All About the Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee plays an important role in perfusion education programs. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to assist program personnel in development, evaluation, and revision of the perfusion program.  The Advisory Committee should make recommendations for change and improvement, but ultimately it is up to the program to take action and enforce changes.

The Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Perfusion include standards for Advisory Committee make-up and responsibilities.  The purpose of this communication is to clarify Standard’s requirements.

The Advisory Committee must include at least one representative from each of the following communities of interest.  In general, a member should not represent more than one community of interest, making a total of at least seven members on the Advisory Committee.

The student member must be a current student enrolled in the perfusion program.  Students may elect a classmate to represent them on the Advisory Committee, or program personnel may choose a student.

The graduate member should maintain currency in the profession and is appointed at the discretion of the program/institution.

Program Faculty
The faculty member(s) can be employed by the institution or may be adjunct faculty, and is appointed at the discretion of the program/institution.  It is recommended that both didactic faculty and clinical instructors have representation on the Committee.

Sponsor Administration
The sponsor administration member may be a department chair, dean, or other administrative representative employed by the institution.  The program director may serve in this position if he/she maintains an administrator position within the sponsoring institution.

The employer should employ/have employed graduates of the perfusion program in the clinical setting.

The program’s Medical Advisor can serve as the physician member.

The public member represents the interests of a patient that may come under the care of a perfusionist.  The public member should not be employed by or otherwise associated with the sponsoring institution, and should not be in healthcare.  Examples of public members include teachers, lawyers, public official.  Ideas for finding a public member include:  ask current Advisory Committee members for suggestions and to solicit by word-of-mouth; advertise on the institution’s website and/or program’s Facebook page; consider business leaders in your community; or use a volunteer recruitment website ( is one example).



The Advisory Committee must:

  1. Meet at least annually.  If a member cannot attend a scheduled meeting, the program should provide the member an opportunity to provide verbal or written input/feedback to items on the meeting agenda.  This input/feedback should be documented by the program.
  2. Assist the program in formulating and revising program goals and learning domains.
  3. Monitor needs and expectations of all communities of interest.
  4. Ensure program responsiveness to change.

Annual review/assessment of program outcomes (Standard IV.B.-retention, placement, graduate and employer satisfaction, summative measures, and credentialing success) and program resources (Standard III.D.-faculty, clerical/support staff, curriculum, finances, offices, classroom/laboratory/ancillary student facilities, clinical affiliate, equipment, supplies, computer resources, instructional reference materials, and faculty/staff continuing education) are essential components in helping the Advisory Committee fulfill its responsibilities.  The Program Personnel Program Resource Survey and Student Program Resource Survey are tools that can be used by the program to assist with required annual resource assessment.


The program must document Advisory Committee meetings by maintaining meeting minutes.  Meeting minutes should include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Date of meeting
  2. List of all Advisory Committee members, including:  name; community of interest represented; and indication of present/absent
  3. Documentation of each area being assessed, including: the measurement system used; timeframe for performing the assessment; analysis of results; action plan indicating party responsible for implementation; and subsequent method of review.


Programs are strongly encouraged to view the following recorded CAAHEP webinar:

Your Advisory Committee:  Meeting Expectations and Beyond
Recorded October 8, 2012 (approx. download time: 4 minutes)
Joseph B. Long, EdD, CST/FAST, Academic Team Leader, Surgical Technology Program, Lansing Community College and CAAHEP Liaison to the AC-PE!

Description:  Advisory Committees are vital to the success of your program but can be difficult to manage. This webinar provides insight on meeting the expectations of an advisory committee and beyond, with information on everything from setting up an advisory committee to the roles of its members, to the committee’s function and requirements. Take-away tools such as sample invitation letters, agendas, meeting material, and more, will be shared by seasoned program director, Joseph Long, PhD, CST/FAST.  PDF of program slides and Q&A document are also available.