Programme accreditation in accordance with FIBAA quality requirements


 

Explanatory Video

 

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Programme accreditation in accordance with FIBAA quality requirements is the right instrument for you, if

  • you are a public or private, state-recognised Higher Education Institution, 

  • the study programmes to be accredited are in the field of management studies, economics, law or social sciences or have a focus on one of these fields, 

  • you want to accredit your study programmes according to international quality standards and the principles of the Bologna Declaration. 

For programme accreditation in accordance with FIBAA quality requirements you can rely on

  • an internationally recognised quality seal for your study programmes, 

  • extensive and elaborated assessment reports, which highlight the strengths of the accredited study programmes and identify potential for their further development, 

  • an outstanding expertise in the assessment of study programmes, 

  • a special focus on internationality, employability, practical economic relevance and service orientation, 

  • a service oriented, efficient and flexible procedure

A FIBAA accreditation gives you detailed information and provides you with objective evidence on the quality of your study programmes. We evaluate the following five key issues:


A FIBAA accreditation gives you detailed information and provides you with objective evidence on the quality of your study programmes. We evaluate the following five key issues:

  1. Objectives and positioning of the study programme 

  2. Admission standards and procedure 

  3. Contents, Structure and didactical concept of the study programme 

  4. Academic environment and framework standards 

  5. Quality assurance, quality development and documentation 

In all those areas we put a special focus on internationality, employability and economic relevance. 

Our programme accreditation procedure can be conducted in German as well as in English. 

Your Benefits


 

1. Internationally recognised quality seal 

FIBAA is officially recognised as a European accreditation agency. Our understanding of quality is based on internationally recognised concepts and is also reflected in our Assessment Guide. With the quality seal of FIBAA you will achieve a recognised quality rating, which has established itself on the international education market as an award for high quality. Our differentiated assessment spectrum also gives you feedback on the particular strengths of your study programme.

2. Recommendations and incentives for the further development of your study programmes

You receive detailed assessment reports with clear recommendations on how to improve and further develop your study programmes. We want to support you in strengthening the profile of your programmes and integrate the latest developments in knowledge, the occupational field and didactics. 

3. Specialist expertise 

Our expertise lies in the accreditation of courses in the field of management studies, economics, law and the social sciences. Our experts are accomplished academics, experienced professionals, knowledgeable national experts and committed students. We also take the special didactic features and organisational requirements of face-to-face, distance, cooperative and executive programmes into account in our procedures and provide proven experts for these.

4. Internationality and business relevance

The special focus when awarding our FIBAA Quality Seal for Programmes is on internationality and business relevance. Consequently we assess the international approach of the programme, the intercultural and international content of the curriculum, the acquisition of professional skills, the integration of theory and practice and cooperation with businesses. 

5. Long-term international experience

Since our establishment in 1994 we have accredited over 2,500 programmes not only at German, but also at a large number of other European and non-European Higher Education Institutions. These include Higher Education Institutions in France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Albania, Northern Cyprus, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Jordan, India, China, Turkey, Namibia, Mexico and the USA. 

6. User-friendliness

Direct links to all the sources of law, external standards and further documents and sample templates ensure comprehensive transparency and offer you the best possible assistance when satisfying the requirements of an accreditation. 

7. Short duration of procedures 

Our programme accreditation procedure takes on average six months with prior agreement from the submission of the self-evaluation report of the Higher Education Institution until the decision by our FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee. We would be delighted to agree an individual timetable with you. 

8. Transparency 

Transparency is of major importance to us. All our work processes and requirements are described clearly and published. Naturally we will support and inform you about every step of the procedure. By publishing our reports, prospective students, other Higher Education Institutions and employers will receive a competent and unequivocal assessment of the quality of your study programme. 

9. FIBAA Premium Seal 

We are the only accreditation agency that awards a Premium Seal for programme accreditations. We use this in particular to single out established programmes which have already registered graduates and display excellent quality. With this award we give prospective students, students, graduates, Higher Education Institutions and prospective employers reliable information about the excellent quality of the programme. 

FIBAA Quality Seal for accredited Programmes

For study programmes which have successfully been accredited according to our international quality standards, we award the FIBAA Seal for programmes. This seal confirms the high quality of your study programme. 

 


 

FIBAA Premium Seal

We are the only accreditation agency that awards a Premium Seal for established degree programmes which have demonstrated their outstanding quality. It provides prospective students, students, graduates, other higher education institutions as well as employers with reliable orientation on the outstanding quality of the degree programme.  

Information about the Principles for Awarding the FIBAA Premium Seal are available here

 

1. Application

You can submit your enquiry via our online form. We will always reply with an offer – tailor-made for your programme. Together with you we will determine the timetable for the accreditation procedure.

2. Your self-evaluation report

Our procedure is customer-oriented and flexible, and takes about nine months. Your self-evaluation report (incl. relevant annexes) is the first step. To ensure that you can prepare your self-evaluation report in a focused and complete manner, we support you with a detailed Assessment Guide for the accreditation of Bachelor and Master programmes as well as an Assessment Guide for the accreditation of Doctoral programmes.

3. Appointment of the review panel

For the procedure, we appoint a project manager and set up a review panel: Representatives from academia, professional practice and the student body.
The team will be specially prepared and trained for your accreditation procedure.

4. On-Site visit

As soon as we receive your self-evaluation report for formal review, we will jointly set a date for the on-site visit.
The on-site visit with informative dialogues and interviews usually takes two to three days.
It can be conducted on-site, online or hybrid. 

5. Compiling the assessment report

The review panel then prepares a comprehensive assessment report in which all quality requirements are documented in a comprehensible manner.
The quality requirements are based on the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

6. Decision-making

You can write a statement on this assessment report. Both documents – the assessment report and your statement – will be submitted for final decision-making to the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee F-ACC.
The F-ACC decides on all programme accreditations in accordance with FIBAA quality requirements.
If your programme exceeds the quality objectives of the evaluation criteria, we award you the FIBAA Premium Seal.

7. Publication

The assessment report with the decision of the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee is published in the databases on FIBAA.org and DEQAR.eu (Database of External Quality Assurance Results).
Finally, we recognise your achievement with our internationally respected certificate.

Appeal procedure 

Higher Education Institutions, which have complaints, against the procedure, please write an email to info[at]fibaa.org.
Higher Education Institutions, which are not in agreement with a decision by the F-ACC, can appeal against the latter. More detailed information on the appeal procedure can be found here

Throughout the accreditation process, we will be at your service – even in case of necessary improvement measures.

In order to support you with the accreditation procedure according to our international quality standards, we have developed an assessment guide for the accreditation of study programmes, which contains all relevant quality standards for bachelor and master programmes in form of questions and definitions of benchmarks. This document serves you as the basis for generating your self-evaluation report. 

Our assessment guide is in line with the following quality standards:

Chairman:

  • Prof. Dr. Ernst Troßmann, University of Hohenheim


Vice Chairmen:

  • Prof. Dr. Peter Thuy, IU International University of Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Markus A. Tomaschitz, AVL List GmbH, Graz   

Members:

  • Karl-Peter Abt, IHK Managing Director (ret.)
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Altmann, University of Innsbruck and MCI Management Center Innsbruck
  • Dr. Christoph Anz, BMW Group
  • Dr. Bernd Baasner, formerly Bayer AG
  • Prof. Dr. Axel Benning, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Jochen Breinlinger-O'Reilly, Berlin School of Economics and Law
  • Adriana Cacciatore, students at Munich University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Hasewinkel, VICTORIA | International University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Vera de Hesselle, Bremen University of Applied Sciences
  • Annkatrin Kollmus, student Technical University Kaiserslautern
  • Dr. h.c. Ivo M. Matser, CEO of the IEDC Bled School of Management in Slovenia and CEO of the Academy of Business in Society (abis-global), Brussels
  • Marie-Luise Meier, student Nova School for Business and Economics, Lissabon
  • Dr. Volker Meyer-Guckel, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, Secretary General
  • Prof. Dr. Jean-Marc Piveteau, Zurich University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Ruedi Nützi, School of Business, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renninger, East Bavarian Technical University Amberg-Weiden
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Remdisch, Leuphana University Lüneburg
  • Hans-Hellmuth Retzlaff-Schröder, Lufthansa AG
  • Prof. Dr. Ottmar Schneck, SRH Fernhochschule Riedlingen - The Mobile University
  • Prof. Dr. Johann Schneider, Frankfurt University
  • Prof. Dr. John Slof, UAB - Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Prof. Em. Dr. György Széll, University of Osnabrück
  • Kerstin Wagner, Deutsche Bahn AG
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Weigand, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar
  • Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
  • z

The amended Rules of Procedure of the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Commission (F-ACC) as of 26 November 2021 (only available in German) can be found here.

The dates for the next meetings of the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee are available here.

The FIBAA Panel Appointing Committee appoints assessors for each certification procedure.


Members of the Panel Appointing Committee

  • Student body: Marie-Luise Meier, as substitute: Adriana Cacciatore

  • Science: Prof. Schneider, Prof. Széll, as substitute: Prof. Altmann and Prof. Remdisch

  • Career practice: Karl-Peter Abt, as substitute: Kerstin Wagner

How long does a programme accreditation process take?


The programme accreditation process usually takes six months from the submission of the self-evaluation report of the higher education institution to a decision taken by the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee (F-ACC). After the conclusion of the contract, FIBAA will contact you to agree upon a suitable schedule with you.

What standards are used in the programme accreditation process?


These are summarised in the FIBAA Assessment Guide for accreditation of study programmes in law, social sciences and economics (April 2020) as well as in the FIBAA Assessment Guide for doctoral programmes (June 2013) for postgraduate study programmes.

How should we produce our self-evaluation report?

For a Programme accreditation in accordance with the FIBAA quality standards the self-evaluation report should be produced on the basis of the FIBAA Assessment Guide. The documents contain all relevant quality standards in the form of questions and definitions for the benchmarks.

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

Submit your self-evaluation no later than one year after signing the contract. You will discuss a schedule with the programme accreditation department manager after the contract has been concluded.

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

FIBAA requires a copy in digital form.

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

After submission of the self-documentation, FIBAA will appoint a project manager who will coordinate the procedure and be available to you as a contact person for the duration of the entire procedure. The project manager will schedule the review in consultation with you. Afterwards, the relevant expert committee appoints a team of experts. 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 respective guidelines and specifications. This is followed by the assessment.

How are the FIBAA Experts chosen?

The assessment of study programmes follows along the lines of the "Peer-Review" process proven in the academic field: Independent Expert Teams selected according to professional criteria check and assess the objective facts and circumstances with the HEI "on an equal footing". A strict FIBAA criteria system ensures impartial and reasonable expertise at all times.

In principle, an Expert Team consists of at least four people, two of them from science (university or technical college professors), one from professional practice (company representative) and one student member. Depending on the subject of assessment, these may be expanded to include certain expertise.

FIBAA has a pool of more than 750 recognised experts.

FIBAA bases the appointment of Expert Teams on a number of requirements, which also include knowledge of accreditation processes. FIBAA therefore regularly offers training courses and seminars for its pool of experts.

You will be informed of the composition of the Expert Team in due time. In order to ensure the impartiality of the Expert Team, FIBAA gives you the opportunity to make a reasoned objection. However, the higher education institution has no right of proposal or veto.

How is the assessment organised?

The assessment takes place at the higher education institution site, digitally or a mix of the two, over 1,5 to 2 days by arrangement depending on the number of study programmes to be accredited and the space available.

The Expert Team obtains a comprehensive picture of the study programme of the higher education institution and the involvement of all those involved through discussions with the higher education institution management, the teaching staff, the students, the graduates and the administrative staff.

The Expert Team then prepares an assessment report with a decision recommendation. This assessment report is the basis for the decision of the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee (F-ACC).

Which decisions can the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee (F-ACC) make?

FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee may decide upon either

  • accreditation without conditions,

  • accreditation with conditions, or

  • refusal of accreditation.

On the basis of the report, the decision recommendation of the review panel and by taking into account your statement on the report, the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee will decide on your application for accreditation.

For how long are the study programmes being accredited?

Programme Accreditation:

  • National FIBAA seal

    • Accreditation in conjunction with the AR seal (Legal basis from 01.01.2018): eight years

    • Initial accreditation: five years

    • Re-accreditation: seven years

  • International FIBAA seal:

    • Initial accreditation: five years

    • Re-accreditation: seven years

In the case of accreditation with conditions, the duration of the accreditation may be shortened.

What happens after a positive accreditation decision?

After a positive accreditation according to the FIBAA quality standards, you will receive the FIBAA quality seal for accredited programmes. The accreditation results, the names of the assessors involved as well as the complete reports (taking into account the data protection requirements) are published on the FIBAA homepage ( ->)

What happens after a negative accreditation decision?

If the accreditation of a study programme is denied, a new accreditation may be applied for after a blocking period of one year.

What happens in the case of an accreditation with conditions?

Within the deadline set by the FIBAA Committee (usually 9 months), you must provide evidence of compliance with the agreed condition (s) by email to auflagen[at]fibaa.org. When fulfilling conditions, please note the handout on fulfilling conditions, which we will be happy to send you with the decision of the FIBAA Committee and upon request.

Your submitted evidence will be checked directly by the assessors in the case of content-related requirements, and in the FIBAA office in the case of formal requirements. On the basis of the opinion of the Assessor Team and/or the office, the FIBAA Committee decides on the fulfilment of the condition (s).

If the fulfilment of the requirement cannot be proven on time, you may, in justified cases, request a one-time extension of the deadline (max. 6 months). Otherwise, FIBAA is obliged to withdraw the accreditation for the study programme after issuing a reminder and setting a reasonable grace period.

In which case does FIBAA award the FIBAA Premium Seal?

FIBAA awards the FIBAA Premium Seal to study programmes that have already established themselves on the market and that demonstrate excellent quality in study and teaching as part of an accreditation process in accordance with the international quality standards of FIBAA. This award confirms that a study programme is of outstanding quality overall. It gives prospective students, students, graduates, higher education institutions, continuing education institutions and the job market reliable orientation about the quality of the study programme.

Information on the principles for awarding the FIBAA Premium Seal can be found here:

Can changes be made to an already accredited course?

Changes to a accredited study programme are possible and are expressly desired as continuous improvement and updating.

If these changes are of a significant nature (e.g. new university location, new specialisation, change in the name of the study programme) and affect the conception or profile of a study programme, they must be disclosed to FIBAA.

FIBAA then checks whether the changes could reduce the quality and whether a new assessment would then be necessary. FIBAA decides whether the process may be shortened in individual cases and e.g. a telephone conference with the higher education institution or an assessment based on written documents is also possible.

If you are unsure whether a change needs to be disclosed, FIBAA will be happy to answer any questions you may have at info@fibaa.org.

Can the accreditation be withdrawn? If so, in which cases?

In some cases, FIBAA is obliged to withdraw the accreditation (after issuing a reminder and setting a deadline). This is the case,

  • if the higher education institution does not meet the requirements within the specified period or

  • the higher education institution does not notify the accreditation agency of notifiable changes, although these substantially affect the basis of the original accreditation.

How often do the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee meet?

The FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee meets approximately four times a year at intervals of about three months. The dates are announced here on the FIBAA homepage. As a general rule, we already agree with you on the desired date for referral to the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee when you submit your self-evaluation report.


 

Please feel free to contact us!

FIBAA stands for reliable support in quality development.
We look forward to walking the path together with you.

Please send us your enquiry.


 

National Procedures

Dipl.-Volksw. Kristina Weng
Kristina Weng
Dipl.-Volksw.
Phone: +49 (0) 228 280356 27
Fax: +49 (0) 228 280356 20
E-Mail: weng@fibaa-nospam.org
Languages: German, English

National Procedures

M.A. Elisabeth Rosenthal
Elisabeth Rosenthal
M.A.
Phone: +49 (0) 228 280356 16
Fax: +49 (0) 228 280356 20
E-Mail: rosenthal@fibaa-nospam.org
Languages: German, English, Italian

International Procedures

M.Sc. Viktoria Dermanowski (née Tischanski)
Viktoria Dermanowski (née Tischanski)
M.Sc.
Phone: +49 (0) 228 280356 18
Fax: +49 (0) 228 280356 20
E-Mail: Dermanowski@fibaa-nospam.org
Languages: German, English, Russian