Triple Accreditation is the accreditation awarded to 58 business schools worldwide by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations:
- AACSB - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (based in Tampa, Florida, with an Asia office in Singapore)
- AMBA - The Association of MBAs (based in London)
- EQUIS - European Quality Improvement System (based in Brussels)
Of the 13,670 schools offering business degree programs worldwide, only 58 have Triple Accreditation as of November 2012. The diagram on the right shows the 55 triple-accredited schools outside of North America. Two triple-accredited schools are based in Canada and a further in Sheffield, UK not included in this diagram, bringing the worldwide total to 58. [E.g. for AACSB, the diagram interpretation is as follows: 53 schools are accredited only by AACSB; a further 7 are accredited by AACSB and AMBA; another 23 are accredited by AACSB and EQUIS; and 55 are accredited by all three accrediting bodies.]
A major reason for the small number of triple-accredited institutions in the world is the requirement of the Association of MBAs that AMBA-accredited business schools should only admit MBA applicants with at least three years of full-time post-graduation work experience. Most top US business schools cannot meet this criterion as they sometimes (though rarely) admit applicants with only a bachelor's degree and little or no work experience.
AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS: Differences in Accreditation 
1) Scope of accreditation (see diagram on the right)
AACSB has the broadest scope, as it accredits management and accounting programs at the entire university (e.g. management programs at the business school and the school of engineering) and grants university-wide accreditation.
AMBA has the most focused scope as it accredits only the business school's portfolios of MBA programs (full-time, part-time, executive, distance-learning), MBM programs (including MSc International Management) and DBA (also known as DMgt in China).
EQUIS's scope ranks in the middle, as it accredits the business school but not the university and not specific portfolios of programs.
2) Duration of the accreditation process
AACSB: 2–7 years
AMBA: 9–18 months
EQUIS: 2–3 years
AACSB: full re-accreditation every 5 or 10 years (the 10-year accreditation is being phased out)
AMBA: full re-accreditation every 3 or 5 years (1-year accreditation is a possible outcome of reaccreditation in exceptional circumstances)
EQUIS: full re-accreditation every 3 or 5 years
4) School audit team
AACSB's peer review team includes deans and business school administrators.
AMBA's assessment team includes deans, associate deans, program directors and one AMBA representative.
EQUIS's team includes only deans.
5) Evaluation report content
AACSB's report reflects compliance with the AACSB standards
AMBA's report includes compliance with criteria, commendations and recommendations
EQUIS's report reflects compliance with the EQUIS standards
6) Criteria/Standards size
AACSB: 77 pages for Business Accreditation; 36 pages for Accounting Accreditation
AMBA: 24 pages (9 pages for MBA; 9 pages for MBM; 6 pages for DBA)
EQUIS: 67 pages
7) Quantitative vs Qualitative
AACSB has more quantitative criteria (checklists)
AMBA has more qualitative criteria
EQUIS is in the middle (between AACSB and AMBA)
AACSB conducts the evaluation against the school's own mission, so AACSB has no internationalization requirement unless internationalization is part of the school's mission.
AMBA has internationalization criteria for research, curriculum and student enrolment. However, these are reviewed in a regional context for less internationalized regions (e.g. Latin America and Russia).
EQUIS has strict requirements on internationalization.
9) Faculty numbers
AACSB: prescribed faculty ratios (AQ/PQ ratio)
AMBA: no prescribed faculty-to-students ratio
EQUIS: prescribed minimum numbers of faculty
10) Visiting faculty
AACSB disapproves of heavy use of visiting faculty.
AMBA allows the visiting faculty model, as long as the visiting faculty are managed by the core faculty (and as long as the quality and course content is monitored).
EQUIS disapproves of heavy use of visiting faculty.
AACSB requires research in line with the mission of the school.
AMBA requires research and publications in international refereed journals or proof of impactful research at national level.
EQUIS requires research with an international dimension.
12) Program-specific criteria
AACSB has no program-specific standards since it evaluates the entire university.
AMBA has program-specific criteria such as:
- at least 3 years of full-time work experience for all admitted MBA students;
- at least 500 contact hours (scheduled class hours) for a full-time MBA curriculum and a minimum of 120 contact hours for a distance-learning MBA;
- at least 20 students enrolled in an MBA program;
EQUIS has no program-specific standards since it evaluates the entire business school.
13) Accreditation fees
AACSB: 17,500 USD for initial business accreditation (or 26,800 USD for both business and accounting accreditation). In addition, an annual business accreditation fee is charged: 4,500 USD annually for a 5-year accreditation cycle or 2,500 USD annually for a 10-year accreditation cycle.
AMBA: 22,000 GBP for initial accreditation or 15,000 GBP for re-accreditation.
EQUIS: 38,675 EUR for a 5-year initial accreditation or re-accreditation and 32,725 EUR for a 3-year initial accreditation or re-accreditation.
List of Triple Accredited Schools 
Argentina (1 school) 
- IAE Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires
Australia (1 school) 
Belgium (1 school) 
Brazil (1 school) 
Canada (2 schools) 
China (4 schools) 
- Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai
- College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- Faculty of Business, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
- School of Business, The Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Colombia (1 school) 
- Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Administración, Bogota
Denmark (1 school) 
- Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen
Finland(1 school) 
- Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki
France (12 schools) 
- Audencia Nantes, Nantes
- BEM - Bordeaux Management School, Bordeaux
- EDHEC (École des hautes études commerciales du nord), Lille & Nice
- EMLYON Business School, Lyon
- ESCP-Europe (École supérieure de commerce de Paris — Europe), Paris
- Euromed Management – School of Management and Business, Marseille
- Grenoble School of Business, Grenoble
- HEC Paris (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales), Paris
- INSEAD (Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires), Fontainebleau & Singapore
- Reims Management School, Reims
- Rouen Business School, Rouen
- Toulouse Business School, Toulouse
Germany (2 schools) 
Ireland (1 school) 
- University College Dublin, Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business/UCD Quinn School of Business, Dublin
Italy (2 schools) 
Mexico (2 schools) 
- EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey,México y Monterrey
- División Académica de Administración y Contaduría, ITAM, Mexico City
The Netherlands (2 schools) 
- Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht
- Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam
New Zealand (3 schools) 
- University of Auckland Business School, Auckland
- Waikato Management School, Hamilton
- Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Commerce & Administration, Wellington
Peru (1 school) 
Poland (1 school) 
- Kozminski University, Warsaw
Portugal (2 schools) 
- CATÓLICA-LISBON, School of Business & Economics, Lisbon
- Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon
South Africa (1 school) 
- University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town
Spain (4 schools) 
- ESADE Business School and ESADE University Faculties, Barcelona
- ESCP Europe, Madrid
- IE Business School, Madrid
- IESE Barcelona
Switzerland (1 school) 
- IMD Lausanne
UK (17 schools) 
- Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted
- Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham
- Bradford University School of Management, University of Bradford, Bradford
- Cass Business School, City University London, London
- Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire
- Durham Business School, Durham University, Durham
- ESCP Europe, London
- Hull University Business School, Hull
- Henley Business School, University of Reading, Henley-on-Thames and Reading
- Imperial College Business School, London
- Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster University, Lancaster
- London Business School, London
- Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester
- Open University Business School
- University of Sheffield Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield
- Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
- Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry
Venezuela (1 school) 
- IESA, Caracas
Top Schools without Triple Accreditation 
Many of the world's top business schools are not triple-accredited, while several schools that appear low in the rankings have triple accreditation.
One reason for this is that some of the top business schools choose not to incur the financial cost of international accreditation and rely only on accreditation by their national accrediting body (usually the country's education ministry). Notable examples are the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University in Canada or the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, which have not received accreditation by any of the three global accrediting institutions.
Another reason is that the top schools in some regions do not meet one or more of the detailed criteria of the accrediting institutions and choose not to amend their policy. Notable examples are all top US business schools: Harvard Business School, Wharton, Stanford GSB, Columbia Business School, Chicago Booth, etc., which do not meet AMBA's mandatory three-year student-work-experience requirement for all MBA applicants.
A third reason is that the 509 schools that have obtained AACSB accreditation in the US and Canada (either via the standard accreditation process or via the granting of accreditation based on their reputation as top schools) do not look outside of North America for further validation, such as through European or British accreditation.
See also 
- The Economist. Oct 15th 2011. Is time running out for business schools that aren’t quite elite? http://www.economist.com/node/21532269
- AMBA Criterion 5.4, P. 5 - http://www.mbaworld.com/administrator/file_sys/uploaded_files/1299681060-MBA%20critieria_web.pdf
- AACSB Standards http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/standards.asp
- AMBA Criteria http://www.mbaworld.com/accreditationcriteria
- EQUIS Standards and Criteria http://www.efmd.org/accreditation-main/equis/equis-guides
- AMBA-accredited schools: http://www.ambaguide.com/find-an-accredited-programme/schools/
- AACSB-accredited schools: http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accreditedmembers.asp
- EQUIS-accredited schools: http://www.efmd.org/accreditation-main/equis/accredited-schools