The assessment will conclude with an exit meeting.

An opening meeting with the host medical school administrative representatives should be held prior to the commencement of the actual site visit activities. The purpose of the brief opening meeting is to:

  • Introduce the members of the assessment team to the host medical school administrative representatives
  • Establish official communication links between the assessment team and the host medical school
  • Review scope and objectives of the assessment
  • Confirm details of the assessment plan and schedule
  • Allow the host medical school to introduce the institute and its program normally done through a presentation

Normally, the site visit activities include:

  • Opening session
  • Site assessment
  • Interviews with stakeholders: administrative teams, academic staff/faculty, support staff, medical students, alumni, etc.
  • Document reviews
  • Main campus tour including branch campuses (if any): teaching and learning facilities, laboratories, library, dormitory, and other learning resources, etc.
  • Visits to teaching hospitals and all affiliated hospitals (with the study duration of 3 months and above) used for clinical clerkship
  • Observation of on-site activities
  • Report preparation by the assessor team
  • Exit meeting: oral feedback for the preliminary key findings of the assessment and site visit including strength and opportunity for improvements

2.6 Assessment Report and Decision on Accreditation

The objectives of assessment report are:

  • Quality of performance according to the standards based on WFME guidelines and criteria and Accreditation
  • Key strengths of medical school/program
  • Opportunities for improvement

The steps to prepare assessment report are illustrated below.

2.7 Reports and Decisions on accreditation

The assessors are responsible for creating a final report based on all evidence, the on-site findings, and ad hoc committee’s review. The report contains assessor team, Ad hoc committee members, accreditation timeline, brief organization profile, strengths, opportunities for improvement, suggestions, and detail of not met standards. The main findings are drawn from the gist in the earlier filled forms of B, C, D, and E provided by the IMEAc office.

After site visit, the assessor team will fill the forms B, C and D. The medical school has an opportunity to review the preliminary result of assessment and respond to the findings or comments of the assessor team within two weeks. The medical school can respond to the preliminary result in any of 2 options (as shown in form D) which are ‘Accept as presented’ and ‘Propose amendments’ and subsequently confirms the findings in form D. The response from the medical school together with the evidences will be considered by the assessor team before submitting form D (the confirmed version) for consideration of Ad hoc committee Then, the assessors prepare assessment summary (form E) from forms B, C and D (the confirmed version). IMEAc appoints an ad hoc committee, comprising one representative from IMEAc Executive Board, lead assessor, and an external expert. This committee will review the assessment summary (form E) and finalize key issues in the assessment report (form A) to be submitted the executive board for approval.

The list of external experts in quality accreditation is nominated from relevant professional bodies, e.g. Architecture, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine, etc. This list will be approved by Executive Board and reviewed every 3 years.

Decisions on accreditation must be based solely on the fulfilment or lack of fulfilment of the criteria or standards.

The categories of accreditation are:

  • Full accreditation. For the maximum period of 5 years if all basic criteria or standards are fulfilled, but with the provision that the IMEAc can visit the school at any time if the school performance is not adequate or if some standards are not met during the accreditation period.
  • Accreditation with condition.
  • Denial or withdrawal of accreditation. This decision can be taken, if many basic criteria or standards are not fulfilled, signifying severe deficiency in the quality of the program that cannot be remedied within a short period of time.

Once the final assessment report and accreditation is endorsed by IMEAc Executive Board, the result will be announced to the applying medical school and IMEAc website. Best practices observed during the assessment will be included into the IMEAc Benchmarking Database.

Within 12 months after the assessment, the applying medical school is required to submit revised annual SAR to IMEAc office, which includes verified additional written information in response to findings and comments made by the assessment team, progress report on the recommendations made by the assessment team, and any changes relevant to the WFME standards that occurred during the past year. In order to keep the information updated, IMEAc has mandated the submission of the annual SAR every year.

At any time, the IMEAc Executive Board has the right to revoke the accreditation status of medical school through the Medical Council if it fails to honor and fulfill its public and social duties, undertakings and obligations to its stakeholders.

2.8 Follow-up

Accreditation is valid for five years. Annual reporting process is a mandatory requirement to ensure that the accredited medical school continues to be developed and supported in line with the criteria for accreditation and to enable IMEAc to monitor quality until the next accreditation cycle. The accredited medical school submits Annual SAR to IMEAc office within 12 months after award of accreditation. The annual SAR should include

  • verified additional written information in response to findings and comments made by the assessment team,
  • progress report on the recommendations made by the assessment team, and
  • other changes relevant to the WFME standards that occurred during the last 12 months. 

3. Assessment Scheme and Fees

3.1 Assessment Scheme

The accreditation certificate which will be provided after the assessment period by IMEAc is valid for 5 years only.

3.2 Assessment Fees

To maintain the sustainability of the IMEAc quality assessment system, it is imperative that the adequate funding and financial support be secured with consistency.

The assessment fee schemes for medical school undergoing IMEAc accreditation are as follows:

Item Fee
1. Administrative Fee to IMEAc 20,000 THB/assessor/day (a range of 180,000-240,000 THB per a 3-4 day assessment)

(Paid by host)

2. Local Hospitality (meals, transportation and accommodation) Paid by host
3. Honorarium for Lead Assessors Paid by IMEAc
4. Honorarium for Assessors Paid by IMEAc

The above fee includes honoraria of assessors. All other expenses occurring during site visit, such as transportation of the assessors, transportation between the main campus and teaching/affiliated/community hospitals, meals and accommodation are taken care by medical school.