“Accreditation” is used in this context as a mark of assurance that the programme and the institution as a whole meets the standards set by the accrediting body. The outcome of a successful programme accreditation may include one or more of the following:
– Graduates are able to practice as a professional in a specific field, and in some cases receive a license to practice that is required by law;
– Graduates are granted chartered status;
– Graduates are granted exemption from all or part of professional exams;
– Graduates are eligible for entry to membership of a professional association or learned society;
– The programme is confirmed as meeting externally designated standards and quality.
Accreditation is a voluntary process that gives public recognition to institutions that meet certain standards. It is a promise that an institution will provide the quality of education it claims to offer and provide consumer protection.
Accreditation assures the student that the institution operates on a sound financial basis, has an approved program of study, qualified instructors, adequate facilities and equipment, effective recruitment and admission policies, and advertises its courses truthfully.
Other Functions of Accreditation:
– Verifying that an institution or program meets established standards;
– Assisting prospective students in identifying acceptable institutions;
– Assisting institutions in determining the acceptability of transfer credits;
– Helping to identify institutions and programs for the investment of public and private funds;
– Protecting an institution against harmful internal and external pressure;
– Creating goals for self-improvement of weaker programs and stimulating a general raising of standards among educational institutions; and
– Involving the faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning.