The Accreditation Procedure for Programme Accreditation follows these five main steps (PDF):
- The HEI writes a self-evaluation report (SER) based on guidelines provided by AQAS.
- A peer review with a panel of experts takes place and a report is written.
- the Accreditation Commission takes a decision based on the report.
- A follow-up takes place (if necessary).
- The procedure is repeated after a given time.
The Selection and Nomination of Experts
The Accreditation Commission nominates the members of each panel. Panel members are required to declare that they have no conflict of interest. The Higher Education Institution is informed about the composition of the panel before the site visit takes place. The HEI is asked to agree to the composition of the panel. It can object to a panel member if there are good reasons (e.g. conflict of interest, competing programmes, short-listed for posts at the HEI, …).
The nomination criteria (PDF) are:
- academic reputation and disciplinary breadth,
- evaluation and / or accreditation experience,
- experience in designing study programmes,
- didactic skills in higher education teaching,
- communicative skills,
- If necessary: international experience.
The exclusion criteria are:
- No alumni from the HEI.
- No members who are or have been involved in application processes over the past 5 years at the institution in question.
- No members who are relatives or have personal relationships to the faculty staff.
- No panel members who are currently engaged in the same research / publication projects as their colleagues from the institution in question.
- No panel members who consult the faculty or who are involved in the study programme in another way.
The AQAS criteria are subdivided into seven domains:
- Policy and Procedures for Quality Assurance,
- Quality of the Curriculum,
- Learning, Teaching and Assessment of Students,
- Student Admission, Progression, Recognition, and Certification,
- Teaching Staff,
- Learning Resources and Student Support,
To facilitate the work of HEIs and experts, AQAS defined several indicators that can support the fulfilment of the respective criterion. The indicators are made available to HEIs and experts during the accreditation procedure. Consequently the fulfilment of the criteria is demonstrated through the fulfilment of indicators. However, if single indicators are not fulfilled this does not automatically mean that a criterion is not met. The indicators need to be discussed in the context of the study programme since not all indicators necessarily apply for each programme.
The Accreditation Commission for Programme Accreditation decides based on the experts‘ report. Usually, there are four options:
- an unconditional accreditation,
- a conditional accreditation (conditions of approval have to be met within 9 months – the accreditation is valid),
- a postponement of accreditation (objections have to be eliminated within 18 months – then a decision on accreditation is taken),
- a denial of accreditation.
For further questions, please contact our staff.