The main aim of the accreditation renewal process is to confirm compliance with the commitments made in the verification report and assess the results of the degree programme, ensuring its quality and, in turn, recommending whether it continues or not until the next accreditation renewal. The result will either be positive or negative.
Master's and PhD accreditation must be renewed within a maximum period of six years:
- For master's degrees, this period begins on the start date for teaching on the programme or from the previous accreditation renewal date
- For PhD degrees, this period begins on the enrolment date of the first student on the programme or from the previous accreditation renewal date.
The following sections set out the different stages of the accreditation renewal procedure and provide more details about each one.
Start of the Accreditation Renewal Procedure
Once the University Quality Agency of the Balearic Islands (AQUIB) has sent the schedule for degree programmes that must undergo the accreditation procedure to the UIB—specifying the planned dates for submission of the self-assessment report and an inspection by an expert panel—the Postgraduate Studies Management Unit (UGEP) will organise a meeting to provide information and advice on the accreditation procedure to the degree programme directors, including members from the Quality Assurance Commission (CGQ), the master's management team or PhD programme coordinator, and the CEP or EDUIB management team.
Production of the Self-Assessment Report (IA)
The self-assessment report (IA) is the document where the CGQ analyses the status of the degree programme with regard to the accreditation renewal assessment model. The CGQ shall draw conclusions based on evidence and indicators to be attached to the report.
The assessment model is based on seven points that define the most important aspects to evaluate during the self-assessment procedure for the programme:
- Organisation and operation
- Information and transparency
- Internal Quality Assurance System (SGIQ)
- Academic staff
- Support staff, material resources and services
- Learning results
- Satisfaction and performance indicators.
The CGQ members will produce a self-assessment report based on the template provided by UGEP, validating the attached tables and evidence, and including any other required evidence. When writing their report, CGQ members may consult the AQUIB Self-assessment Guide: Accreditation Renewal for Official Bachelor's, Master's and PhD Programmes.
After the report is completed, UGEP will review it to ensure that it fully complies with AQUIB requirements and submit a technical review report to the degree programme directors covering aspects that need to be amended or improved. Moreover, the self-assessment report will be reviewed by the CEP or the EDUIB, whichever is appropriate, before the CGQ approves it.
The CGQ secretary will issue the approval certification for the report and the document will be electronically signed by all CGQ members. The report will be approved by the CEP (Master's) or EDUIB (PhD) Executive Committee, and be signed by the chair of said body. Finally, UGEP, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, will send the report to AQUIB on the scheduled date.
The external inspection comprises an analysis of the self-assessment report and a visit to the centre where the programme is taught by a group of external assessors appointed by AQUIB, in order to verify the information submitted and issue a reasoned assessment on the elements set out in the self-assessment template. Following this procedure, an inspection report will be issued. The inspection visit shall at least comprise a reception with the expert panel members, an introductory meeting with the centre management team and programme directors, and a set of meetings and interviews with the different groups involved in the programme. The visit will run for between one and three days and preferably take place at the centre where the programme seeking (re)accreditation is taught.
Before the inspection visit, UGEP will notify programme directors about any incident or process submitted by AQUIB. These may include: the dates of the inspection visit, the proposed expert panel members and the selection of reference subjects (master's programmes) or doctorand records (PhD programmes) to be made available to the expert panel.
Moreover, UGEP will organise a preparatory meeting on the external inspection for programme directors, who shall be responsible for selecting the participants at the various meetings to represent different groups and submit the final agenda to be forwarded to AQUIB.
One month before the inspection visit, the UGEP website will publish the self-assessment report, alongside a suggestion box, for public access so that all groups involved may provide their opinion on its content. After the deadline for suggestions has passed, a report will be written containing the comments and suggestions received, or stating that none were submitted. These comments shall be submitted to the inspectors on the day before the inspection visit.
Around 15 days after the inspection visit, UGEP shall, on behalf of the programme directors, gather the participants from the different meetings together, reserving the spaces and necessary material for said meeting.
Accreditation Renewal Application
Once the inspection has taken place, AQUIB will issue a certificate of the visit to be sent to the UIB, so that it may continue with the administrative process for the accreditation renewal application with the Council of Universities.
Provisional Accreditation Report (IPA)
After the inspection visit, AQUIB will issue a provisional accreditation report including a reasoned assessment of each of the points in the template (see point two) and a global assessment. This assessment may be positive or include aspects that must be amended in order to attain a positive assessment.
UGEP will send this report to the programme directors so that it is reviewed and analysed by the CGQ to decide on whether it is necessary to lodge any appeal within 20 working days from its date of receipt. UGEP will provide a template to help in the appeal submission process, as well as undertake a technical review of the resulting appeal report before final approval by the programme director and the CEP or EDUIB, as appropriate.
The programme director shall sign the appeal and submit it to UGEP so that it may be forwarded to AQUIB.
Final Accreditation Renewal Report (IFA) and Final Decision
AQUIB will issue a final reasoned accreditation renewal report (IFA) that may include recommendations for improvement and highlight aspects for particular attention in future accreditation monitoring and renewal. After receiving the report from the quality agency, the Council of Universities shall issue its corresponding decision either to register the programme's accreditation renewal in the RUCT registry—where the report is positive—or to initiate the programme termination procedure, where the report is negative.
Publication of Results
The following documents arising from the accreditation renewal procedure shall be published on the programme website: final accreditation renewal report (IFA), the Decision from the Council of Universities (RCU) and, where commitments have been made for improvement in the response to the IPA, these shall be included in the degree programme improvement plan (PdM).