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ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Review: Structural Capacity 1b

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 first set of Accredited Provider Distinction Criteria build on the standard Structural Capacity criteria. There are three criteria within this group, and at least one must be met for a provider to achieve "Distinction."

The second criterion in this section (1b) states:

Evidence demonstrates a process description and example that the Provider Unit has implemented a formal succession plan or a mentorship model that promotes professional development and growth for Nurse Planners.

This criterion aligns with SC2, which you may recall requires an NCPD program to have some way in which Nurse Planners (NPs) are oriented and trained. There are no specific requirements as to what that program will look like. By formalizing that training, it should be fairly simple to transform what was originally designed to meet Criterion SC2 into a training program that meets Distinction Criterion 1b.

There is still flexibility in how you may choose to design your training program. If your program is large enough to work with multiple NPs, you can set up a formal mentorship program that matches experienced NPs with those who are new to the field of NCPD.

If your program is small, this may not always be a feasible criterion to meet. You can prepare ahead by designing a formal plan for how a new NP will replace an old one when the position becomes vacant, and then once that plan is implemented, you can show that you have met this criterion.

Remember, you only have to meet one of the three criteria in this Distinction group, so while your program may not be able to implement a formal succession plan during this accreditation cycle, having that plan in place means you'll be ready to meet this criterion during a cycle when there is turnover in your staffing.

The key is to start by looking at your existing training process. See if it's more formal than you realized. Tweak it. You may already be meeting this criterion.

Other Posts in This Series

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Overview

Organizational Overview 1 (OO1)

Organizational Overview 2 (OO2)

Structural Capacity 1 (SC1)

Structural Capacity 2 (SC2)

Structural Capacity 3 (SC3)

Educational Design Process 1 (EDP1)

Educational Design Process 2 (EDP2)

Educational Design Process 3 (EDP3)

Educational Design Process 4 (EDP4)

Educational Design Process 5 (EDP5)

Educational Design Process 6 (EDP6)

Educational Design Process 7 (EDP7)

Quality Outcomes 1 (QO1)

Quality Outcomes 2a (QO2a)

Quality Outcomes 2b (QO2b)

Quality Outcomes 3a (QO3a)

Quality Outcomes 3b (QO3b)

ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Overview

Accreditation with Distinction: Structural Capacity 1a


ACCME (2022). Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Available at:

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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ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Revie...
ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Revie...