List of recognized higher education accreditation organizations
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This is a list of recognized higher education related accreditation organizations. The list includes agencies and organizations that play a role in higher education accreditation and which are recognized by the appropriate governmental authorities.
The United States based Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) (a non-governmental organization) maintains an International Directory which "contains contact information about 467 quality assurance bodies, accreditation bodies and Ministries of Education in 175 countries. The quality assurance and accreditation bodies have been authorized to operate by their respective governments either as agencies of the government or as private (nongovernmental) organizations."
ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) disseminates information, experiences and good practices in the field of quality assurance (QA) in higher education to European QA agencies, public authorities and higher education institutions.
EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) has been founded by ENQA, ESU European Students Union, EUA European Universities Association and EURASHE European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, the European representative bodies of quality assurance agencies, students, universities and other higher education institutions, respectively, to increase the transparency of quality assurance in higher education across Europe. EQAR is publishing and managing a register of quality assurance agencies that substantially comply with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) to provide the public with clear and reliable information on quality assurance agencies operating in Europe. The register is web-based and freely accessible.
ENIC - NARIC comprises all countries of Europe plus Canada, Israel, United States of America, New Zealand. The website also provides information on the higher education systems of the member countries and the accreditation agencies
The ENIC Network (European Network of Information Centres) To implement the Lisbon Recognition Convention and, in general, to develop policy and practice for the recognition of qualifications, the Council of Europe and UNESCO have established the ENIC Network (European Network of National Information Centres on academic recognition and mobility). The Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES jointly provide the Secretariat for the ENIC Network. The ENIC Network cooperates closely with the NARIC Network of the European Union. The Network is made up of the national information centres of the States party to the European Cultural Convention or the UNESCO Europe Region. An ENIC is a body set up by the national authorities. While the size and specific competence of ENIC may vary, they will generally provide information on: - the recognition of foreign diplomas, degrees and other qualifications; - education systems in both foreign countries and the ENIC’s own country; - opportunities for studying abroad, including information on loans and scholarships, as well as advice on practical questions related to mobility and equivalence.
The NARIC Network (National Academic Recognition Information Centres) The NARIC network is an initiative of the European Commission and was created in 1984. The network aims at improving academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study in the Member States of the European Union (EU) countries, the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Turkey. The network is part of the Community's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), which stimulates the mobility of students and staff between higher education institutions in these countries. All member countries have designated national centres, the purpose of which is to assist in promoting the mobility of students, teachers and researchers by providing authoritative advice and information concerning the academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study undertaken in other States. The main users of this service are higher education institutions, students and their advisers, parents, teachers and prospective employers. The NARICs were designated by the Ministries of Education in the respective countries, but the status and the scope of work of individual NARICs may differ. In the majority of States, institutions of higher education are autonomous, taking their own decisions on the admission of foreign students and the exemption of parts of courses of study programmes that students may be granted on the basis of education undertaken abroad. As a result, most NARICs do not take a decision, but offer on request information and advice on foreign education systems and qualifications.
In Spain, ANECA or Agencia Nacional de la Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation) is the authorised national body responsible for the quality of the Spanish high education system. It was created as a foundation in 2002 by the Cabinet of Spain under the Organic Law of Universities.
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Under the Education Reform Act 1988 it is illegal to offer a degree or qualification that implies it is a degree, without permission from the Secretary of State, a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament. Some qualifications relating to particular professions are regulated by the government, on the DfES website but most non-degree qualifications are unregulated.
The accreditation status of an institution, and the accreditation status of the qualifications it offers, are awarded separately, often by completely different organisations; an institution that has one does not necessarily have the other. The Department for Education maintains a list of all bodies that have their own degree awarding powers ('recognised bodies'), all bodies that currently teach a course which leads to the award of a degree from a recognised body ('listed bodies'), and 'recognised awards' which are awarded by bodies who have very specific degree awarding powers. Prospective students can also consult the National Database of Accredited Qualifications, maintained by all three UK accreditation bodies. All bodies who award UK degrees are subject to a regular external quality assurance reviews by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Non-accredited qualifications given by professional bodies (e.g. those of the Institute of Directors) can be prestigious, and should not be automatically discounted.
Organisations involved in the accreditation of further and higher education institutions and/or qualifications in the UK are:
- The Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DELLS) in Wales
- The Accreditation Service for International Colleges and Universities (ASIC) for independent colleges in UK and colleges and universities worldwide
- The British Accreditation Council - BAC for independent higher education and further education institutions across the UK
- The British Council for English language schools only
- The City and Guilds of London Institute
- The European Accreditation Board of Higher Education
- The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) for Northern Ireland.
- The Engineering Council UK for degrees in engineering and technology in order to be registered as professional engineer (Chartered Engineer-CEng- or Incorporated Engineer-IEng)
- The Institution of Engineering and Technology
- The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) for publicly funded institutions
- The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) Ofqual is the regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
- The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in England
- The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) across the UK
- The Open and Distance Learning Quality Council
In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) conducts accreditation under an ordinance that took effect on 1 October 2007. The former Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation was replaced by this new authority. The HKCAAVQ maintains a list of accredited programs and programs accredited by the HKCAAVQ also may be entered into Hong Kong's Qualifications Register.
- Hong Kong Bar Association
- Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications
Universities in India must be created through government action. Institutions "which are not established under either Central or State or UGC Act" are labeled "fake universities/vishwavidyalayas" and lack authority to grant degrees.
Recognition or accreditation of courses of study is under the authority of a set of professional councils established by statute and other autonomous coordinative or regulatory bodies established or recognized by the University Grants Commission:
- All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to be superseded by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for technical and management colleges
- Quality Council of India (QCI)
- Distance Education Council (DEC)
- National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
- Bar Council of India (BCI)
- Scientific Institute and Research Organizations (SIROs)
- National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)
- Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)
- Medical Council of India (MCI)
- Pharmacy Council Of India (PCI)
- Indian Nursing Council (INC)
- National Council for Indian Education (NCIE)
- Dental Council of India (DCI)
- Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH)
- Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM)
- National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
- Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)
- Association of Indian Universities (AIU)
- Institute of Management& engineering (IME)
The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) was established in 1991 with only 8 members. Today the total membership exceeds 250 members. Higher education has dramatically changed over the last two decades. Distance education as well as vocational education have become increasingly more important as is the need for recognition of prior learning. Higher education has become more global than ever before. Professional accreditation has become more important as more higher education institutions, delivering programs in different modes, enter the market. All these have thrust the quality assurance agencies into ever expanding roles.
Universities in Nepal are established through government action. Four current universities, Four being established universities and Three other technical institutes are recognized by the government body "University grants commission".
Other than that, the Council For Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), established in 1989, by the Government of Nepal is the national autonomous apex body of Technical and Vocational Education and Training regulation. There are also some other recognized organizations who regulate their specific technical fields. They are,
- Nepal Engineering Council
- Nepal Nursing Council
- Nepal Medical Council
- Nepal Pharmacy Council
- Nepal Bar Council
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
A university in Nicaragua (public or private) can only be established with evaluation and approval (authorisation) by the National Council of Universities (CNU Consejo Nacional de Universidades) as precursor to being founded by Act of Parliament. Such recognised universities enjoy the full Anglo-Saxon-style autonomy and require no programme accreditations. The National Council of Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA) is the quality assurance agency. All recognised universities must participate in the quality assurance programme including mandatory auto-evaluation and reporting to CNEA, and may pursue deliberate institutional accreditation by CNEA or an accreditation agency recognised by CNEA. However, CNEA accreditation does only apply to already recognised universities and does not substitute the required CNU authorisation (first accreditation).
In 2003, Canada began helping Pakistan develop an accreditation system. As stated in "Ordinance No. LIII of 2002, Para 10, Clause e", the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan may set up national or regional evaluation councils or authorize any existing council or similar body to carry out accreditation of institutions including their departments, facilities and disciplines by giving them appropriate ratings.
- Established under Quality Assurance Agency of HEC
- HEC independent professional bodies
- Pakistan Bar Council (PBC)
- Pakistan Council for Architects and Town Planners (PCATP)
- Pharmacy Council of Pakistan (PCP)
- Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC)
- Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC)
- Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC)
- Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC)
- National Council for Homeopathy (NCH)
There are six regional accreditors involved in higher education accreditation in the United States.
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
- (NEASC-CTCI) Commission on Technical and Career Institutions
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) (HLC Higher Learning Commission)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC-ACCJC) Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
- (WASC-ACSCU) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
Additionally, the Board of Regents of the State of New York is recognized as an accreditor for degree-granting institutions of higher education in the state that designate the agency as their sole or primary accrediting agency. New York is the only state that is eligible to be federally recognized as an accreditor under a grandfather clause in federal law that allows recognition for state agencies if they were recognized as accreditors before October 1, 1991. Through a 1984 Charter with the Board of Regents of the State of New York, the New York State Association of Independent Schools provides accreditation for New York independent schools that are pre-K through 12th grade.
The national accreditors get their name from their common (but not universal) practice of accrediting schools nationwide or even worldwide.
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC)
These accreditors typically cover a specific program of professional education or training, but in some cases they cover the whole institution.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE-ADA))
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
- American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE)
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT/COAMFTE) Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Council for Accreditation (CFA)
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (CoA-NA)
- American Bar Association (ABA) Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
- American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) Committee on Accreditation
- American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Division of Accreditation
- American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) Board of Trustees
- American Culinary Federation (ACF) Accrediting Commission
- American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation
- American Institute of Certified Planners/Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)
- American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Accreditation (CoA)
- American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
- American Optometric Association (AOA) Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)
- American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
- American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME)
- American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Accreditation (CoA)
- American Society for Microbiology American College of Microbiology
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Division of Education and Research
- Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE)
- Association for Computing Machinery Accreditation Committee
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
- Council on Accreditation for Recreation, Park Resources and Leisure Services, sponsored by National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
- Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation
- Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)
- Council on Aviation Accreditation (CAA)
- Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) Commission on Accreditation
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
- Council on Occupational Education
- Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) Commission on Standards and Accreditation
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Office of Social Work Accreditation and Educational Excellence
- International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
- Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
- Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
- Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
- National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)
- National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
- National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT)
- National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Council on Accreditation
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) Commission on Accreditation
- National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) Commission on Accreditation
- National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) Commission on Accreditation and Commission on Community/Junior College Accreditation
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA)
- National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) Commission on Accreditation
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- National Council for Preservation Education
- National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)
- National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
- Planning Accreditation Board
- Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
- Society of American Foresters (SAF)
- State Bar of California Committee of Bar Examiners
- Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
National faith-based accreditors
There are four recognized nationwide faith-based accrediting bodies in the United States.
- Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS)
- Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) Commission on Accrediting
- Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) Commission on Accreditation
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) Accreditation Commission
- International Association of Universities
- List of unrecognized higher education accreditation organizations
- Central and East European Management Development Association
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