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

#non-recognised institutions
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.

Decisions and reports search


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Alumni & students



ENQA case example: what NVAO (Flanders) has learned from a pandemic crisis

As we emerge from this crisis, reflection is still needed. This case example that we wrote for ENQA describes our actions in Flanders to maintain quality assurance during challenging times: from online dialogues and hybrid site visits as an additional tool in our toolkit to accelerating the development of an online training platform.


NVAO's radical change in Flanders: assessment based on an institution's individuality

The graduate programme in shop management of VIVES hogeschool is the first programme in Flanders to have a new style report, tailored to their own needs. The rigid assessment frameworks, detailed checklists and interview style have been replaced by NVAO's Appreciative Approach, open frameworks and ditto exchanges of views. At VIVES, NVAO sounded out the impact of this radically different approach to quality assurance.


ONGREAD > A EUniQ partnership to kickstart a European QA framework for European Universities

NVAO has been paving the way for a European quality assurance framework for years now and is proud to coordinate the EUniQ project on behalf of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training. It is up to the EUniQ consortium to think ahead and provide the European Universities with the right framework to live up to their European ambitions.



Overview report: Bachelor of Nursing


NVAO has confidence in the quality of the Bachelor's degree programmes in Nursing. This is evident from the overview report published by NVAO on the assessments of these programmes. However, this was not the case in 2015, when NVAO issued negative accreditation decisions for all these nursing programmes. What followed was a thorough reform of the curriculum and an extension of the duration of studies. NVAO’s overview report sketches a general picture of the assessment procedures and the substantive findings of the assessment panels. The report concludes with NVAO's insights and policy recommendations.

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A route map for high-quality work-based learning in higher education

Together with experts from the field, NVAO Netherlands has worked on a guide that can inspire study programmes, students and organisations in the (further) development of work-based learning. The guide 'A route map for high-quality work-based learning in higher education' describes a system that can contribute to the dialogue on the quality of work-based learning within higher education and is therefore also relevant for review panels responsible for the assessment of study programmes with work-based learning in the programme.

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Arnold Jonk appointed as new chair of NVAO

The Committee of Ministers has appointed Dr Arnold Jonk as chair of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) on the recommendation of Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf of Education, Culture and Science. He replaces Sander van den Eijnden, who will retire as chair on 1 November 2022. This will make Arnold Jonk the only member of the Executive Board nominated by the Netherlands. He will start his term on 1 October. One month later, he will take over the chairmanship.

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