Institutional Accreditation is the status granted to an institution that has been found to meet or exceed established standards for educational quality. Institutional accreditation is the comprehensive evaluation of the institution and its academic and administrative effectiveness, with specific focus on the robustness of its Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) system and on overall systems, policies and practices of the institution and how they impact the quality of all programmes offered by the institution.
The Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) system of the institution has mechanisms that ensure through evaluation and application, inter alia, whether its:
- mission and goals are appropriate;
- academic programmes meet the standards for the discipline and the profession and are consistent with the mission of the institution;
- teaching staff are competent, appropriately qualified and providing effective teaching and learning experiences (the institution should also apply fair and transparent processes for the recruitment of its staff/faculty);
- learning resources are adequate and appropriate to enable students learning (including library and information, technological and physical resources);
- student support services are appropriate and readily accessible;
- management of its financial resources in changing economic conditions is adequate and effective;
- engagement in continuous improvement is informed by gathering and analysing data on its effectiveness and on student success, and that such data is used to guide planning, decision making and resource allocation.
Institutional Accreditation Process:
A registered institution seeking institutional accreditation must undergo the following process:
Step 1 LETTER OF INTENT
- The Institution submits an expression of interest.
Step 2 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
- Submission of evidence of meeting eligibility criteria.
- If the eligibility evidence is deemed satisfactory, the institution is granted Candidacy for Institutional Accreditation.
Step 3 CANDIDACY
- An institution having received Candidacy will proceed to prepare and submit the Institutional Self Study (ISS).
Step 4 APPLICATION SUBMISSION AND REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL SELF-STUDY
Step 5 SITE VISIT
- The selection and training of an evaluation team for the accreditation visit;
- The interviewing of relevant stakeholders of the institution including students, graduates and employers of graduates and an evaluation of the institution’s facilities and resources by members of the evaluation team.
Step 6 REPORT WRITING
- The preparation of the Institutional Accreditation report by members of the evaluation team.
Step 7 INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE
- The UCJ dispatches a report of the visit to the institution and the institution submits a formal response to the UCJ
Step 8 THE ACCREDITATION DECISION
- The institution submits the response to the Institutional Accreditation Report to the UCJ.
- The review of the Institutional Accreditation Report and the Institution’s response by the Institutional Accreditation Review (IAR) Committee and the submission of recommendation to Council;
- The Council’s review of the recommendation of the IAR Committee;
- The decision of Council is communicated to the institution in writing.
Step 9 MONITORING
- The Institution granted Institutional Accreditation submits annual status reports and a mid-cycle review is undertaken during the period of accreditation.
Step 10 Re-Accreditation
- The institution submits an application to renew accreditation at the end of the period of accreditation. A full re-evaluation of the institution is undertaken.