The Accrediting Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS) was established in 2000 by the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations to review and accredit schools and programs providing non-degree instruction in the arts disciplines to children, youth, and adults.

The member organizations of CAAA have always had a deep interest in arts education for children, youth, and adults. Two of the organizations have accredited community and precollegiate schools for over twenty years. In the late 1990s, CAAA organizations were approached by institutions and groups seeking accreditation services for schools with a community or precollegiate mission that offer focused programs in one or more of the arts disciplines.

After broad consultation, the best solution was the establishment of a separate Accrediting Commission by organizations with a long and successful track record in arts accreditation. This approach preserved the autonomy that accreditation procedures need to be credible, without duplicating the efforts of other organizations working in the community and precollegiate field.

Today, ACCPAS operations for current accredited institutions are carried out by the National Office staff and the ACCPAS Commission on Accreditation.