Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-19, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 23 January, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2019.


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Accreditation body

core definition

An accreditation body is an organisation delegated to make decisions, on behalf of the higher education sector, about the status, legitimacy or appropriateness of an institution, or programme.

explanatory context

An accreditation body may undertake the evaluation upon which accreditation is based or may delegate that process to another body.

analytical review

The UNESCO-CEPES (2007) definition is unchanged since the 2004 first edition:

A (non-)governmental or private educational association of national or regional scope that develops evaluation standards and criteria and conducts peer evaluations and expert visits to assess whether or not those criteria are met. It is entitled to accord formal status and sometimes a license to operate to individual higher education institutions or programmes, following the successful examination of the application and evaluation of the respective educational unit. There are different types of accreditation bodies (e.g., agencies, councils, commissions, etc.), focused on general accreditation, specialized accreditation, professional accreditation, regional accreditation, national accreditation, distance education accreditation, etc. (Vlãsceanu, et al., 2007, p. 28)


The QEPSE-Leonardo (2011) Glossary states:

Accountability is the requirement, when undertaking an activity, to expressly address the concerns, requirements or perspectives of others.

Verantwortlichkeit: Die Erfordernis, beim Übernehmen einer Handlung ausdrücklich die Anliegen, Anforderungen und Perspektiven anderer anzuspreche.

associated issues


related areas

See also


institutional accreditation

programme accreditation

regional accreditation

specialist accreditation

accreditation status


accreditation survey

accreditation portfolio


QEPSE-Leonardo, 2011, Glossary, available at, accessed 5 March 2011, not available 29 January 2012.

Vlãsceanu, L., Grünberg, L., and Pârlea, D., 2004, Quality Assurance and Accreditation: A Glossary of Basic Terms and Definitions (Bucharest, UNESCO-CEPES) Papers on Higher Education, ISBN 92-9069-178-6. accessed Jan 2005, no longer active, see Vlãsceanu et al., 2007.

Vlãsceanu, L.,  Grünberg, L., and Pârlea, D., 2007,  Quality Assurance and Accreditation: A Glossary of Basic Terms and Definitions (Bucharest, UNESCO-CEPES) Revised and updated edition. ISBN 92-9069-186-7., accessed 29 January 2011, no longer available 17 January 2012.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2019

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