Certification Procedure

1. Self-evaluation report

The self-evaluation report forms the basis for the assessment and the interviews during the site- visit. Templates for self-evaluation reports of programmes and of institutions are available here. These obligatory templates ensure that the expectations of the assessment panel are consistently met. As a rule, the self-evaluation report should only cover the last three years and it needs to be written in English.

The self-evaluation report should provide information with regard to the corresponding standards and criteria of this framework. The report should not duplicate or extensively copy from existing documentation. The original documentation may be included as an annex.

The information provided by the self-evaluation report should be sufficient to supply the panel with the necessary information to understand the level of attainment across a standard’s entire spectrum. This understanding can then be tested and amended during the site-visit.

Related documents (available here):

      • – Template for self-evaluation reports of programmes
      • – Template for self-evaluation reports of institutions
      • – Guide to Assessing the Quality of Internationalisation


2. Site visit

The assessment of the quality of internationalisation includes a site visit. An outline of a site visit agenda is included in the Template for the assessment reports of programmes and of institutions. The panel is expected to interview the management, teaching staff, students, external stakeholders, and staff responsible for internationalisation activities (international officer, exchange coordinator, international students mentor, etc.).

In case of a programme assessment, the panel reviews a sample of the actual student assessments. This is a sample of the list of actual student work provided in mandatory annex 5 of the Template for self-evaluation reports of programmes. The sample is provided by the programme under assessment and should be differentiated by marks achieved.

Related documents (available here):

      • – Template for self-evaluation reports of programmes
      • – Template for programme assessment reports
      • – Template for institutional assessment reports

3. Assessment report

The goal of the assessment report is to present considerations and to give feedback to the programme or institution. Templates for assessment reports of programmes and of institutions are available here. These obligatory templates contribute to the overall transparency and consistency of the assessment procedures.

For each criterion, the assessment panel presents (objective) findings and (subjective) considerations. Here, the panel is also expected to explicitly identify shortcomings and exemplary or good practices. Identified good practices will be published here.

For each standard, the assessment panel presents an overall conclusion. Here the panel substantiates its assessment on the basis of the criteria by which the standard is defined. This overall conclusion finishes off with a judgement.

A programme or an institution is proposed to receive the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation when at least three standards are assessed as good or excellent and no standard is assessed as unsatisfactory.

Related documents (available here):

      • – Template for programme assessment reports
      • – Template for institutional assessment reports
      • – Guide to Assessing the Quality of Internationalisation


4. Decision-making

The decision-making process consists of the following phases:

1. The assessment report of the panel is handled by the ECA member agency that coordinated the assessment. If possible for the agency, a methodological evaluation is carried out and a formal decision of the agency is taken.

2. The applying higher education institution (the applicant) sends the assessment report and the positive decision (if available) of the ECA member agency to the ECA Secretariat (secretariat@ecahe.eu), thereby requesting to receive the ECA Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation.

3. After receiving the assessment report the ECA Secretariat checks whether the initial application requirements of the ECA Certification Group are fulfilled. The Certification Group is the standing committee of ECA being responsible for the methodology and decision-making regarding the ECA Certificate.

4. If the application is suitable for the due process conducted by the Certification Group then the ECA Secretariat issues an invoice to the applicant for the payment of the fee for the ECA Certificate. The following fees apply: 800 euro for a programme and 2,000 euro for an institution.

5. After payment of the fee the ECA Secretariat formally sends the application to the ECA Certification Group for due process regarding the award of the certificate. Due process includes a check whether the assessment report falls within the scope of ECA’s Terms of Reference and, where this was not part of the due process of the ECA member, a methodological evaluation and formal decision.

6. After due process/decision-making by the ECA Certification Group, the ECA Secretariat informs the applicant and publishes the relevant information and assessment report.  The award of the Certificate is formalised once the assessment report is published here. The ECA Secretariat will also send a hard copy of the Certificate to the applicant.

The decision-making phase should be completed within 6 weeks after the ECA Secretariat receives the payment of the application fee.