Confidence in quality

The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) has been established by the Dutch and Flemish governments as an independent accreditation body. NVAO operates on both a binational and international level. The NVAO conclusions underpin the recognition of higher education programmes and ensure that students receive worthy degrees.

About NVAO


Recognise a new programme

New programmes are first subjected to initial accreditation at NVAO, a procedure to assess their potential quality. After a few years, a newly recognised programma can obtain a first accreditation.

Review existing programme

Each programme must periodically attain a programme accreditation. How this review is organised is based on the type of institution.

Review existing institution

All the institutions in Flanders that are recognised as a university college or university are periodically subjected to an institutional review. In the Netherlands, an institution can participate in an Institutional Accreditation.

Recognise a new institution

Higher education institutions need to be recognised by the Flemish and Dutch government before they can organise accredited programmes, issue recognised degrees and, if necessary, be eligible for funding.


The Quality Agreements are assessed by NVAO. They pertain to the study advance funds allocated to institutions for the improvement of the quality of education.

quality assurance systems

The Netherlands and Flanders each have their own quality assurance system, an integrated system for external quality assurance. A quality assurance system includes the various procedures and conditions for obtaining accreditation. All NVAO procedures are based on assessment frameworks.



Members reviewpanel


Alumni & students




The Flemish Minister for Education launched a new version of the online white list of all recognised higher education institutions and programmes in Flanders. The updated and more accessible Higher Education Register is developed in close cooperation with the NVAO.



'Always that focus on improvement' - NVAO 2018 Annual Report

In this special edition of FOQUS we highlight the activities we have carried out over the past year in Flanders and in the Netherlands. Special themes are featured, such as our WFME-recognition and our assessments in Luxembourg. Other highlights are the road to quality appointments for Netherlands has started ('De weg naar kwaliteitsafspraken gestart'); the assessment framework 2018 ('Het kader 2018'); Learning outcomes ('Het experiment leeruitkomsten') and 'Hanze University of Aplied Siences, first college with ITK ('Hanzehogeschool, eerste hogeschool met ITK'). For Flanders we highlight the new quality management system should keep Flanders at the top ('Het nieuwe Kwaliteitszorgstelsel moet Vlaanderen aan de top houden') and when higher education evaluates (about the educational programmes) ('Wanneer het hoger onderwijs evalueert').

View the english version below in a pdf file.

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WFME Recognition Report online

On 29 May 2019, representatives of the medical schools in the Netherlands, Flanders and Saba met in The Hague to discuss the WFME Recognition Report which is now available on the NVAO website. NVAO is preparing its yearly status report which will also include the follow-up of the WFME recommendations. NVAO and the medical schools will meet again in November 2019.

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English version of new website online

From today, the English version of our new website is online. We no longer use a separate website for our English-speaking users. The English version of the pages are integrated in the general website. This way a user can easily switch languages on every page. Our new website will quickly guide junior as well as more experienced quality assurance officers through the quality assurance systems and procedures. The website is a joint project of NVAO and everyone involved in the quality of higher education. Any suggestions to improve our website are more than welcome.

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