Accreditation Regulations

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Accreditation Regulations

These regulations are established to ensure the integrity of the ECHEA and all the services provided. These regulations are meant to be effective and their interpretation is based on the assumption of ethical values and an integrity spirit from each of the members of the ECHEA. These premises may evolve to address new situations or services upon a proposal from the members of the ECHEA. Proposals will be accepted by the Commission from individuals or groups, including students, staff, faculty, members of the general public, governmental agencies, and other institutions or organizations. The Commission reviews any proposal and acknowledges its responsibility to provide a reasonable and impartial review. Proposals should be sent to the ECHEA Secretary.

Accrediting Commission:

A specially authorized commission -named Accrediting Commission manages all accreditation and membership processes within the ECHEA. The Accrediting Commission is formed by a minimum of 5 members, including the Secretary and the President. Commission members work voluntarily on a year-by-year compromise. They are responsible for evaluating and recommending the ECHEA status of applicant higher education institutions and supervising any other validation services offered. The ECHEA is represented by the ECHEA President or Secretary when dealing with other commission members, education institutions, or any other third party. In case of discrepancy with the President of the ECHEA or the Secretary, an arbitrage of 3 commission members will be established: one selected by the President (or himself), one by the conflicted commissioner (or himself), and once agreed by the President and the conflicted commissioner before the nature of the conflict are exposed. The conclusion of these 3 members´ arbitrage will be accepted by all the parties.

Regulations for the Accreditation of Educational Institutions:

  • Eligibility for Accreditation: An eligible institution must be any kind of organization, entity, or company properly authorized to conduct higher education teaching and certification, to award postsecondary degrees, certificates, or other educational or professional credentials. The entities eligible for accreditation must prepare individuals to achieve competencies and attain the educational qualifications necessary to begin functioning in a specific occupation.
  • Application for Accreditation: The ECHEA has prepared an application for accreditation that will guide the applicant institutions in the preparation of the Self Study Report and the required documentary evidence. ECHEA will not start any accreditation process without the corresponding application. The self study report and additional documents may be presented in different languages subject to acceptance of the ECHEA Secretary. When applying for accreditation, an educational institution should address all the ECHEA standards, and provide evidence that each standard has been met. Where a standard is not applicable, a statement of why it is not applicable should be included. If a standard has not been met, a clear statement of the reasons should be given, and of how the provider intends to remedy this situation. Denial or unjustified delay to provide proper evidence or explanatory reports will stop the accreditation process. The ECHEA guarantees the confidentiality of any documents and data submitted by the educational institution, as well as any information about the accreditation process.
  • Accreditation Options: The Accrediting Commission has established different ways to obtain the ECHEA accreditation: (i) Members of IAU from UNESCO, (ii) ECHEA Full Accreditation
  • Assessment of the Accreditation Status: The ECHEA Secretary will distribute the application for accreditation and attached documents to an available member of the Accrediting Commission for the assessment of how each standard is addressed by the applicant educational institution. The ECHEA Secretary will communicate the results of the initial accreditation status to the other members of the Accrediting Commission. The other members of the Accrediting Commission have 15 days since the announcement to review and amend the conclusions and grades of the initial accreditation report. If deemed necessary, the commissioner may require an interview (online or face-to-face) with the appointed representative of the applicant educational institution or arrange a site visit from a member of the Accrediting Commission. The president will review the final accreditation report and endorse the resulting status considering the following: (i) Respect for Institutional Autonomy, (ii) Thoughtful Guidance, (iii) Cost-effective Process:
  • Final Accreditation Report: The ECHEA Secretary will inform the new applicant educational institution of the conclusions of the accreditation report. A detailed final accreditation report is sent to the applicant. Some standards represent best practices, and failure to meet them may not necessarily debar an applicant institution from accreditation but will highlight an area needing improvement. The Accrediting Commission will indicate whether failure to meet a specific standard will debar the applicant from accreditation. The evaluation of each standard is graded according to the following scale:
    1. 4 - Outstanding: No need for improvement.
    2. 3 - Standard: May improve.
    3. 2 - Acceptable: Requires improvement.
    4. 1 - Insufficient: Not meeting the minimums.
    5. 0 - Null: Failed to comply with this requirement.
  • Accreditation Status: The ECHEA will communicate the results of the evaluation of the accreditation status only to the applicant. The ECHEA Secretary will send the corresponding accreditation certificate if applicable. The ECHEA accreditation affects exclusively to the accredited educational institution and it is not transferable to any related third parties. If an accredited educational institution interacts with a non-accredited third party, that interaction may include a statement of participation of the ECHEA accredited educational institution, but it should not indicate or suggest that the interaction itself, or any other parties involved, are accredited.
  • Accreditation Status Disagreement: The Accrediting Commission will notify the educational institution of the results of the evaluation of its application. If the educational institution did not meet any standard, the ECHEA shall identify such standard and its concerns. The educational institution may disagree with the ECHEA´s notice of results. The institution has 30 days following this notice to address any errors in the application for accreditation (self study report) or misunderstandings in the accreditation process. The institution may include any additional information that clarifies the concerns raised by the Accrediting Commission. After this 30-day-period, the ECHEA´s notice of results will be considered fully accepted by the educational institution.
  • Reaccreditation Review: For any reaccreditation review, the educational institution must submit a new complete application (self study report) to the ECHEA Secretary, in any event, not more than three years since its last accreditation or reaccreditation, or one year in case of conditional accreditation. The educational institution must report any changes of significance in its operating circumstances to the ECHEA. These changes might lead to a review of the accreditation process.
  • The ECHEA Improvement: The accredited educational institution has the right to remark any suggestions that lead to the improvement of the ECHEA standards, regulations, functioning, and procedures from any point of view. Subject to the regulations of the Accrediting Commission, one member of an ECHEA accredited institution may be presented to be a member of the Accrediting Commission.
  • Withdrawal of Accreditation: The ECHEA may withdraw accreditation of an educational institution for sufficient cause, including a determination by ECHEA that the educational institution no longer meets the requirements for accreditation. Institutions should also note that accreditation is contingent upon payment of current dues.
  • Legalization of the Institution Accreditation Certificate: The ECHEA Validation Services may be legalized the "Institution Accreditation Certificate" with the Hague Convention Apostille or with a Consulate Legalization as appropriate. The ECHEA Secretary may take care of the corresponding legalization process. The ECHEA Secretary may use or hire the necessary agents or intermediaries required to complete the legalization process of any of ECHEA Validation Services. To order any legalization the applicant must send a request in writing to the ECHEA Secretary. The ECHEA Secretary will estimate a legalization budget (depending on the country´s legalization requirements) and communicate this to the applicant. All the fees required for the legalization process will be paid in advance to the ECHEA Secretary and are not subject to any refund.