Timeline / Procedure

The different accreditation processes of EQAA follow the same structure and layout. The processes are managed by EQAA and the responsible person at the applying university of higher education institution.

Step 1: Application

The university or higher education institution contacts EQAA and declares its intention to receive EQAA accreditation. At this stage a contract drawn up, clearly setting out the responsibilities, the further process and the timeframe. The contract is to be signed by the leadership of the applying university or higher education institution.

Step 2: Selection of reviewers

EQAA identifies and selects a team of reviewers, including a chair and a secretary. EQAA informs the applying university or higher education institution about the selected reviewers. The university or higher education institution can object within 10 days to individual reviewers on the basis of a conflict of interest.

Step 3: Self-evaluation

The university or higher education institution submits a self-evaluation report to EQAA. EQAA forwards the report to the review team, which starts preparing for the site-visit. The review team may identify the need for further documentation. This will be communicated to the applying university or higher education institution, leaving sufficient time to compile the documentation.

Step 4: Preparation of the site-visit

The Secretary of the review team coordinates with the liaison person of the applying university or higher education institution all practicalities regarding the site-visit. This includes the agenda of the site-visit, the identification of people and stakeholders to be interviewed and practical arrangements, such as meals, transport etc.

Step 5: Site-visit

The site-visit to the applying university or higher education institution is conducted approximately 6 weeks after the self-evaluation report was submitted. The site-visit normally lasts 2-3 days. During the site-visit, a range of interviews is conducted with leadership, staff, students and other stakeholders. The site-visit also includes a tour of the premises and facilities. At the end of the site-visit, the review team will present its preliminary findings to the applying university or higher education institution.

Step 6: Drafting of the report

The Secretary of the review team drafts a report based on the findings of the documentation and site-visit within 4 four weeks. The Chair and other review team members comment on the report.

Step 7: Finalisation of the report

The draft report is sent to the applying university or higher education institution. The applying university or higher education institution has the possibility to comment on factual errors of the report. The applying university or higher education institution has 10 days to check the accuracy of the report. Should any errors have been identified, the Secretary of the review team jointly with the Chair will correct the report and submit the final report to the applying university or higher education institution and to EQAA. The applying university or higher education institution has the possibility to provide content feedback on the findings of the report and to submit this feedback to EQAA within 14 days.

Step 8: Decision and publication

The Board of EQAA analyses the report received by the review team as well as the content feedback provided by the applying university or higher education institution. The Board takes a decision about the accreditation. The Board may decide to grant full accreditation, conditional accreditation or to reject accreditation. The decision will be immediately communicated to the applying university or higher education institution. The applying university or higher education institution has the right to appeal within 3 weeks against the decision on procedural grounds and in cases of unreasonable judgement. If no appeal is made, the decision becomes final and the report is published on the website of EQAA. The applying university or higher education institution is also encouraged to publish the report on its website.

Step 9: Follow-Up

In case full accreditation or conditional accreditation is granted, a follow-up procedure is determined between EQAA and the applying university or higher education institution. The exact follow-up procedure depends on the recommendations and suggestions of the review report. In case the accreditation is rejected, the university or higher education institution has the right to apply again after 12 months.

 

Validity of the accreditation

Accreditation is valid for 5 years. In the cases of conditional accreditation, the university or higher education institution should address the conditions as outlined in the decision of EQAA’s Board and defined in the follow-up procedure. If the university or higher education institution does not address the conditions appropriately, the accreditation can be withdrawn by EQAA.