Quality assurance system of the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the accreditation system started in 2002. The existing higher education programs were accredited 'by right' (by law) from that moment on. Up to and including 2010, the programs were inspected and assessed by NVAO in phases.
In January 2011, the second accreditation system of the Netherlands came into force. Under this system, the “institutional audit” was introduced. All the research universities and most of the universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands have passed their institutional audit by now. The second phase of the system terminated in 2016.
In 2017 and 2018, the programmes were reviewed on the basis of an updated Assessment Framework for the Higher Education Accreditation System of the Netherlands 2016 (Framework 2016). This framework is based more on “trust” and the individual responsibility of the institutions.
Since 1 February 2018, Following the adoption of the Dutch Customised Accreditation Act, the institutions and programmes are reviewed on the basis of the Assessment Framework for the Higher Education Accreditation System of the Netherlands 2018 (Framework 2018). One of its principles is a binary, undifferentiated conclusion (positive, possibly conditionally positive, and negative).
For existing programs the accreditation is for an indefinite period. NVAO periodically determines whether or not the accreditation can be maintained on the basis of an assessment report supplied by the institutions. New programs receive accreditation for the first time for a period of six years..