Early 2017 the National Commission published a survey into the accreditation of study programmes. The survey showed that in addition to the NVAO accreditation, the educational institutions use accreditations given by foreign organizations. The main rule is that educational institutions offer international students study programmes accredited by the NVAO, but the Code of Conduct leaves space for foreign accreditations as well. When does a foreign accreditation meet the requirements of Article 5.2 of the Code? That question cannot be answered easily and requires some research.
The Education Executive Agency (DUO), being the register administrator, will test each request for inclusion in the register if it meets the accreditation requirement. Furthermore, the Commission may decide to investigate the compliance with Article 5.2, or it may act upon a petition regarding compliance. For foreign accreditations, compliance with the formal requirements of Article 5.2 will be regarded first. After that, the merits of the accreditation will be compared to an accreditation given by the NVAO. The latter requires further investigation, which may include seeking external advice.
During the joint meeting in May 2017 of the Commission and the chairpersons of the umbrella organizations (Vereniging Hogescholen, NRTO and VSNU) it was discussed that the educational institutions should be properly informed of which accreditation organizations meet the requirements. This is why during the summer months the umbrella organizations worked to find a solution, resulting in a non-exhaustive list of accreditation organizations that meet the above requirements of the Code of Conduct. The basis of the list is made up of foreign accreditation organizations that emerged from the Commission’s survey, plus suggestions made by the sector.
After the approval given by the umbrella organizations in October 2017, the Commission adopted the list, which now has been included in an appendix to the Code of Conduct. It was agreed that the list will be revised annually, with the option to include new accreditation organizations in the meantime.
Do you think that an accreditation organization used by your institution is not on the list? Please inform the Commission or your umbrella organization! Let’s make a joint effort of keeping the list up to date.