American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine


The AOA accredits a number of different institutions and programs as well as approves osteopathic postdoctoral training programs.

COM Accreditation

The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Visit the USDE's website to learn more.

Accreditation signifies that a college of osteopathic medicine (COM) has met or exceeded the COCA standards for educational quality with respect to mission, goals, and objectives; governance, administration, and finance; facilities, equipment, and resources, faculty, student admissions, performance, and evaluation; preclinical and clinical curriculum; and research and scholarship activity. Read more about COM accreditation.

Postdoctoral Program Approval

Osteopathic postdoctoral training programs are recognized throughout the United States in federal and state laws, rules and regulations. As the only accrediting agency for osteopathic medical education, the AOA is responsible for developing and enforcing postdoctoral training requirements, policies and procedures in order to ensure the highest quality programs. Read more about postdoctoral accreditation approval.

OPTI Approval

Recognizing the need for a new system to structure and accredit osteopathic graduate medical education, the American Osteopathic Association established the Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions (OPTI) in 1995. Each OPTI is a community-based training consortium comprised of at least one college of osteopathic medicine and one hospital. Other hospitals and ambulatory care facilities may also partner within an OPTI. Community-based healthcare facilities such as ambulatory care clinics, rehabilitation centers and surgical centers may now have the resources and support necessary to provide physician training with an OPTI's assistance. Read more about OPTI approval.

CME Sponsor Accreditation

The AOA's continuing medical education (CME) program strives for growth of knowledge, refinement of skills, and the deepening of understanding for the osteopathic profession. The AOA Board of Trustees establishes accreditation policy for osteopathic CME sponsors. The Council on Osteopathic Continuing Medical Education (COCME) has been delegated authority by the AOA Board of Trustees to review standards and procedures for accreditation of osteopathic CME sponsors. Read more about CME Sponsor Accreditation.

Healthcare Facilities Accreditation

As of October 2015, the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) is no longer owned by the AOA. It is now managed by the AAHHS (Accreditation Association for Hospitals/Health Systems).