Role of the Visiting Team

Prerequisites, role, and responsibilities of the visiting team members.

SAIS accreditation is based on a peer-review model that derives its greatest benefit from peer educators reviewing the school’s self-study and responses to standards/indicators and evaluating them in light of the school’s mission and evidence gathered during the team visit. The following information will help in preparation to serve as a team member.

Responsibilities of Visiting Team Members

The chair will assign tasks for individual team members, usually during the orientation period at the beginning of the visit or prior to the visit via email. Though there are many ways that members of visiting teams can be useful in the process, the primary duties assigned to all team members as part of this collaborative effort are:

  • Review and evaluate the school’s report about itself. The school report should be thorough and accurate, and effectively communicate the school’s “story” as it relates to the accreditation standards and process and its commitment to its growth mindset. The self-study will be accessible to team members via the SAIS Accreditation Portal for review at least four weeks prior to the visit.
  • Review the school’s responses to standards and indicators. The chair of the visiting team has reviewed standard compliance before the visit occurs.
  • Help write the visit report. The visit report is the responsibility of the chair but is written in a collaborative fashion with each team member contributing to the final document. The report serves as the feedback to the school and includes commendations and recommendations based on the school report and the team visit. The report is also the document that recommends the school’s accreditation status to the SAIS Accreditation Review Committee.
  • Display a high degree of professionalism and ethical behavior, fully engaging with the school through the lens of its own unique mission.

Team Member Prerequisites

In order to serve as a team member for SAIS visits, one must:

  • Be employed by a school accredited by SAIS, a partner-accrediting agency, or an agency approved by ICAISA (exceptions are made case by case).
  • Attend the SAIS team-training orientation, which is led by the team chair and takes place at the beginning of each accreditation visit and contribute meaningfully to the work of the team.
  • Not accept team member assignments at schools where a conflict of interest exists. Examples of conflicts of interest might include previous work experience as head or a senior administrator at the school to be visited; a sense of personal obligation to the head of school related to career advancement; any current or expected consulting or financial relationship with the school to be visited; and any special interest in having the school become accredited or disaccredited. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Act ethically at all times throughout the accreditation process, be honest and sincere with all participants, and treat the school and the participants as you would like to be treated.
  • Maintain confidentiality.


Individual team members are selected for the professional experiences and capacities they bring to the accreditation process. The team serves the needs of the school and checks its own ego and mission at the door to remain focused on helping the school meet its own goals and fulfill its own mission.