Outline of a Programme Accreditation Procedure

The following described procedure is being conducted for many quality seals for study programmes awarded by ASIIN.

The process of an accreditation procedure is divided in three phases:

1. Preparation and application

Institution

Submits a request to the ASIIN office. This includes the accreditation request and a short curricular overview highlighting the subject-related contents of the study programme. The accreditation request may be downloaded here and can be submitted electronically to the ASIIN office. In this form, applicants are requested, among other things, to mark the lead Technical Committee, to formulate suggestions for subject areas for the auditors, and to indicate which (complementary) quality seal is being applied for.

ASIIN

Accepts the request for a formal preliminary review. The ASIIN office and the Technical Committees involved review the preliminary information with regard to the responsibilities, possible clustering, and the number of auditors required. Based on this information, the ASIIN office generates an offer for the accreditation procedure (time schedule and costs) containing a request for confirmation of costs by the applicant/institutional board.

2. Review

Institution

Places the order of accreditation by confirming the costs or signing the accreditation contract.

Prepares a self-assessment report in accordance with the guideline/suggested structure. Prior to the final submission of the self-assessment report, ASIIN offers a preliminary meeting at the ASIIN office to review the report with regard to formal completeness and to discuss it with the responsible parties of the institution. Alternatively, the ASIIN office can also communicate the results of the preliminary review in writing.

ASIIN (Auditors)

Upon recommendation by the Technical Committees, ASIIN will select an Audit Team. The Technical Committees will select one auditor as speaker for the team.

The Audit Team will conduct an on-site visit at the institution, which usually takes one and a half day, or two or more days for cluster procedures.

ASIIN

Submits the audit report to the institution for fact checking and a statement.

Hochschule

Will issue a statement and if necessary, make corrections and changes to the accreditation report.

3. Decision and completion

ASIIN

Final evaluation by the auditors with recommendation to the Accreditation Commission.

Statement of the relevant Technical Committee(s).

Decision on the accreditation by the ASIIN Programme Accreditation Commission in all cases in which ASIIN is authorised to award a requested seal. Otherwise ASIIN will submit the advisory accreditation decision to the responsible, national body (in Switzerland and The Netherlands).

Communication of the decision to the applying institution and the German Accreditation Council (Deutscher Akkreditierungsrat) or the applicable authority of the state in question.

Submission of the final accreditation report to the institution as well as to the applicable owner of the quality seal. Publication of the results or the accreditation report on the internet according to the stipulations of the European agency associations that ASIIN is a member of.

Follow-Up

How to handle possible recommendations or requirements resulting from a procedure as well as substantial changes to the reviewed object during the term of a quality seal, is described in detail in the relevant guide on criteria and procedural principles of a seal.

We would also gladly answer all your questions in a personal meeting!

Distinctive Features of Procedures for Bi- and Multinational Study Programmes

For the accreditation of international study programmes that are jointly being offered by institutions from different countries, the criteria of the chosen seal are the same.

Due to the special conditions under which international (bi- or multinational) programme offers are realised, it is necessary to consider the following aspects of the accreditation or certification procedure:

  • A quality seal applies to an entire study programme. Therefore, it is necessary to include the entire study programme in the procedure. A review of individual parts or module groups offered by one of the participating higher education institutions is not possible.
  • The self-assessment for a bi- or multinational study programme must allow for the evaluation of the entire programme thus providing information on all parts and locations.
  • For the design of the accreditation procedure it is of importance whether the foreign basic study programmes – the modules of which are integrated into an international cooperation – are subject to a recognised external quality assurance procedure in their own country.
  • The site-visit by the Audit Team takes place at one of the participating higher education institutions. As a general rule. it is required to conduct a site-visit to all participating institutions unless there are valid arguments against it. Thus, ASIIN panels are able to forgo further site-visits when:
    • The study programme at the participating institutions has been accredited by a nationally recognised body within a programme-related accreditation procedure, or
    • The course offer at the participating institutions is subject to a nationally recognised programme-related external quality assurance procedure, or
    • The course offer at the participating institutions is subject to an external quality assurance procedure that is conducted by an agency registered with the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR).
    • If required, at least one auditor will visit the partner institutions to obtain an impression of the quality of the corresponding course offer. So the team will split up in this case.

The ASIIN office has experience in designing and supporting bi- and multinationally offered courses in accreditation and certification procedures. Please contact us. We gladly clarify the options for designing the procedure for your personal situation in a personal meeting!