In this criteria review, we discuss the second set of ANCC accreditation criteria focusing on the structural capacity of the NCPD program.

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Review: Structural Capacity 1 (SC1)

Whether you are an accredited provider such as i3 Health or you are an educational partner working with an accredited provider, it’s still important to understand the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) criteria that underlie nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) activities. This is part of a periodic series of posts looking at what each criterion means in general and what it might mean for you.

The second set of ANCC accreditation criteria focus on the structural capacity (SC) of the NCPD program. The three criteria within this section consider the commitment, accountability, and leadership of the program.

Criterion SC1 states:

The Accredited Provider Program Director’s commitment to learner needs, including how Provider Unit processes are revised based on aggregate data, which may include but are not limited to individual educational activity evaluation results, stakeholder feedback (staff, volunteers), and learner/customer feedback.

The primary focus on this criterion is the evaluation process. What data is used? How is that data obtained? How is it aggregated?

Aggregation is a key piece of this criterion. An NCPD program is not a single activity. Assessing the program as a whole cannot, therefore, be done by looking at any one activity. In order to meet this criterion, a program must show that it combines data from multiple sources to see whether or not the program is meeting its learners’ needs. The second key step is to make changes based on that aggregate assessment.

This should be an ongoing process, with some sort of overall assessment occurring annually. The best practice is to make it part of your standard evaluation process. By aggregating data as it is obtained, you will be ready to review at any time and may catch issues that need to be addressed even before you would typically write your overall assessment. And if you are applying for accreditation, you will easily be able to write up examples of the changes you made because it is part of your day-to-day practice.

By meeting this criterion, your program shows that it meets the needs of its learners, who are, after all, the reason you are creating education in the first place.

Other Posts in This Series

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Overview

Organizational Overview 1 (OO1)

Organizational Overview 2 (OO2)


ANCC (2021). Writing to the ANCC NCPD Accreditation Criteria Self-Learning Guide. Available at:

ANCC (2021). ANCC NCPD Accredited Provider Applicant Journey Guide. Available at:

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