Data Bank

Countries with accreditation standards comparable to the US

"Purpose (as presented on The Department of Education Website)

The purpose of the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) is to review the standards used by foreign countries to accredit medical schools and determine whether those standards are comparable to standards used to accredit medical schools in the United States. The committee’s function is specified in section 102(a)(2)(B) of the Higher Education Act, as amended."

"REVIEW PROCEDURES (as presented on the Department Website)
The information below provides a brief overview of the process used by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) for reviewing a foreign country's standards for accreditation of its medical schools.

Step 1: Submission of Information
When a country contacts the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and asks to have its accreditation standards reviewed, the Department works with the country to provide a user id and password for its e-Recognition system. The Department requests that the country submit answers to the questions found in the NCFMEA Guidelines regarding the country’s accreditation standards and processes and their effective application. Countries must also provide supporting documents (e.g., copies of statute and regulations, standards, examples of site visits, etc.) in English. All submissions must be in English.

Step 2: Staff Analysis
A Department staff member is assigned to review the information and documents. If the submission is insufficient, the Department requests additional information and/or documents. The staff member then prepares an analysis, based on the documentation provided by the country, of the comparability of the country's standards to those used in the United States for accrediting medical schools. A copy of the staff analysis is sent to the country for review and comment.

Step 3: Advance Materials to NCFMEA Members
Approximately two weeks before the NCFMEA meeting, the Department transmits copies of the staff analysis, supporting documentation, and the country's response to the staff analysis (if any) to the NCFMEA members for their review prior to their meeting.

Step 4: NCFMEA Meeting -- Public Session
For each country on the meeting agenda, a Department staff member presents an overview of the analysis of the country's accreditation standards and processes to the Committee members and answers any questions Committee members might have. After the staff presentation, any official representatives of the country are given the opportunity to present information and answer any questions posed by Committee members.

Step 5: NCFMEA Meeting -- Executive Session
After the presentations by Department staff and country representatives (if any), the Committee goes into executive session, which is open to official representative(s) of the country but is closed to members of the public. During this executive session, the Committee discusses the country's accreditation standards and procedures and then makes a determination as to whether the country's system for accrediting medical schools is comparable to the system used in the United States.

Step 6: Secretary's Letters regarding NCFMEA Decisions
The decisions reached by the NCFMEA at its meeting are kept confidential until the U.S. Secretary of Education reviews the decisions and issues official notification to the countries. After the Secretary letters are faxed and mailed to the countries, and the U.S. Department of State is advised of the NCFMEA decisions, those decisions are made available to the public.

Step 7: Implementation of Decisions

An accredited medical school in a country determined to have comparable standards may apply to the Department to participate in Direct Loans. The institution's application and supporting documentation (such as proof of accreditation, financial statements, etc.) are reviewed by the Department's Foreign Schools Team to determine whether the institution meets the regulatory requirements to participate in Direct Loans. If the institution does meet the requirements, it must sign a Program Participation Agreement with the Department. After that agreement is executed, American students who attend that medical school may apply to receive loans under the Direct Loan Program.

Attached is the latest revision of the NCFMEA Guidelines that the committee approved at its September 2009 meeting that reflects the recommendations contained within its 2009 report to Congress and the Secretary of Education.

NCFMEA Guidelines (September 2009)

IAOMC has conducted an ongoing effort to have a complete Data bank of Countries with accreditation standards comparable to the United States. In August 2007 a Freedom of information request served on the U.S. Department of Education for,

  1. The last submission and/or documentation by all countries for recognition by the department that the medical schools chartered within that country are governed by accreditation standards that are comparable to the United States.

  2. The staff’s recommendation to the committee.

  3. The countries responses

  4. The U.S. Secretary of Education’s official notification of the Department’s findings.

The Department provided a few files, but many were not provided. A Department Appeal was taken. Additional documents were received but again, many were missing. A lawsuit was brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Again, more documents were produced. The court has reached a thirty four page decision. To comply with that decision the Department has provided an additional 1,857 pages on 13 countries up to September 2007.

As it was believed there were additional records that should have been produced an appeal was taken to the U. S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Assistant U.S. Attorney General and Department Counsel then agreed to full openness and transparency. They produced a very large number of additional files and the lawsuit for discovery to September 2007 was discontinued.

A new Freedom Of Information is planned. NCFMEA now places the last meetings staff analysis on its website. A copy is then placed on this website. IAOMC will request additional documents from October 2007 to date.

  1. Australia & New Zealand

  2. Canada

  3. Cayman Islands

  4. Czech Republic

  5. Dominica

  6. Dominican Republic

  7. Grenada

  8. Hungary

  9. India

  10. Ireland

  11. Israel

  12. Mexico

  13. Netherlands

  14. Nevis

  15. Pakistan

  16. Philippines

  17. Poland

  18. Saba

  19. Slovak Republic

  20. St. Maartin

  21. Sweden

  22. Taiwan

  23. United Kingdom

Countries whose standards were once found comparable to those in the United States and whose approvals have expired.

  1. Costa Rica

  2. Montserrat

  3. Thailand

For the agenda and transcript of the two committee meetings in 2009 in which staff analysis of various country reports were presented and discussed, click,