Procedural Steps for a Programme Accreditation
An HEI will receive, after filing an application for accreditation in accordance with the FIBAA quality requirements, the corresponding FIBAA Assessment Guide for Programme Accreditation, which contains all relevant FIBAA quality requirements. The HEI then generates its self-documentation on the basis of this guide, and submit it to FIBAA.
FIBAA, after receiving the HEI's self-documentation, convenes an assessor panel, consisting as a rule of at least four experts:
- two members from the field of science,
- one member from professional practice and
- one student member.
This panel and the entire procedure are coordinated by a FIBAA project manager, who is at the same time the main point of contact for the HEI. The assessor panel checks the quality of specific study programmes and generates an evaluation in a two-tiered analysis. The assessor panel checks the documents, records and logic of the study programme in regard to consistency, plausibility and compliance with the FIBAA quality requirements. This is followed by a site visit, which takes, as a rule, up to two days. The report of the assessors generated in this manner forms the basis (together with the comments of the HEI) for the final decision of the FIBAA Accreditation Commission for Programmes. The FIBAA Accreditation Commission for Programmes takes the following decisions:
- accreditation without any condition;
- accreditation subject to a maximum of seven conditions (in case of non-compliance with quality requirements that are essential for the quality of a study programme. The time-limit for compliance with the conditions is, as a rule, nine months, and can be reduced in justified cases or extended once for a period of six months.); or
- rejection of the accreditation (if accreditation is refused, a new request can be filed after a blocking period of one year).
Assessments are published in full on the FIBAA website.
Procedure for Institutional Audit
FIBAA's Institutional Audit is a "classical" Peer-Review process: It involves external assessment by qualified peers on the basis of written information provided by the university and a subsequent decision on the basis of the assessment report. Before the audit starts, a detailed discussion is held with the university to explain the process and its content, followed by agreement on the schedule for the process. Agreement is also reached on to what extent a combination of FIBAA services is desired or whether agreement can be achieved in accordance with national guidelines. After signing the agreement, the university receives FIBAA's Assessment Guidelines for Institutional Audits, in combination with other processes, possibly complemented by additional aspects. On request, FIBAA can offer a workshop on the criteria and procedure of the process. Working on the basis of the, the university produces its Self-Documentation File. When the university submits its Self-Documentation File to FIBAA, preparations begin for an On-Site Visit. FIBAA agrees a concrete date for the On-Site Visit with the university and then appoints a Peer Peer Review Assessment Team; as necessary, further information will be requested from the university. The subsequent On-Site Visit generally lasts two days. The procedural steps are agreed with the university and are possibly adjusted to take account of the university's specific features (Locations, Funding Agencies, etc.). The Assessment includes discussions and interviews with the relevant groups and representatives from the university as well as external Stakeholders. After the On-Site Visit, the assessors produce a report, which includes a description of the facts and circumstances identified and the expert assessment based on FIBAA's quality criteria.
Only those Institutions directly affected by a decision taken by one of the FIBAA Decision Boards have the right to appeal against this decision. Formalities und Deadlines Appeals against the decision of one of the FIBAA Decision Boards can be submitted by the affected Institution within 4 Weeks after notification of this decision. Appeals must be submitted in writing accompanied by a statement of the reason why the appeal has been submitted. The course of any deadlines set by FIBAA is suspended once the appeal has been made. If the plaintiff appeals against a condition decreed by the FIBAA Decision Board, the relevant condition will remain suspended until such time as a final decision on the appeal has been made. If the appeal is made against the deferral decreed by the FIBAA Decision Board, all current deadlines will remain suspended until such time as a final decision has been made for the process as a whole.
After the appeal has been received by the FIBAA Office, the appeal will be forwarded to relevant FIBAA Decision Board for a new decision. If the FIBAA Decision Board fails to redress the appeal, the process will be presented to the FIBAA Appeals Committee for examination and decision. If the Appeals Committee determines that the appeal is inadmissible, it will reject it. Conversely, if the Appeals Committee finds the appeal to be fully or partly justified, it will revoke the decision of the FIBAA Decision Board and will refer the process to it together with a written statement. If a new decision has to be made, the reasons that led to revocation of the decision will have to be considered by the FIBAA Decision Board. If the FIBAA Appeals Committee considers the appeal to be unsubstantiated, it will confirm the decision of the Decision Board. The statement by the FIBAA Appeals Committee must be considered in the final decision to be taken by the FIBAA Decision Board.
Procedure of selection of experts
The assessment of degree programmes, continuing and postgraduate courses, institutions and quality management systems follows in line with the peer review process used in the academic field. Independent assessors chosen on the basis of subject specific criteria examine and assess the situation together with the HEI on a basis of "equal standing". FIBAA's strict set of quality criteria ensure that unbiased and considerate expertise is assured at all times. FIBAA sets a number of requirements for the appointment of assessors. FIBAA differentiates between assessors from the status groups
- professors at universities and universities of applied sciences
- professional practice, and
FIBAA has a pool of assessors at its disposal made up of more than 400 proven international experts in their respective fields. A good knowledge of and insight into the assessment, evaluation and accreditation criteria and procedures is absolutely essential for the work of an assessor. This is why FIBAA offers regular training courses for its assessors extending far beyond the statutory requirements.
Appointment of Assessors
FIBAA verifies a reviewer’s expertise and team spirit before employing him/her for the first time. Therefore, reviewers are appointed according to the following procedure:
- An application form, which can be found on the FIBAA website, has to be filled in when making an application as a reviewer to FIBAA.
- FIBAA evaluates the application form and decides whether to employ a reviewer on trial for a programme accreditation project or an institutional audit/ system accreditation.
- After an employment on trial the FIBAA Accreditation Commission for Programmes or Institutional Procedures appoints a reviewer by mutual agreement.