In line with international regulations and practices, the procedure consists of three stages:
- The self-evaluation
- The external assessment
- The accreditation decision
The self-evaluation carried out by the university unit is followed by an external assessement by an independent group of experts. The decision on whether to grant accreditation is made by the SUK/CUS following a recommendation by the OAQ.
The accreditation decision is based on all the available documentation (self-evaluation report, experts' report, opinion from the university). The decision itslef may be "yes", "no" or a "yes under conditions". Unconditional accreditation is valid for seven years.
Universities which have not yet started operating or which only recently began operating can apply for preliminary accreditation. This expires after three years. Private applicants undergo preliminary evaluation by the OAQ on the basis of the Guidelines for academic accreditation. If the candidate passes the preliminary evaluation, the OAQ proceeds to the accreditation process. If the candidate fails, the SUK/CUS rejects the application for accreditation. The accreditation decisions reached by the SUK/CUS may be submitted to independent arbitration for appeal.
For the accreditation of universities of applied sciences and their programmes the decision is made by the Federal Department of Economic Affairds FDEA. Appeals against these decisions may be submitted to the Federal Court.