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Steps in the Accreditation Procedure

1) Communication with Universities

Each year, ANECA holds one or more individual meetings with each of the universities involved in planning the schedule of evaluations for degree programmes due for accreditation renewal.
The aim of these meetings is twofold:

To bear in mind the workload and resource availability, both of the university and ANECA, and to comply with the dates legally established for accreditation renewal of degree programmes.
At these meetings, ANECA briefs the universities on any innovations and improvements in the ACREDITA Procedure and gathers first-hand the university’s impressions, complaints and suggestions regarding the performance of the procedure.

2) Self-evaluation Report

The universities complete a self-evaluation report for each degree programme following the model established by ANECA, which is uploaded via the software application   provided for this purpose.

To guide universities in completing the self-evaluation report, ANECA has compiled the Guide to Self-evaluation , ex post accreditation guide of ACREDITA Procedure. This also includes recommendations for the evidence and indicators to be included in the self-evaluation report, with regard to the accreditation procedure.

3) Peer review Experts and Site visit

ANECA, depending on the degree programmes requiring accreditation, will: Group together degree programmes to be visited by each panel of experts; Select a number of evaluators for each panel of experts tasked to examine the documentation submitted for each degree, to hold joint working meetings and to perform a site visit to the university delivering the degree programme; Publish the composition of the panels  on ANECA´s web page.

4) Accreditation Report

The Accreditation Committee  will analyse the site visit report drawn up by the panel, together with all the information on the degree programme required for accreditation, including the self-evaluation report.

Within the Accreditation Committee, made up of academic representatives, one professional representative, one student representative and a member of ANECA acting as secretary, each dossier is assigned by the secretary of ANECA to several peer reviewers tasked to study the Panel Report, the self-evaluation Report and other information on the degree programme available to ANECA.
The peer reviewers will present their conclusions at an assessment session, and the Accreditation Committee will draft the Provisional Accreditation Report.

This Provisional Report contains an appraisal of each of the criteria in the assessment model, with a final result that may be one of the following:

  • Favourable (possibly including recommendations for improvement)
  • Requires improvement in certain aspects

Universities will have 20 days to file allegations against the Provisional Report, and may submit an enhancement plan.

Following this opportunity to make allegations, the Accreditation Committee Secretary will forward these and/or the enhancement plan submitted by the university to the peer reviewers assigned to the degree programme. These will analyse this information together with the Provisional Accreditation Report and present their conclusions in a new assessment session at which the Accreditation Committee will draw up the Final Report on accreditation.

The Provisional Report contains an appraisal of each of the criteria in the assessment model, with a final result that may be:

  • Favourable
  • Unfavourable

A favourable report may contain recommendations for improvement to the degree programme, aspects requiring special attention during future follow-up and at the next accreditation renewal. The report will provide a schedule for the frequency with which ANECA will monitor the degree programme before the next accreditation renewal.

Publication of reports

ANECA's Final Report for accreditation will be published via the Search Engine “What to study and where?”

The accreditation report for the degree programme will then be officially referred to the corresponding national body (Council of Universities and autonomous regional authorities), and to the university, for the degree accreditation process to continue.

An unfavourable report will lead to the cancellation of the degree.

ANECA requires the universities to publish the Final Report on accreditation on their websites.

5) Complaints and Appeals

As soon as the Council of Universities renders a decision on accreditation, should this be unfavourable the university has one month in which to file an appeal. If the Council of Universities accepts the appeal, ANECA's Committee for Guarantees and Programmes will examine the reported unfavourable aspects and will issue the pertinent report within a maximum of one month.