Assessment panels in the Netherlands

The educational quality of Dutch universities of applied sciences, research universities, and private educational organisations are systematically and regularly assessed by NVAO, as are the programmes they teach. The educational quality is reviewed by a panel of experts appointed by NVAO. The panels are convened on the basis of various forms of expertise; their members are independent and authoritative. Furthermore, they are “peers” who are deemed capable of conducting a substantive and professional interview with the institution or programme regarding its educational quality, choices, strategies, and solutions.

In accreditation procedures involving existing programmes, the programmes/institutions must submit panel compositions to NVAO for approval. They are free to enlist the services of quality assessment agencies or independent third parties in such procedures. The panels are assisted by a secretary / process coordinator. The panels draw up a report which holds a recommendation to the NVAO Board. NVAO sets down its accreditation decision of its own accord, on the basis of this recommendation.


The members of an assessment panel are independent and expert. The NVAO requirements regarding the composition of such panels are based on the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.


Applications regarding the assessment of proposed panel compositions must be submitted three months prior to the first site visit by the panel.


NVAO provides training for the secretaries and chairs of assessment panels. Such training has been developed in consultation with the quality assessment organisations and is geared to the new strategy adopted in the accreditation system.