FIBAA - Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation
- 1 Agency's position within the national higher education system
- 2 Quality assurance procedures
- 3 International activities
- 4 See also
Agency's position within the national higher education system
Description of the agency
Mission Statement of FIBAA: FIBAA is a non-profit foundation established specifically to promote quality and transparency in education and science by awarding a Quality Seal to education programmes and providers operating in tertiary and quaternary fields. FIBAA achieves its objectives, in particular, by developing suitable measures and instruments which serve to define quality guidelines for the respective academic goals which educational offerings and institutions pursue. Furthermore, it creates the relevant decision-making bodies to accredit, audit, evaluate and certify educational programmes and their providers in the international field. FIBAA also contributes proactively to the work of international bodies and beyond in order to attain the comparability of quality standards and quality assurance processes in the educational sector.
The history of the agency
FIBAA was founded in 1994 and hence became one of the first agencies to be accredited by the German Accreditation Council. FIBAA has been entitled to award the Seal of the Accreditation Council in Germany for degree programmes since 2002 and for System Accreditation since 2007.
Since 2002 FIBAA has been a full member of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
In 2008, the Federal Department of Economics Affairs (FDEA), Switzerland, recognised FIBAA at national level and confirmed that the federal, legislative requirements and European standards have been met for Accreditation Agencies. This means that FIBAA is entitled, on its behalf, to verify accreditation requests submitted by Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences.
3 FIBAA staff members are since June 2011 recognised panel secretaries of NVAO. FIBAA has been now entitled to perform external programme evaluations at dutch higher education institutions. NVAO recognise the evaluation report produced by FIBAA as a basis for its accreditation decisions.
FIBAA has dedicated its work to the process launched by the "Bologna Conference" and the follow-up conferences of the responsible national ministries. In each accreditation or certification procedure, FIBAA takes international guidelines as well as national requirements into account.
The freedom from instructions and independence of the persons, agencies, accreditation organs and their members is guaranteed by the regulations in the statutes of the commissions and the rules of procedure and in the voluntary work of the FIBAA commissions and the Foundation Council, for which the actors involved must sign a confidentiality agreement and/or impartiality declaration. The Foundation Council has the right to appeal against the decision bodies (accreditation or certification commissions), but does not have the right to give instructions in matters of accreditation/certification. Therefore, third parties cannot exert influence. Furthermore, all FIBAA staff sign confidentiality agreements.
The FIBAA commission decisions are solely based on the expert reports, expert assessments and statements of the higher education institutions. Thus, the commissions are free to deviate from the recommendations and resolutions of the experts when this appears necessary in view of conformity with the predefined procedural principles and compliant with other decisions and when justified.
The members of the committees and experts carry out their voluntary task as independent experts and have signed a confidentiality agreement to cover their work. If a committee member opposes a procedure in an impartial manner, for example due to affiliation with a higher education institution, then he does not participate in shaping the opinion and the resolution by the commission for the corresponding procedure.
There are clear regulations in the event of bias and for the autonomy of persons active within FIBAA. These are laid down in the instructions for experts, in the confidentiality agreements and the rules of procedure of the FIBAA commissions.
The experts are obliged do declare their impartiality in writing for every audit that they participate in. The corresponding declarations are archived in FIBAA: The FIBAA staff members (and commission members) are obliged to monitor their own impartiality.
In a procedure, FIBAA supervisors (project managers, external members of staff) inform the higher education institution of the composition of the expert team. If there is suspected bias, the higher education institution has the right to express justified concerns on the composition of the expert team to FIBAA, which in justified cases, FIBAA follows up by exchanging the expert in question. There is no nomination right.
If the other activities of an expert in a current procedure lead to subsequent bias, he/she is obliged to inform FIBAA of this immediately. This shall lead to his/her immediate removal from the respective expert team (normally replaced by another expert, proved that the stage in the procedure allows it).
FIBAA is financed solely by income from its audits.
Quality assurance procedures
Main procedures (brief description)
FIBAA offers the following services:
- Programme accreditation
- System accreditation
- Institutional audit
- Certification of academic continuing education courses
- Certification of corporate learning units
Consequences of quality assurance and accreditation decisions
For successfully accredited programmes or HEIs as well for successfully certified contiuing education courses or corporate learning units FIBAA awards its corresponding quality seal. This distinction confirms the high quality of the study programme, the HEI, the continuing education courses or the corporate learning units.
Validity of the decision(s)
Degree Programmes are accredited for the initial accreditation for 5 years, for a re-accreditation 7 years. The same is true for certified continuing education courses.
Institutional Audit and Certification of Corporate Learning Units is valid for 6 years and for a re-accreditation 8 years.
System Accreditation is valid for the initial accreditation during 6 years and for a re-accreditation 8 years.
Assessments are published in full on the FIBAA website. This serves to ensure transparency, comparability and orientation, also in regard to international standards, of the various study programmes offered. Potential students, employers and sponsors, but also the responsible ministries and the HEIs themselves obtain clear indications of the quality of the educational services offered.
Figures on QA/A procedures
Performance of FIBAA until the end of May 2012:
- Number of accredited study programmes: 1,187
- Number of accredited Institutions: 6
- Number of certified continuing education courses: 2
Member of international quality assurance networks / organizations
- FIBAA is one of the founding members of European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA).
- FIBAA has been a full member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) since June 2009.
- FIBAA is one of the founder members of the Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA e.V.)
External reviews, compliance with ESG
Accreditation procedures in another jurisdiction
FIBAA has accredited not only study programmes at German HEIs, but also at European HEIs (France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain and the Czech Republic) as well as at non-European HEIs (China, India, Jordan, Mexico, Namibia, USA and Vietnam).
Agreements concerning the mutual recognition of accreditation