The registered institutions for higher education, the institutions for post-initial education, scientific research and academic services, the Faculty for Protestant Theology in Brussels, and the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Heverlee are periodically held to account regarding the quality of their programmes. New programmes are first subjected to initial accreditation, a procedure to assess their potential quality.
Do you represent a recognised university or university college? Then you need to follow another procedure.
Do you represent a non-recognised institution? Then you need to follow another procedure.
Initial accreditation involves an (ex ante) assessment of the potential quality of a new programme. A new programme is a programme that the applicant institution has not previously registered 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 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.
The rate for an initial accreditation is:
|Statutory recognised institutions||EUR 11.877|
|Other registered institutions, other than universities and university colleges||EUR 23.754|
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.
In the Netherlands and Flanders, the board of an institution may appeal a (draft) NVAO decision.