The following are AC adverse decisions and may be appealed:
- Deny initial accreditation or reaccreditation;
- Place the program on probationary status; and
- Withdrawal of accredited status.
If a program receives an adverse decision, the AC provides two appeals procedures: (i) reconsideration, and (ii) panel review. Reconsideration must be completed before moving to panel review.
Programs may challenge an adverse decision if, in the opinion of the program, the AC’s decision is arbitrary, capricious, or violates procedures. The program's written request to the AC Manager must be made within 30 days following its receipt of notice of the adverse decision (all adverse decision letters are certified).A request for reconsideration must relate to the conditions that existed in the program at the time of the AC's adverse decision and state specific reasons why the reconsideration should be granted.
When reconsideration is requested, the AC Manager sets the date and time for the hearing (which may be conducted electronically or in person), and appoints a reconsideration committee of three members of the AC who were not part of the original review committee. The program may request an opportunity for board members, staff, and/or faculty to address the reconsideration committee during the hearing; however, legal counsel, students, and other interested parties are not permitted to attend the hearing. The program shall bear any expenses incurred in attending the hearing.
Following the hearing, the reconsideration committee reviews the documentation on which the AC based its decision and any written or verbal clarifying information the program provided. The reconsideration committee makes one of following decisions:
- Uphold the original AC decision. If the reconsideration committee believes that the original AC decision was correct, it decides to uphold the original decision. The program will then respond as originally required in the original AC decision letter.
- Revise the decision. If the reconsideration committee believes that the AC decision was in error based either on a review of the original application or on clarifying information subsequently provided by the program-the committee may revise the AC decision and issue a letter with the revised decision and instructions to the program regarding the next step it should take.
The reconsideration committee’s decision is reported in writing to the school's leadership. If the school accepts the decision of the reconsideration committee, it is expected to follow the instructions contained in the letter informing the program of the decision. If the program does not accept the decision of the reconsideration committee, it may request a panel review. An accredited program retains its accredited status until all appeals have been exhausted.
The final appeal for the program is a panel review, which is an independent consideration of the AC’s decision. The school's written request for a panel review must be made within 30 days of receipt of the AC’s certified letter upholding an adverse decision. If the school fails to respond within 30 days, it waives the right to further review.
The school requests a panel review if, despite the reconsideration process, it still believes the AC's action was arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with the AC accreditation standards or procedures; or, the AC action was not supported by substantial evidence in the record.
The panel will review evidence in the record, including documentation and witness statements directly related to the AC's adverse action and the reconsideration hearing. The record includes:
- The school’s application for accreditation (including appendices);
- Any additional material submitted to the review committee;
- The AC decision letter detailing the adverse decision; and
- Materials from the reconsideration hearing.
Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the panel review request, the chair of the IAYT Board of Directors appoints a chair and two (2) or more review panel members from a list of yoga therapy educators and practitioners who are members of the IAYT. Members of the review panel may not include current members of the AC or the IAYT Board serving at the time of the AC’s adverse action, or any individuals deemed to have conflict of interest. The chair of the review panel specifies the time and place of the review.
The review panel may conduct its review in person or electronically. All costs related to the panel review are paid by the school; the school is invoiced in advance of the review for the estimated amount, which must be paid prior to the panel review. These costs may include travel and accommodations for the review panel and participants in the proceedings, reproduction of materials presented at the hearing, and other related expenses. If the panel remands the matter to the AC with the instruction that the adverse action be reversed, the AC and the appellant each bear its own expenses.
The AC submits the record to the review panel and the program’s written request, including additional evidence challenging the AC’s procedures or its facts. The chair of the review panel presides at the review hearing and rules on procedure, conducting the hearing in a manner that allows the program due process and a fair opportunity to present its case and explain its position (the formal rules of evidence, however, do not apply).The program may be represented by counsel during the hearing, and counsel may question any witnesses who speak at the hearing. Review panel members may question any witnesses or parties to the appeal.
After considering the record, the review panel may make any of the following determinations:
- Uphold the AC action;
- Revise the AC action; or
- Reverse the AC action.
The chair of the review panel reports the panel's determination in writing to the school's leadership, the AC chair, the President of the IAYT, and the AC Manager. Upon notification of the panel's determination, the AC takes the necessary steps to carry it out.
If, at any time during the appeals process, an appellant initiates legal action against the AC or the IAYT, the above procedures are no longer in effect and the AC's original action is final.