What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is viewed as a process by which an institution at the tertiary level evaluates its educational activities, in whole or in part, and seeks an independent judgment to confirm that it substantially achieves its objectives, and is generally equal in quality to comparable institutions.

Program As the Unit of Assessment

Currently, accreditation in state colleges and universities is by program. A program is defined as a course or a group of related courses packaged in a curriculum and leading to a graduate or undergraduate degree. Examples of programs are elementary teacher education, civil engineering, agriculture, etc.

AACCUP is now considering other models, like, accrediting by institution as alternatives to, or to complement program accreditation.

Other Attributes

Aside from being program-focused, accreditation is:

  1. based on standards of the accrediting agency, which are normally higher than those set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other appropriate agencies, e.g. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).;
  2. voluntary on the part of the higher education institution that may want to be accredited;
  3. an evaluation by peers, i. e. the external accreditors are mostly faculty members from other higher education institutions; and
  4. non-governmental.

Stages of Accreditation

 The accreditation process passes through different stages/activities:

  • Application - an educational institution files its application to undergo accreditation with AACCUP.
  • Institutional Self-survey - upon approval of the application, the applicant institution will be required to make an internal assessment by its internal accreditors to determine the program's readiness for external review.
  • Preliminary Survey Visit- the evaluation of the program for the first time by external accreditors. Passing the assessment entitles the program to be awarded a Candidate status valid for two (2) years.

Programs that have passed the standards, and are awarded accreditation status:

  1. lend prestige to member institutions, justified by the possession of quality standards and unremitting efforts to maintain them at high level;
  2. help parents to know which program they may send their children to for quality education;
  3. make all those engaged in education aware of standards of excellence which they should strive to attain;
  4. make possible for those proposing funding and those who are to fund, to know what to support and how much support is needed; and
  5. make possible for an evaluated program to know its strength and weaknesses, and in what aspects it needs to develop.

  1. To us in AACCUP, the current strongest factor to harmonize QA practices, and the best means to promote a level playing field, is the CHED-initiated Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance System (CMO 46).
  1. Upon the invitation of CHED, and as accepted by the AACCUP Board of Trustees, a one-year CHED-AACCUP contract was crafted in 2014, with CHED providing funding assistance amounting to P2 Million for AACCUP to revise its instruments of program and institutional accreditation “in line with outcomes-based quality assurance…” (AACCUP completed the one-year contract on time on September 30, 2015.

The long-range vision of AACCUP is to develop among SUCs a “culture of quality” such that quality assurance is then rested inside the school system, that SUCs shall maintain a certified roster of quality programs and processes.