The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is a quality assurance agency that safeguards the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders, in an expert and independent manner, and that fosters the quality culture pursued within the higher education institutions in the Netherlands and Flanders. It accredits existing and new programmes, and assesses the quality assurance of higher education institutions.
NVAO thus monitors the quality of higher education. The NVAO decisions serve as the basis for the recognition of degrees and titles, and wherever applicable, public funding of programmes. NVAO bases its assessments on the recommendations of recognised experts.
NVAO aims to help ensure that the quality of higher education in Flanders and the Netherlands is recognised as up to par from an international perspective, is acknowledged as socially relevant, and enjoys the trust of students, employers, and society. Within the tasks assigned to NVAO in the accreditation treaty between the Netherlands and Flanders, it aims to safeguard the quality of higher education, encourage improvements, and promote a quality culture.
NVAO was established in 2005 by Treaty between the Netherlands and Flanders. The responsibilities of NVAO have been set down in law.
The NVAO office is located in The Hague, the Netherlands. NVAO exchanges views and collaborates with stakeholders such as governments, universities, university colleges, and representatives of student and umbrella organisations in the Netherlands, Flanders, Europe, and beyond.
On 3 September 2003, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Flemish Community of Belgium signed a Treaty regarding the accreditation of Dutch and Flemish higher education programmes, in order to thus set up a joint accreditation organisation. The independent Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is an international, treaty-based body that acquired legal status under public Dutch law on 1 February 2005. The tasks and procedures of NVAO in the Netherlands and in Flanders have been set down in legislation.