News & Analysis as of

It Will Only Cost You an Audit: FDA Releases FSMA Third-Party Certification Rule

On Friday, November 13, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its final rule regarding Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and To Issue Certifications...more

Three More FSMA Rules Finalized As the Year Comes to a Close

Although not quite meeting the deadline of October 31 established in a legal settlement last year, FDA has released a set of three more “foundational” Final Rules mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA or the...more

CFPB files petition in D.C. federal court to enforce CID issued to college accrediting organization

On October 29, 2015, the CFPB filed a petition in D.C. federal court to enforce the CID it issued on August 25, 2015 to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS’ petition to modify or set...more

Director Cordray defends CFPB authority to investigate college accrediting organization

Director Cordray is reported to have defended the CFPB’s authority to investigate a college accrediting organization at a recent Politico event. On October 8, 2015, the CFPB issued a decision and order denying the petition of...more

Lawmakers seek rescission of CID issued to college accrediting organization

Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative John Kline sent a letter to Director Cordray on October 23, 2015 requesting that he “immediately rescind the issuance of a civil investigative demand to the Accrediting Council for...more

DHS Publishes STEM OPT Rule - Potential New Benefits and Requirements

On Monday, October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its eagerly anticipated STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) rule in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period ending on November...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

DHS Submits New STEM OPT Rule for Comment

Today, October 19, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposed rule modifying the existing optional practical training (“OPT”) available to certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

Alert: Further Refinement to Accreditation in Higher Education

Reacting to ongoing concerns and complaints expressed by members of Congress and others, the accrediting community has been very busy introducing new policies and procedures and refining their respective processes in...more

NAIC Summer 2015 National Meeting (A)XXX Developments and Key Takeaways

A number of important developments in the regulation of (A)XXX reserve financing transactions ((A)XXX transactions) emerged during the NAIC Summer 2015 National Meeting (Summer Meeting). Our roadmap through the NAIC’s...more

Alert: California Approves Pathway for Non-Profit Institutions to Maintain Exemption from State Oversight

Governor Jerry Brown has now signed into law Senate Bill 81, which included language amending the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (the "Act") to permit "independent institutions of higher education"...more

Alert: No 11th Hour Reprieve: GE Rules Upheld

With a second court ruling in late June in favor of the U.S. Department of Education, the Gainful Employment Rules ("GE Rules") took effect on July 1, 2015. The GE Rules will, ultimately, provide new challenges to the...more

Alert: Gainful Employment Regulations: Recent Updates from the Department of Education

The Department of Education published another announcement in its series of Electronic Announcements ("EAs") last week, as it prepares to implement the new Gainful Employment ("GE") regulations. Those regulations are...more

CMS Finalizes Changes to Deeming Authority Survey, Certification, and Enforcement Rules

CMS has published a final rule that revises survey, certification, and enforcement procedures related to CMS oversight of national accrediting organizations (AOs), effective July 21, 2015. Among other things, the rule:...more

NAIC Panel Approves Draft Captive Accreditation Standards

The NAIC Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation Committee recently approved revisions that will impact some captives reinsuring XXX/AXXX reserves, variable annuities and long-term care products. The approval comes...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - May 2015 #3

CMS Issues Final Rule on Certifying National Accrediting Organizations – CMS recently issued a final rule related to national accrediting organizations responsible for evaluating Medicare provider compliance with program...more

Alert: New Pathways for Unaccredited Entities and Non-Institutional Education Providers

Accreditors have been seen as obstacles to innovation in higher education. In April we issued a Cooley Alert on new WASC guidelines for disaggregating institutional services. Now WASC and DEAC have issued separate policies...more

Alert: WASC Senior Commission Issues New Guidelines on Third-Party Providers

The WASC Senior College and University Commission ("WSCUC" or "the Commission") has issued a revision of its policy on agreements between accredited institutions and unaccredited entities, such as service providers. ...more

U.S. Senate HELP Committee Releases White Papers on Higher Education Act Reauthorization

On March 23, 2015, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (the “HELP Committee”) released staff white papers about the following three issues, as...more

Important Updates Concerning the Accreditation Procedure for Branches/ROs of Foreign Companies in Russia

The procedure for the accreditation of branches/representative offices of foreign companies (“Branches/ROs”) in Russia, as well as for obtaining the personal accreditation of foreign employees of such Branches/ROs, was...more

Registration Begins for American Telemedicine Association’s New Accreditation of Online Medical Services

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is now accepting limited registrations for organizations that wish to gain ATA’s seal of approval for online medical services. Registration for the new Accreditation Program for...more

Alert: Conversion of a Postsecondary Educational Institution from a For-Profit to a Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Entity

The recent announcements that Grand Canyon University would explore nonprofit status and that Corinthian Colleges plans to sell a group of schools to a nonprofit entity have encouraged higher education companies to take a...more

New California Law Requires Publication of Accreditation Documents

On September 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill No. 2247. As explained by the Senate Bill Digest, this law “requires all campuses of every public and private postsecondary education institution...more

More on the Higher Education Legislative Proposals from the Senate

Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act – H.R. 4612 / S. 1904 - On January 9, 2014, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act of 2013 (Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced a...more

Senior Care Franchises: Important Regulatory News

Effective July 1, a home health agency that is not Medicare or Medicaid certified and does not provide skilled care is exempt from the requirement to be accredited in 400.471(2)(h), Florida Statutes. An amendment was passed...more

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