FAQ - Frenquently Asked Questions

 

Below we provide answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the following topics: 

I- General information on the certification of continuing education courses

II- self-evaluation report of the continuing education provider 

III- peer-review process and site visit 

IV- Decisions by the FIBAA Certification Committee for Continuing Education Courses and their consequences 

I- General information on the certification of continuing education courses

 

What are the requirements for the admission to the FIBAA certification procedure? 

The admission requirements for the FIBAA certification procedure are: 

  • the continuing education course to be certified is at level 5 to 8 of the European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF) or the corresponding level of your national qualification framework and 
  • the principle of modularisation is implemented (→ ECTS Users' Guide


Which quality standards are applied in the FIBAA certification procedure? 

You find our standards and guideline here

How long does a certification procedure take? 

A certification procedure according to the FIBAA quality standards generally takes 4 to 6 months from submission of the self-evaluation report by the continuing education provider up to a decision by the FIBAA Certification Committee for continuing education courses. 

II- Self-evaluation report

 

Under which principles is your self-evaluation report produced? 

You produce your self-evaluation report on the basis of the FIBAA Assessment Guide. This document includes all the relevant quality standards in the form of questions and definitions on the benchmarks. 

By when should the self-evaluation report be submitted to FIBAA? 

You should submit your self-evaluation report to FIBAA at the latest one year after signing the certification agreement. 

How many copies of the self-evaluation report should we send to FIBAA?

 FIBAA requires one digital copy of the self-evaluation report. Additionally, one exemplar in paper form is to be submitted to FIBAA. In case a member of the review panel should need the documentation in paper form you will be asked to send it to him directly. 

What happens after we have submitted our self-evaluation report? 

After submitting the self-evaluation report, FIBAA will appoint a project manager, who will assume responsibility for coordinating the process and will accompany you as a contact partner throughout the process.
The project manager will arrange a date for the site visit in agreement with you. The FIBAA Panel Appointing Committee for Certification of Continuing Education Courses will appoint a review panel.
After the self-evaluation report has been checked for completeness by FIBAA, the review panel will check it for consistency, plausibility and conformity with the FIBAA quality standards. After this has been completed, the site visit can commence. 

III- Questions on peer-review process and the site visit

 

How are the reviewers chosen?

The assessment of continuing education courses follows along the lines of the "Peer-Review" process proven in the academic field: Independent reviewers, selected in accordance with disciplinary criteria, check and assess the objective facts and circumstances with you as equals. A strict FIBAA Criteria System hereby assures unbiased and comprehensible expertise at all times.
In principle, the review panel is made up of at least three persons, two from the field of science and one from the field of professional practice. FIBAA maintains a pool of more than 450 proven experts in their respective fields.
 FIBAA regularly offers training courses and seminars for its reviewers, which extend far beyond the statutory requirements. 
You are advised of who the members of a review panel are in good time. To ensure that the review panel is unbiased, FIBAA will give you the opportunity to submit any reasonable appeal. You have neither nomination rights nor veto rights. 

How is the site visit organised? 

The site visit generally takes one day. The review panel gains a comprehensive overview of the continuing education courses to be certified and the contribution of all involved by carrying out numerous interviews with the executive staff, the teaching/academic staff, the course participants, graduates as well as administrative staff. 

IV- Decisions of the FIBAA Certification Committee for Continuing Education Courses and their Consequences

 

When does the FIBAA Certification Committee meet? 

The FIBAA Certification Committee holds its meetings about three times per year. Here you find the dates for meetings of this Committee. 

What decisions can the FIBAA Certification Committee take? 

The FIBAA Certification Committee can either decide to: 

  • certify the continuing education course without any condition, 
  • certify the continuing education course with conditions (only when max. 5 asterisk criteria are not fulfilled) or 
  • refuse the certification (in this case a new certification can be applied only after blocking period). 

Before the FIBAA Certification Committee for Continuing Education Courses makes its decision, you will receive the assessment report without the panel's recommended decision for it to comment. All decisions taken by the FIBAA Committee include consideration of your statement 

How long are continuing education courses certified for? 

For the initial certification: 5 years. 

For a re-certification: 7 years. 

In the case that the FIBAA Certification Committee for Continuing Education Courses decides to certify the continuing education course with conditions, the certification duration can be shortened. 

What happens after a positive certification decision? 

After a positive certification according to the FIBAA quality standards you receive the FIBAA Quality Seal for certified continuing education courses. The certification results, the names of the reviewers and the assessment report are published on the FIBAA Homepage (→ certified courses). 

What happens in the event of a negative certification decision?

If FIBAA rejects a certification of a continuing education course, a new certification can only be applied for after a blocking period of generally one year. In this case the assessment report will not be published. 

What happens in the event of a conditional certification? 

You must prove that you have met the given condition(s) within the time limit set by the FIBAA Certification Committee for Continuing Education Courses (max. 9 month) by e-mail to auflagen[at]fibaa.org.

 
The proof submitted is checked immediately by the review panel. If the reviewers decide that the conditions have been met, they will recommend to decide, that the condition has been met. 
If the fulfilment of the condition(s) cannot be proven within the given deadline, you can, in reasonable cases, apply for a one-off deadline extension (6 months max.). Otherwise, FIBAA will withdraw the certification. 

What happens if we do not agree with the decision of the FIBAA Certification Committee? 

Each decision taken by the FIBAA Certification Committee for Continuing Education Courses will be communicated to you with immediate effect. As from this point in time, you will have one month to appeal to FIBAA. This appeal must be substantiated and submitted in writing. Your appeal is initially checked by the FIBAA Appeals Committee. This committee then recommends the FIBAA Certification Committee to grant the appeal or to stand by its original decision. 

Under what circumstances does FIBAA award its Premium Seal? 

FIBAA awards the FIBAA-Premium-Seal to institutions offering continuing education courses which have already established themselves in the market and which have proven the excellent quality. 
This award confirms that a continuing education course as a whole clearly has an outstanding quality. It provides potential course participants, course participants, graduates, education providers and employers with reliable orientation regarding the quality of the course. 

Are we allowed to make any changes to a previously certified course? 

Of course changes are possible - and as an indicator of the further development of the certified course even desirable. If these changes are substantial (relocation, substantial changes in the curriculum, etc.), you must report this to FIBAA, so we can check whether these changes might affect the course's overall quality in a negative way. If this might be the case, an extension of the certification can be applied for. In such cases, the procedure only addresses those quality standards that might be negatively affected by the change. 
If you do not know if a change needs to be reported or not, please contact FIBAA. 

Can the certification be revoked? If yes, in what cases? 

FIBAA will revoke the certification if 

  • You fail to meet the deadline set for meeting the conditions, 
  • You fail to advise FIBAA of any reportable changes, although these might substantially affect the quality of the certified course.