FAQs - Frequently asked Questions

 

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the following topics: 

I- General information on the accreditation of study programmes according to the international quality standards of FIBAA

II- Self-evaluation report 

III- Peer-review processes and site visit 

IV- Decisions of the FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes (F-AC PROG) and their consequences

I- General information on the accreditation of study programmes according to the international quality standards of FIBAA

 

How long does a programme accreditation procedure take?

A programme accreditation according to the international quality standards of FIBAA generally takes 6 months from submission of the self-evaluation report by the institution to a decision taken by the FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes (F-AC PROG).

II- Self-evaluation report

 

How should we produce our self-evaluation report?

The self-evaluation report should be produced on the basis of the FIBAA Assessment Guide. This document includes all the relevant quality standards in the form of questions and definitions of benchmarks. 

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

Self-evaluation reports should be submitted to FIBAA at the latest one year after signing the accreditation agreement. 

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

FIBAA needs the self-evaluation report in electronic form and in hard copy (one each). In case an assessor prefers to receive the documentation in hard copy, we will ask you to send it directly to him/her. 

What happens after the HEI has submitted its self-evaluation report?

After submitting the documentation, FIBAA will appoint a Project Manager, who will assume responsibility for coordinating the process and be your contact person throughout the process.

FIBAA will also appoint a Review Panel and the Project Manager will arrange a date for the site visit in agreement with the HEI. 

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 and international Guidelines and Targets. After this has been completed, the site visit can commence. 

III- Peer-review process and site visit

 

How are the Assessors chosen?

The assessment of study programmes follows along the lines of the "Peer-Review" process proven in the academic field: Independent experts selected in accordance with disciplinary criteria check and assess the objective facts and circumstances with the HEI as equals. A strict FIBAA Criteria System hereby assures unbiased and comprehensible expertise at all times. 

In principle, the expert panel is made up of at least four persons, two from the field of science, one from the field of professional practice (corporate or industry representatives) and a student member. FIBAA maintains a pool of more than 500 proven experts in their respective fields. 

FIBAA sets a series of requirements for appointing the experts. To qualify as a FIBAA expert, it is absolutely essential that an adequate understanding and knowledge of the appraisal and accreditation process are assured. This is why FIBAA regularly offers training courses and seminars for its experts which extend far beyond the statutory requirements. 

The HEI is advised of who the members of an expert panel are in good time. To ensure that the expert panel is unbiased, FIBAA will give the HEI the opportunity to submit any reasonable appeal. The HEI has neither nomination rights nor veto rights. 

How is the site visit organised?

The site visit generally takes 1.5 or 2 days. The review panel gains a comprehensive overview of the study programme and the contribution of all involved by carrying out numerous interviews with the HEI executive, the teaching/academic staff, the students, graduates as well as administrative staff.

The review panel subsequently produces an Assessment Report with a recommended decision. This report serves as the basis for the decision taken by The FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes.

IV- Decisions of FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes (F-AC PROG) and their Consequences

 

When does F-AC PROG meet?

The F-AC PROG holds its meetings about four times a year at intervals of about 3 months.  

Here you find the dates for Meetings of F-AC PROG. 

What decisions can the F-AC PROG take?

The F-AC PROG can either decide to: 

  • Accredit the Degree Programme, 
  • Accredit the Degree Programme with (max. 7) conditions (the conditions are to be met within a deadline of up to 9 months. In justified cases this deadline can be extended by 6 months) 
  • Refuse the Accreditation (in this case a new accreditation can be applied for only after blocking period). 

Before F-AC PROG makes its decision, the HEI will receive the Assessment Report without the experts' recommended decision for it to give a statement. All decisions taken by The F-AC PROG include the consideration of any statement made by the HEI. 

How long are degree programmes accredited for?

For the initial Accreditation: 5 years. 

For a Re-Accreditation: 7 years. 

In the case of the F-AC PROG deciding to accedit the study programme subject to conditions, the accrediation duration can be shortened. 

What happens after a positive accreditation decision?

After a positive accreditation according to the international quality standards of FIBAA the HEI receives the FIBAA Quality Seal for accredited Programmes. 

The accreditation results, the names of the participating experts and the assessment report are published on the FIBAA Homepage (→ accredited degree programmes).

What happens in the event of a negative accreditation decision?

If FIBAA refuse an accreditation of a study programme, the new accreditation can only be applied after a blocking period of generally one year. 

The accreditation results, the names of the participating experts and the assessment report are published on the FIBAA Homepage for all procedures opened after 1 January 2016.

What happens in the event of an accreditation with conditions?

 

Within the deadline (regularly 9 months) you must prove that you have met the given condition(s) set by F-AC PROG by e-mail to auflagen[at]fibaa.org. Please observe the instructions for the fulfillment of the requirements, which we will send you with the decision of the F-AK PROG as well as on request.

 

The proof submitted by the HEI is checked immediately by the review panel. If the reviewers decide that the conditions have been met, they will recommend F-AC PROG to decide that the condition has been met. 

If the HEI cannot prove that it has met the condition(s) within the given deadline, it can, in reasonable cases, apply for a one-off deadline extension (6 months max.). Otherwise, FIBAA will be required to advise the HEI that the degree programme's accreditation has been withdrawn. 

What happens if the HEI does not agree with the decision of the F-AC PROG?

Each decision taken by the F-AC PROG will be communicated to the HEI with immediate effect. As from this point in time, the HEI will have 1 month to appeal to FIBAA. 

This appeal must be substantiated and submitted in writing. The HEIs appeal is initially checked by the FIBAA Appeals Committee. This committee then recommends the FIBAA Accreditation Committee for Programmes, to redress 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 HEIs offering study programmes which have already established themselves in the market and which have proven the excellent quality of their studies and teaching within the scope of an accreditation process according to the international quality standards of FIBAA. 

This award confirms that a study programme as a whole clearly has an outstanding quality. It provides potential students, students, graduates, HEIs and the employment/job market with reliable orientation regarding the quality of the degree programme. 

Is the HEI allowed to make any changes to a previously accredited study programme?

In principle, yes, but if these changes are substantial, then the HEI is obliged to report this to the Accreditation Agency so that it can check whether these changes are a matter of the current accreditation or not. Reportable changes are: 

  • Relocation or creation of a new location 
  • Substantial changes to the curriculum (content, workload, etc.) 
  • Substantial changes to the degree programme's structure 
  • Substantial changes to the academic staff structure. 

If in the course of the structural or content-related development of accredited degree programmes doubts arise as to the reporting requirement, it is always recommendable to contact FIBAA to inquire what exactly the situation is. This enables HEIs to prevent changes to the degree programme from endangering the validity of the accreditation. This check can be added, for example, when establishing a new location or when introducing a new core or priority area. 

The check can be linked to an extension accreditation (for example, such as when setting up a new location or when introducing a new core or priority area) or within the scope of a so-called "short process" in the case of changes to the content of the curriculum. 

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

FIBAA considers it as its duty to revoke the accreditation if

  • the HEI fails to meet the deadline set for redressing the conditions, 
  • the HEI fails to advise the Accreditation Agency of any reportable changes, although these substantially affect the basis of the original accreditation.