German Accreditation Council (GAC)
Germany has two types of accreditation: programme and system accreditation.
The programme accreditation process is made up of several stages and is based on the peer review principle.
- A higher education institution submits an application for the accreditation of a programme to a licensed accreditation agency,
- The relevant agency appoints an expert group,
- The composition must be a reflection not just of the specialist content focus of the programme but also of its specific profile.
- In each case the expert group is made up of representatives of higher education institutions, i.e. teachers and students, and of representatives of the professional field.
- The expert group does an evaluation of the programme.
- This evaluation is carried out in accordance with the given criteria for the accreditation of study programmes by the Accreditation Council.
- The expert group carries out an on-site visit of the institution
- An assessment report is drawn up by the expert group
- On the basis of this assessment report and in accordance with the decision regulations provided by the Accreditation Council, the responsible accreditation commission from the relevant agency takes a decision.
- The decision can be either to grant an accreditation for the relevant study programme, to grant an accreditation with conditions, to abandon the accreditation process or to reject the accreditation.
The system accreditation process is made up of several stages and is based on the peer review principle.
- A higher education institution submits an application for the accreditation of its internal quality assurance system to a licensed agency,
- This Agency conducts a preliminary evaluation whether the prerequisites for higher education institutions for the admittance to system accreditation are met.
- In case of a positive preliminary evaluation the agency appoints an expert group,
- The expert groups consists of at least:
- (1) three members having experience in the fields of managing Higher Education Institutions and of internal quality assurance of Higher Education Institutions,
- (2) a student member having experi-ence in the fields of self-administration of Higher Education Institutions and of accredita-tion , and
- (3) one practitioner from the profession.
- One member of the expert group each should have experience in the management of Higher Education Institutions, in curriculum design of study programmes and in quality assurance in the field of teaching and learning.
- One member of the expert group shall be from abroad.
- The evaluation of the quality assurance system is carried out in accordance with the given criteria for system accreditation by the Accreditation Council.
- The evaluation procedure includes two on-site visits as well as a feature random sample and a programme random sample.
- The first on-site visit primarily serves for collecting in-formation on the Higher Education Institution and its management systems.
- The second on-site visit serves for the critical analysis of the documents submitted and for conducting the feature random samples.
- The feature random sample is an in-depth comparative examination of relevant features of the structure of study programmes, the conduct of study programmes and quality assurance extending to all study programmes for Bachelor and Master degrees. In particular, the feature random sample serves for verifying compliance of all study programmes of the Higher Education Institution with the guidelines specified by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) as well as state-specific guidelines and the criteria set up by the Accreditation Council for the accreditation of study programmes. In the course of the programme random sample the Agency carries out in-depth evaluations of 15% of the study programmes, however, at least three study programmes. For taking the programme random samples the conducting accreditation agency appoints expert groups that ensure a proper evaluation of the study programmes in all areas relevant for the evaluation procedures.
- The expert group for system accreditation prepares a final report with their decision recommendation for system accreditation, taking into account the evaluation reports on the programme random samples and involving the chairmen of the expert groups for the programme random samples.
- In particular, the experts assess whether the deficiencies in quality identified in the feature and programme random samples have a systemic reason.
- The accreditation agency's decision is based on the experts' report and the decision recommendation, taking into account the Higher Education Institution's comment.
- The accreditation agency either grants accreditation or denies accreditation.
|Website of the German Accreditation Council|