Programme Accreditation in Germany


 

Due to a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court on the German accreditation system of 17 February 2016, it became necessary to comprehensively reorganise the accreditation system for study programmes at German universities. The Interstate Study Accreditation Treaty (Studienakkreditierungsstaatsvertrag), which came into force on 1 January 2018, and the various decrees issued according to the law of each state (Länderrechtsverordnungen, LRVOs) form the legal framework for the German accreditation system.

All appraisal procedures for which a contract was concluded after 1 January 2018 are carried out in accordance with this legal situation. (Exception: Extensions of existing accreditations whose original contract was concluded before 1 January 2018).

For information on the procedure for programme accreditations in accordance with the requirements of the German Accreditation Council that were set up under the legal situation as it existed up to 31 December 2017, please contact us: prog@fibaa.org.

Programme accreditation could be for you if


  • you are a German state university or state-recognised private university or are in the process of founding one,

  • you are seeking the accreditation required in Germany in accordance with the Interstate Study Accreditation Treaty and the decrees issued according to the law of each state.

We offer you


  • implementation of programme accreditations in accordance with the Interstate Study Accreditation Treaty and the decrees issued according to the law of each state on the basis of our approval via the Accreditation Council,

  • outstanding professional expertise in the assessment of your study programmes,

  • a customer-oriented, efficient and flexible process (4-6 months).

Step 1: Offer request/contract preparation:

To obtain initial information and enable us to make you a tailor-made offer, please fill in our enquiry form and send it to us by email. Once you have done this, we can then make you a non-binding offer. Once the contract has been finalised, we will agree a time schedule with you for the implementation of the assessment procedure and the preparation of the accreditation report.

Step 2: Preparation of self-evaluation report:

Once the contract has been finalised, you prepare your self-evaluation report (including relevant annexes). The self-evaluation report is prepared on the based the Foundation Accreditation Council’s grid for the respective procedure type (individual procedure, bundled procedure, etc.). Once the contract has been finalised, we will send you the corresponding WORD document for processing incl. instructions for the preparation of the self-evaluation report.

Step 3: Appointment of the assessor committee:

The FIBAA Expert committee, which is appointed by the FIBAA Accreditation and Certification Committee, appoints an Expert committee in accordance with the "Guidelines on the Appointment of FIBAA Experts and Configuration of Expert Groups for Accreditation Procedures” issued by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK). In order to ensure the impartiality of the assessor committee and fairness for you, we grant you a justified right of objection. We prepare our assessors for their duties and for each specific procedure.

Step 4: Preparation of the audit report:

The FIBAA office prepares the audit report, which contains a proposal for determining compliance with the formal criteria according to Part 2 of the Specimen Decree (Musterrechtsverordnung, MRVO) (or the legal decree of the state in which the higher education institution is located). If necessary, the assessor committee will be asked to provide its expertise. The audit report is prepared according to the grid supplied by the Foundation Accreditation Council. The FIBAA informs the university immediately if a formal criterion is not met and agrees on the further procedure.

Step 5: Inspection:

During the on-site inspection, the assessor committee primarily assesses the technical and content-related criteria. At the end of the appointment you will receive feedback on the assessor committee’s evaluations.

Step 6: Preparation of the assessment report and accreditation report:

After the inspection, the assessment report is drawn up on the basis of the assessor committee’s evaluation. The audit and the assessment report form the accreditation report. The university receives the accreditation report for comment, which is forwarded to the assessor committee.

Step 7: Transmission of the final accreditation report

After the statement and, if applicable, the optional quality enhancement, you will receive the final accreditation report, which you submit together with the self-evaluation report (incl. attachments) to the Foundation Accreditation Council via the electronic information and application processing system ELIAS. The relevant deadlines for the application as well as further information on the procedure can be found in the FAQs on the website of the Foundation Accreditation Council.

Step 8: Decision on the accreditation

The Accreditation Council decides on the accreditation of the study programme upon the request by the higher education institution. The basis for the decision is the accreditation report.

Step 9: Publication of the accreditation report

All accreditation reports are published by the Foundation Accreditation Council in the electronic application and information system (ELIAS) as well as in the European Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DEQAR).

OPTIONAL: Quality advancement

Should the accreditation report on the part of the assessor committee contain recommendations on requirements or recommendations for the decision of the Accreditation Council, there is the option that FIBAA carries out a process of quality enhancement (implementation of the recommendations/conditions). The higher education institution decides on the use of this option after the on-site inspection and presentation of the accreditation report. A separate lump sum will be charged for this, depending on the effort involved. Please consider this option when scheduling the accreditation process.

Laws and regulations according to the Foundation Accreditation Council

All laws and regulations can be found here (Only available in German language):

  • Interstate Study Accreditation Treaty (Studienakkreditierungsstaatsvertrag)

  • Specimen Decree (Musterrechtsverordnung, MRVO)

  • Decrees issued according to the law of each federal state (Länderrechtsverordnungen, LRVO)

All grids for accreditation reports from the Accreditation Council Foundation:

  • Type programme accreditation - individual procedure

  • Type programme accreditation - bundled procedure

  • Type programme accreditation - combined study programme

  • Type system accreditation

How long does a programme accreditation process take?


The implementation of a programme accreditation procedure usually takes six months from the submission of the self-evaluation of the higher education institution to the submission of the final report for submission. For an initial accreditation, reference should be made to the urgency of the situation.

What standards are used in the programme accreditation process?


  • State Treaty on the Organisation of a Joint Accreditation System for Quality Assurance in Studies and Teaching at German Higher Education Institutions, entered into force on 01.01.2018
  • Decrees issued according to the law of each federal state (Länderrechtsverordnungen, LRVO)

According to which specifications should we create the self-evaluation?

For Programme accreditation according to the requirements of the German Accreditation Council from 01.01.2018  create your self-evaluation based on the grid of the Accreditation Council Foundation:

  • Programme accreditation Type - Individual process (PDF) (Word)

  • Programme accreditation Type - Bundled process (PDF) (Word)

  • Programme accreditation Type - Combination study programme (PDF) (Word)

  • System Accreditation Type (PDF) (Word)

By when do we have to submit the self-evaluation to FIBAA?

Submit your self-evaluation no later than one year after signing the contract.

 

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

FIBAA requires a copy in electronic form (on CD-ROM, DVD, USB stick, etc.). If the project manager or a member of the Assessor Team needs the self-evaluation in paper form, you will be asked to send them a hard copy.

What happens after submitting our self-evaluation?

After submitting the self-evaluation, FIBAA will appoint a project manager who will take over the coordination of the process and will be available to you as a contact person for the duration of the entire process. The project manager will schedule the assessment in consultation with you. The Expert Committee then appoints an Expert Team.

After the self-evaluation has been checked for completeness by FIBAA, it is checked by the Expert Team for consistency, plausibility and conformity with the respective guidelines and specifications. This is followed by the assessment.

How are the reviewers selected?

The assessment of study programmes is based on the "Peer Review Process" customary in the academic field: Independent Expert Teams selected according to professional criteria examine and evaluate the issues with the higher education institution "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 expertises.

FIBAA has a pool of more than 750 recognised Experts.

FIBAA bases the appointment of Experts 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 site, digitally or a mix of the two, over 1 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 (s) 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 issues an accreditation report with a decision recommendation. This accreditation report is the basis for the decision of the Accreditation Council.


 

Contact us!

Dipl.-Volksw. Kristina Weng
Kristina Weng
Dipl.-Volksw.
Phone: +49 228 280356 24
Fax: +49 228 280356 20
E-Mail: weng@fibaa-nospam.org
Languages: German, English
M.A. Elisabeth Rosenthal (parental leave)
Elisabeth Rosenthal (parental leave)
M.A.
Languages: German, English, Italian, French, Spanish