Accreditation and Quality Assurance for Education in Germany
Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programmes are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. To ensure quality of education, each and every organization have to comply to standards and principles and rules & regulations made by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Following are the agencies that accredit programs of study for bachelor's and master's degrees from state or state recognized higher education institutions in Germany:
Kultusministerkonferenz or KMZ: The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany (Kultusministerkonferenz or KMK), established in 1948 by an agreement between the states of the Federal Republic of Germany ensures quality development and continuity in tertiary education. bachelor’s and master’s programmes must be accredited in accordance to a resolution of the Kultusministerkonferenz.
German Council of Science and Humanities: The German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) was founded on September 5, 1957, and conducts institutional accreditation of private and religious universities since 2001.
The Foundation for the Accreditation of Study Programmes in Germany or Accreditation Council: The foundation for the accreditation of study programs in Germany or Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) established on October 14, 2004 in a KMK resolution certifies accreditation agencies and establishes guidelines and criteria for programmes and system accreditation.
There are currently ten certified agencies:
ACQUIN – Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute
AHPGS – Accreditation Agency for Study Programmes in Special Education, Care, Health Sciences and Social Work
AKAST – Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Canonical Study Programmes
AQ Austria – Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria
AQAS – Agency for Quality Assurance by Accreditation of Study Programmes
ASIIN – Accreditation Agency for Degree Programmes in Engineering, Informatics/Computer Science, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics
evalag – Evaluation Agency Baden-Wurttemberg
FIBAA – Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation
OAQ – Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education
ZEvA – Central Evaluation- and Accreditation Agency
These agencies accredit programmes of study for bachelor’s and master’s degrees and quality management systems, i.e. system accreditation from state or state recognized higher education institutions in Germany and abroad. AKAST only accredit programmes of study.
Accreditation Council (AC)
The principle purpose of the Accreditation Council (Foundation for the Accreditation of study programmes in Germany) is to contribute to the growth in the quality of teaching and learning in Germany and, with this in mind, to contribute to the recognition of the European higher education.