Non-recognised providers of education may be registered by the Flemish Government as a provider of recognised higher education. Such registration is based on a registration dossier and a positive decision by NVAO regarding the (potential) quality of the education they provide, following an extensive initial accreditation procedure for at least one of their programmes.
An extensive initial accreditation procedure involves an (ex ante) assessment of the potential quality of a new programme to be provided by a non-recognised education provider which aims to be registered by the Flemish Government as a provider of recognised higher education. A non-recognised education provider is an institution which is not listed on the Higher Education Register. NVAO bases its initial accreditation decision on an assessment of the potential programme quality by a panel of independent experts.
The quality of a programme is demonstrated on the basis of eight quality features. In addition, the assessment panel verifies how the programme is involving, on the one hand, internal and external stakeholders, and on the other, external and independent peers and experts.
If applicable, the panel verifies whether the programme meets the regulations with respect to the admission of graduates to corresponding offices or professions.
Once the assessment report by the panel has been endorsed, NVAO will take an accreditation decision (either positive or negative). A quality deficit must be explicitly substantiated by reference to a condition or multiple conditions that must be satisfied in order to remedy the deficit.
The assessment procedure is coordinated by NVAO.
Once the application has been found admissible, the institution will receive a request for full payment of the cost price of the extensive initial accreditation procedure. The fee applicable to this procedure is fixed by the Education Minister of Flanders. It covers the costs entailed in the work performed by the panel members (remuneration, travel expenses, hotel accommodation, et cetera), which are paid by NVAO.
For institutions applying for registration, the rate for extensive initial accreditation procedures is EUR 20,257.
The application is submitted via the digital application form; it comprises an application letter signed by the board of the institution and the Information Dossier; it is submitted online via the application form pertaining to this procedure.
In the Netherlands and Flanders, the board of an institution may appeal a (draft) NVAO decision.