My background is EE where (in the US) the gold standard is ABET accreditation. Is there an analogous accreditation for physics/astronomy programs (something beyond regional accreditation of the University)?
I don't think there's any accreditation for physics or astronomy programs in the US. Chemistry has optional ACS accreditation, but physics doesn't have anything through the APS. Physics is part of any ABET accreditation, but only to the basic level (calculus based intro classes, mostly).