The National Council on Administrative Fellowships (NCAF) is an organization of fellowship sites and graduate health management programs who are working together to continuously improve early-career development opportunities for our next-generation healthcare leaders.
NCAF creates an industry standard in the recruitment for administrative fellows. In doing so, NCAF allows for a uniform and coordinated recruitment process, helps organizations access a national pipeline of the next generation of healthcare industry leaders, and brings fellowship sites and graduate health management programs together to share ideas and best practices.
NCAF believes that students will benefit from better coordination across the field in the development and operation of fellowship programs. Members agree to abide by the guidelines of the NCAF Code of Good Practice, which includes upholding uniform application dates. For 2020, these dates are:
Administrative fellowships typically involve 1 to 2 year roles taken by recent graduates from master’s level programs (e.g., MHA, MHP, MPH, MPP, MBA, or equivalent degrees), and prepare early careerists for leadership-track careers in the health sector. Although these programs are widely viewed as highly valuable, there is equally widespread recognition that the historical ‘free market’ approach resulted in a highly inefficient process, one that created significant and needless pressure on student applicants, interfered substantially with their graduate studies, and resulted in substantial variability in program quality.
In 2014 NCHL, in collaboration with AUPHA and CAHME, embarked on an exploratory project to determine whether there was a critical mass of interest in the field to pursue a more organized and collaborative approach to the fellowship process. This included two national surveys, one of graduate program directors and one of fellowship preceptors, as well as a series of information sessions with representatives from stakeholder groups throughout year. These efforts indicated clear interest and need for the (1) establishment of a “code of good practice,” and (2) establishment of an oversight body to ensure the Code is upheld.