Principles regarding learning outcomes in accreditation procedures

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Introduction

In Europe, learning outcomes are defined as statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to do at the end of a period of learning. The European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education (ECA) has commenced its work on learning outcomes in 2006. The [[members of ECA now agree that learning outcomes can be taken into account during any assessment procedure in higher education and that this enhances the student-centred approach. They agree that taking into account learning outcomes in accreditation procedures contributes to the mutual recognition of accreditation decisions. In order to increase mutual trust and transparency, the [[members of ECA concur that accreditation procedures should take into account the following principles.

Principles regarding learning outcomes in accreditation procedures

Principle 1: Accreditation organisations should take into account learning outcomes in their assessments, thus enhancing Mutual Recognition of accreditation decisions.
Principle 2: Accreditation organisations should assess whether the learning outcomes are in line with the National Qualifications Framework and/or the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area.
Principle 3: Learning outcomes are a shared concern of stakeholders and thus accreditation organisations should assess whether the higher education institutions consider stakeholders opinion when designing or revising programmes and learning outcomes.
Principle 4: Accreditation organisations should assess whether learning outcomes and their assessment by higher education institutions are understandable and public.
Principle 5: Accreditation organisations should assess whether curriculum design and content enable students to achieve the intended LO and whether higher education institutions apply proper procedures to assess those intended LO.
Principle 6: In the case of programme accreditation, accreditation organisations should make explicit reference to the programmes learning outcomes in their reports.
Principle 7: In the case of institutional accreditation, accreditation organisations should evaluate the institution’s provisions regarding the implementation and assessment of learning outcomes.