The Spanish legal framework   grants universities autonomy to design new bachelor, master and doctoral degree programmes.

A university wishing to implement a new recognised bachelor, master and doctoral degree programme is required to submit an application to the Spanish Council of Universities which, in turn, will request an evaluation report from the corresponding Quality Assurance Agency (ANECA or other competent Quality Assurance Agency).

This launches the verification (ex-ante accreditation) procedure comprising an assessment by ANECA (through the VERIFICA procedure  ) of the university's proposal, giving a description of the degree programme guidelines or characteristics (intended learning outcomes, curriculum, student entry and admission, human resources, etc.). Following the verification process, implementation of the degree requires authorisation by the Autonomous Regional Government before it is entered in the Register of Universities, Higher Education Colleges and Degrees (RUCT  ). After this process the degree programme is recognised as Accredited.

After implementing the accredited degree, it must be regularly monitored by ANECA or another quality assessment agency (through the MONITOR procedure ) for an appraisal of the performance of the degree procedure. This stage is known as the monitoring or follow-up process.

Finally, as established for the organization of university courses, initial accreditation must be renewed periodically (ex-post accreditation) by ANECA or another quality assessment agency (through the ACREDITA Procedure).
All recognised degree programmes must undergo cyclical accreditation with a frequency of:

  • Six years in the case of bachelor and doctoral degree programmes
  • Four years in the case of master degree programmes