Dear Dr. NAACLS,
What is the purpose and intent of Standard V.D. in regards to a “teach out plan”?
Dear Dr. Curious,
Standard V.D. states the following:
“A teach out plan must be developed and submitted to NAACLS within 30 days of the official announcement of the closure of the program.”
The purpose of the teach out plan is to actually encourage program directors to stop and think about what they would do if they suddenly had to make alternative arrangements to complete the student’s clinical program. The affiliation agreements all include renewal and termination clauses, but not all programs utilize affiliation agreements if they do not have academic or clinical affiliates. What would you do if you found that your program was closing? What plans would you implement to complete the students’ educational objective?
In addition, the intent also covers natural and unnatural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and interruptions in service like fires, explosions, or structural damage. Just thinking about the “what if” helps a program director to be able to manage the decisions that would need to be made at a time like that.
Of course, not knowing the extent of the disasters makes it impossible to predict a solid plan, but start looking around. Are there other programs in the area that could band together? Are there other hospitals with some space to help provide clinical rotations? Is there another university with some classrooms that could be utilized? The standard asks that a plan be created and sent to NAACLS within 30 days, and simply realizing that implementation of such a plan might be possible helps to create an outline of what that plan may look like.
When you create your self-study, specific details of your teach-out plan will not be required, but rather how such a teach-out plan would be developed in the event of program closure. Furthermore, site visitors to your program will look to see that a foundation for plan development to be in place.