ACCREDITATION REGULATIONS

ACCREDITATION REGULATIONS

Regulations for the Accreditation from EAHEA

These regulations are established to ensure the integrity of the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation and all the services provided. These regulations are meant to be effective and their interpretation is based on the assumption of ethical values, integrity and a non profit spirit from each of the members of the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation.

These premises may evolve to address new situations or services upon proposal from the members of the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation. Proposals will be accepted by the President from individuals or groups, including students, staff, faculty, members of the general public, governmental agencies and other institutions or organizations. The President reviews any proposal and acknowledges its responsibility to provide a reasonable and impartial review. Proposals should be sent to the EAHEA Secretary.

1. Accrediting Commission

A specially authorized commission -named Accrediting Commission- manages all accreditation and membership processes within the EAHEA. The Accrediting Commission is formed by a minimum of 5 members, including the Secretary and the President. Commission members work on a voluntary basis on a year-by-year compromise. They are responsible for evaluating and recommending the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation status of applicant higher education institutions and supervising any other validation services offered. The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation is represented by the EAHEA President or Secretary when dealing with other commission members, education institutions or any other third party. In case of discrepancy with the President of the EAHEA or the Secretary, an arbitrage of 3 commission members will be established: one selected by the President (or himself), one by the conflicted commissioner (or himself), and one agreed by the President and the conflicted commissioner before the nature of the conflict is exposed. The conclusion of these 3 members´ arbitrage will be accepted by all the parties.

2. Regulations for the Accreditation of Educational Institutions

2.1. Eligibility for Accreditation:

An eligible institution must be any kind of organization, entity or company properly authorized to conduct higher educational teaching and certification, to award postsecondary degrees, certificates or other educational or professional credentials. The entities eligible for accreditation must prepare individuals to achieve competencies and attain the educational qualifications necessary to begin functioning in a specific occupation.

2.2. Application for Accreditation:

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation has prepared an application for accreditation that will guide the applicant institutions in the preparation of the Self-Study Report and the required documentary evidence. EAHEA will not start any accreditation process without the corresponding application. The self study report and additional documents may be presented in different languages subject to acceptance of the EAHEA Secretary. When applying for accreditation, an educational institution should address all the EAHEA standards, and provide evidence that each standard has been met. Where a standard is not applicable, a statement of why it is not applicable should be included. If a standard has not been met, a clear statement of the reasons should be given, and of how the provider intends to remedy this situation. Denial or unjustified delay to provide proper evidence or explanatory reports will stop the accreditation process. The EAHEA guarantees the confidentiality of any documents and data submitted by the educational institution, as well as any information pertaining to the accreditation process.

2.3. Accreditation Options:

The Accrediting Commission has established different ways to obtain the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation accreditation:

2.3.1. Members of AIU from UNESCO:

This option is restricted to members of the UNESCO International Association of Universities. The applicant institution must be listed in the IAU Handbook. Members of the IAU may be included in the EAHEA Accreditation members list upon request of any of their academics.

2.3.2. EAHEA Selection Members:

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation selection is a set of bodies whose certification or membership is considered similar or equivalent to the EAHEA accreditation. Member institutions from any of the EAHEA selected bodies may automatically qualify for the EAHEA accreditation. If the institution is no longer member, recognized or accredited by the EAHEA Selection bodies, the institution will be required to go through a re-accreditation process.

2.3.3. EAHEA Full Accreditation:

Any educational institution seeking accreditation by the EAHEA must demonstrate through the application for accreditation and self assessment report (SSR) that it meets the EAHEA´s standards. The accreditation process normally takes from one to three months, once the application for accreditation (self study report) has been properly submitted to the EAHEA Secretary.

2.4. Assessment of the Accreditation Status:

The EAHEA Secretary will distribute the application for accreditation and attached documents to an available member of the Accrediting Commission for the assessment of how each standard is addressed by the applicant educational institution. The EAHEA Secretary will communicate the results of the initial accreditation status to the other members of the Accrediting Commission. The other members of the Accrediting Commission have 15 days since the announcement to review and amend the conclusions and grades of the initial accreditation report. If deemed necessary, the commissioner may require an interview with the appointed representative of the applicant educational institution or arrange a site visit from a member of the Accrediting Commission. The president will review the final accreditation report and endorse the resulting status considering the following:

2.4.1. Respect for Institutional Autonomy:

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation respects the educational institution autonomy, which may have its own methods or internal systems by which its academic and business performance can be assessed. These methods must be clearly explained whenever different from the EAHEA´s standards. The accreditation process will vary considerably from applicant to applicant, depending upon particular circumstances. Nevertheless, the EAHEA has set out standards which any good quality educational institution should meet.

2.4.2. Thoughtful Guidance:

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation provides the applicant educational institution with a thoughtful guidance to assist the institution in finding its own approaches and solutions and meet the EAHEA standards. The Accrediting Commission makes a clear distinction between what is required for accreditation and what is recommended for improvement of the educational institution.

2.4.3. Cost-effective Process:

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation has the compromise to keep the accreditation process as efficient and cost-effective as possible by minimizing the use of interviews, site visits and reports, and by eliminating, whenever possible, duplication of effort between the EAHEA accreditation and other review processes.

2.5. Final Accreditation Report:

The EAHEA Secretary will inform the new applicant educational institution of the conclusions of the accreditation report. A detailed final accreditation report is sent to the applicant. Some standards represent best practice, and failure to meet them may not necessarily debar an applicant institution from accreditation, but will highlight an area needing improvement. The Accrediting Commission will indicate whether failure to meet a specific standard will debar the applicant from accreditation. The evaluation of each standard is graded according to the following scale:

4 - Outstanding: No need for improvement.
3 - Standard: May improve.
2 - Acceptable: Requires improvement.
1 - Insufficient: Not meeting the minimums.
0 - Nule: Failed to comply with this requirement.

2.6. Accreditation Status:

The EAHEA will communicate the results of the evaluation of the accreditation status only to the applicant. The EAHEA Secretary will send the corresponding accreditation diploma if applicable. The resulting average will determine the accreditation status:

Full accreditation: Final average ranging 3,0 - 4,0. Requires re-accreditation review every five years.

Conditional accreditation: Final average ranging 2,0 - 2,9. This is a one year long temporary status. The educational institution must undergo a new re-accreditation review within 12 months of conditional accreditation. If full accreditation is not achieved in this review, the accreditation status will be denied.

Denial of accreditation: Final average ranging 0,0 - 1,9. The Accrediting Commission will explain the reasons for the denial. The accreditation fee is not refundable in this situation. Any educational institution in this case may reapply for accreditation after a 12-month-period.

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation accreditation affects exclusively to the accredited educational institution and it is not transferable to any related third parties. If an accredited educational institution interacts with a non-accredited third party, that interaction may include a statement of participation of the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation accredited educational institution, but it should not indicate or suggest that the interaction itself, or any other parties involved, are accredited.

2.7. Accreditation Status Disagreement:

The Accrediting Commission will notify the educational institution of the results of the evaluation of its application. If the educational institution did not meet any standard, the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation shall identify such standard and its concerns. The educational institution may disagree with the EAHEA´s notice of results. The institution has 30 days following this notice to address any errors in the application for accreditation (self-study report) or misunderstandings in the accreditation process. The institution may include any additional information that clarifies the concerns raised by the Accrediting Commission. After this 30-day-period, the EAHEA´s notice of results will be considered fully accepted by the educational institution.

2.8. Reaccreditation Review:

For any reaccreditation review, the educational institution must submit a new complete application (self study report) to the EAHEA Secretary, in any event, not more that five years since its last accreditation or reaccreditation, or one year in case of conditional accreditation. The educational institution must report any changes of significance in its operating circumstances to the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation. These changes might lead to a review of the accreditation process.

2.9. The EAHEA Improvement:

The accredited educational institution has the right to remark any suggestions that lead to the improvement of the European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation standards, regulations, functioning and procedures from any point of view. Subject to the regulations of the Accrediting Commission, one member of an European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation accredited institution may be presented to be a member in the Accrediting Commission.

2.10. Withdrawal of Accreditation:

The European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation may withdraw accreditation of an educational institution for sufficient cause, including a determination by EAHEA that the educational institution no longer meets the requirements for accreditation. Institutions should also note that accreditation is contingent upon payment of current dues.

2.11. Legalization of the Institution Accreditation Certificate:

The EAHEA Validation Services may be legalized the "Institution Accreditation Certificate" with the Hague Convention Apostille or with a Consulate Legalization as appropriate. The EAHEA Secretary may take care of the corresponding legalization process. The EAHEA Secretary may use or hire the necessary agents or intermediaries required to complete the legalization process of any of EAHEA Validation Services. To order any legalization the applicant must send a request in writing to the EAHEA Secretary. The EAHEA Secretary will estimate a legalization budget (depending on the country legalization requirements) and communicate this to the applicant. All the fees required for the legalization process will be paid in advance to the EAHEA Secretary and are not subject to any refund.

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