The Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) was established in 2003 under the aegis of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to ensure that the education programmes of medicine and other health professions offered by institutions in participating countries are recognised nationally and regionally to be of international standard.
Medical education in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) began with thirty-three (33) students in 1948 at the foundation of the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), at the Mona Campus in Jamaica as a constituent part of the University of London. In 1962 the UCWI sought independence from London becoming The University of the West Indies (UWI). From its inception until 2001 when the practice of accrediting overseas institutions was discontinued in keeping with European Union (EU) regulations regarding academic and professional training programmes, the medical education programme of the UWI was accredited by the General Medical Council (GMC) of the UK. This gave national, regional and international recognition to UWI graduates who were able to register freely in the UK and other Commonwealth countries. This practice continued over the years even as various changes took place in medical education at the University ofthe West Indies (UWI).
Other medical schools were established at the University of Suriname in 1969 and at the University of Guyana in 1985.
From the mid 1970s onwards the region has witnessed an influx of ‘offshore’ medical schools with an almost exclusively international student population mainly from the US and Canada.
In response to these developments and the regional thrust to ensure quality education and training in the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), a regional accreditation system was established as a means of providing the assurance of quality that generates confidence in the stakeholders. Thus, the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) was launched under the aegis of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in July 2004 to accredit the education programmes of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing and other health professions in CARICOM member states.
CARICOM Member States are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad& Tobago, British Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands.
The CAAM-HP is recognised by the participating countries as the agency for accreditation of educational programmes for qualifying degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dental Medicine and Nursing. The CAAM-HP is empowered to determine and prescribe standards and to accredit programmes of medical, dental and veterinary education on behalf of the contracting parties in CARICOM. The CAAM-HP will make its own final decisions about accreditation status.