System Accreditation

In the year 2007, the new procedure of System Accreditation was introduced in Germany. Since then, higher education institutions have been able to choose between traditional programme accreditation and the external assessment of their system of quality assurance in teaching and learning (“System Accreditation”). Institutions that are awarded System Accreditation gain self-accrediting status for a limited period of time.

On January 1st, 2018, a new system of programme and System Accreditation was implemented, based on an Interstate Treaty between the German federal states and a corresponding Specimen Decree, to be ratified by the individual federal states. Since then, higher education institutions apply for accreditation directly at the Accreditation Council, while the agencies carry out the assessment procedure. This goes for accreditation procedures both at programme and institutional level.

In order to receive System Accreditation higher education institutions should be able to demonstrate that they have developed a full-fledged and functioning quality assurance system which has a traceable impact on their study programmes. Their internal structures and procedures must ensure that all their study programmes fulfil (at least) the quality standards defined by accreditation law.

System Accreditation grants more freedom and autonomy to HEIs in designing quality assurance procedures tailored to their specific profile and needs. Therefore, it also facilitates the development of an institutional quality culture more effectively than highly standardized external assessment procedures at programme level.

The members of the ZEvA team act as professional advisors and assistants to higher education institutions on their way to gaining self-accrediting rights. They take care of all organizational matters and provide guidance to the expert panel during the assessment procedure.

System Accreditation reports (in German) can be found here.