IEN Program Background

CASN IEN-BP Accreditation Program Background

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing is the national accrediting body for nursing education in Canada. In 1987, the

organization accredited its first undergraduate program. Since then, the accreditation of nursing education programs in Canada has become a core function of CASN, which reviews over a dozen schools every year.

Accreditation promotes excellence and is recognized worldwide as an important, objective method to assess professional education programs. It identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement that can guide decision making. The process provides administrators and faculty with information regarding areas that require development, modification, and/or resources.

The program of accreditation sets forth overarching quality dimensions, standards, descriptors, and key elements against which internationally educated nurse bridging programs are assessed while also incorporating flexibility regarding the organizational structure and curriculum. This flexibility enables programs to be autonomous in their academic perspectives and responsive to their regional, social, professional, and institutional contexts.

The CASN accreditation program is built on the original philosophy and approach of previous programs. It undergoes regular review and enhancement. This is consistent with a constant quality improvement approach. Recent changes to the accreditation program accommodate evolution of distance education, collaborative partnerships, virtual reviews, and new program models within a new framework and with expanded standards. The following table identifies some of CASN Accreditation’s milestone dates.

CASN is Canadian        CASN Nursing Education         CASN is Not-for-profit

Key IEN-BP Accreditation Program Milestones

  • 1987 – CASN institutes a national, voluntary accreditation process for baccalaureate nursing programs, supported by all members.
  • 1994 – CASN becomes a co-founder of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada, a national association representing accrediting bodies of over 20 professions and other accrediting organizations.
  • 2018 – CASN launches a national voluntary accreditation process for IEN-BPs. The program was piloted with four schools and then refined into the formal IEN-BP Accreditation Program that operates today.

IEN-CASN Accreditation Bureau

The IEN-CASN Accreditation Bureau (IEN-CAB) is the decision-making body for the IEN-BP Accreditation Program and is made up of faculty, a student, the public, and a regulatory body. For more information on our accreditation program, please contact Joni Boyd <>.