ARC-PA Site Visits Made Ridiculously Easy, Part 4: Triangulation

ARC-PA Accreditation Site Visits Made Ridiculously Easy, Part 4: Triangulation

This is part of a blog series, ARC-PA Accreditation Site Visits Made Ridiculously Easy. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

When it comes to preparing for an ARC-PA site visit, you hold the power to make the process ridiculously easy or laboriously difficult. We at Massey & Martin, LLC understand the process can feel overwhelming, so we’re providing a thorough walkthrough of the five distinct development phases of preparing for a site visit to help you feel ready. These phases are:

  • Strategic Planning

  • Execution

  • Application and Appendices

  • Triangulation

  • Final Preparation

In Part 1, we focused on Strategic Planning. In Part 2, we looked at the Execution involved in preparing for a site visit. In Part 3, we reviewed the Preparation of the ARC-PA Application and Appendices.

Here in Part 4, we’re focusing on the Triangulation involved in preparing for a site visit.

What is Triangulation?

Triangulation involves cross-referencing all policies and procedures to ensure everything is consistent. When developing a PA Program, changing something in one area means it needs to be changed in multiple areas; it can be easy for forget to adjust every detail.

Example: Updating a specific paragraph pertaining to certain procedures on your website means the same wording needs to be adjusted in the student handbook, too.

Thus, triangulation is a process to continually review policies and procedures in order to keep everything aligned and consistent.

Using Triangulation to Remain Consistent

Site visitors easily find inconsistencies, so it is important to make changes systematically: make one change, stop, and make sure the change has been updated everywhere. The wording needs to remain the same across the site, handbook, and any other materials your PA Program is producing. Massey & Martin, LLC reminds you keep the language of your PA Program’s policy aligned with ARC-PA Standards, too.

How to Implement Triangulation

In Part 1, we discussed using a timeline and rolling creates throughout the entire preparation process leading up to the site visit. Let’s consider how to use these tools when implementing triangulation.

Using a Timeline for Triangulation

Massey & Martin, LLC recommends developing a timeline for cross-referencing all the materials involved in the PA Program. See the example below for a typical timeline.

Preparing the Rolling Crate for Triangulation

As mentioned in Part 1, site visitors will need two crates to help them verify and validate a PA Program’s compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. These crates include hanging files; each standard has its own hanging file. Each file contains a cover sheet listing the standard and the program application response to the standard. Behind the cover sheet, place documentation of compliance.

Preparing the Clinical Site Crate for Triangulation

This rolling crate will be divided into each of the clinical rotation specialties:

  • Surgery

  • Family Medicine

  • Internal Medicine

  • Pediatrics

  • Psychiatry

  • Emergency Medicine

  • Women’s Health

  • Electives

Each file needs to contain initial site visit documentation, practice demographic sheet, Preceptor CV, Board Certification and license, Clinical Affiliation agreement, and the letter of intent with number of students per year.


Remember, one aspect of the commissions on a site visit is to critically review your website; if it is not consistent with written policy, you may end up with a citation. This is why Massey & Martin, LLC recommends using a timeline to triangulate your PA Program’s policies and website materials as you continue preparing for the site visit,. By maintaining rolling crates and clinical site crates, you will make triangulation a more systematic process and ensure consistenct language across the board.

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