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Dissemination, Analysis, Revision and Enhancement of the ACREDITA Procedure

The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area  (2005), under the heading 'Development of external quality assurance processes', clearly specify that "As external quality assurance makes demands on the institutions involved, a preliminary impact assessment should be undertaken to ensure that the procedures to be adopted are appropriate and do not interfere more than necessary with the normal work of higher education institutions". Bearing this in mind, ANECA launched a pilot project in the first half of 2014.

ANECA submitted this pilot project to each of the universities at which ANECA is responsible for accreditation renewal

ANECA requested the 14 Universities under its responsibility to take part in the Pilot Project for accreditation ex-post of degree programmes (ACREDITA Procedure) and to present the list of degree programmes the university proposed for assessment. ANECA received 74 proposals from 13 of the 14 universities.

Among those 74 degrees, 42 were selected: 12 bachelor and 30 master degrees, in order to establish a representative sample from different knowledge areas, taught in different colleges within a given university and with different modes of delivery (classroom, blended and distance learning).
These degrees were assessed by 19 expert panels and included site visits to the universities.

After conducting the pilot project, ANECA performed a series of consultations with the universities, panel members of the Accreditation Committee and ANECA personnel involved in the ACREDITA Procedure. The results of this initiative are in the ACREDITA Procedure Meta-evaluation document.

Subsequently, on 21st May 2014, ANECA held a joint meeting with all the universities to reflect on the process.

Since then, ANECA has proceeded to:

  • Hold annual individual meetings with each of the universities, to study the implementation of the Procedure and to gather the universities' complaints and suggestions.
  • At the same time, meetings are held with the ANECA staff involved in the ACREDITA Procedure.
  • Information is likewise received from the panels of experts and the Accreditation Committee members.

The outcome of all these meetings has contributed to a number of improvements being made to the Procedure, which are included in the ACREDITA Procedure documentation   and are presented to each university in the course of their annual meeting with ANECA.
In like manner, these innovations and the description of the Procedure’s implementation serve as the baseline for training and updating sessions for the members of the panels of experts, the Accreditation Committee and ANECA personnel.