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 held to account regarding the quality of their programmes through the agency of external quality assessment bodies. Each programme must periodically attain a programme accreditation.
Do you represent a recognised university or university college? Then you need to follow another procedure.
Programme accreditation is the official conclusion by NVAO that a programme meets the pre-determined minimum requirements regarding quality and level as set out in the assessment framework. NVAO bases its accreditation decision on an assessment of the programme quality by a panel of independent experts.
The assessment procedure is coordinated by an external quality assessment agency which is either registered on the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (www.eqar.eu) or has signed an agreement with NVAO that guarantees that the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG, 2015) are being satisfied. This ensures that the assessment is conducted in accordance with the ESG 2015. 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.
The assessment is followed by the accreditation procedure, which is always coordinated by NVAO. The assessment report is published and underpins the accreditation decision taken by NVAO (positive – limited validity – negative). Accreditation qualifies a programme for government funding, if applicable, and the conferral of government-recognised diplomas and degrees.
Once the application has been found admissible, the institution will receive a request for full payment of the cost price of the programme accreditation. The fee applicable to this procedure is fixed by the Education Minister of Flanders.
The application is submitted via the digital application form. Applications must comprise an application letter signed by the board of the institution, the administrative data of the institution and the programme, the assessment report, and, if applicable, a web link to the website of the quality assurance agency concerned, on which NVAO can consult the assessment framework and the assessment procedure.
In the Netherlands and Flanders, the board of an institution may appeal a (draft) NVAO decision.