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University accreditation


I am currently in the early stages of developing a high level (possibly post graduate) leadership development programme for the training consultancy I work for. I would be interested to find out how easy or difficult ! it is for training consultancies to gain university accreditation for their programmes.
Julie Towns

2 Responses

  1. University accreditation
    I work in a university but have limited experience of accreditation of courses run by external agencies. Regarding how to go about it, I think you would need to approach the head of department of the relevant faculty. Business and management studies departments are used to working closely with local businesses and some have a business development unit. It could be that they are already running something similar that could be adapted to your requirements. Regarding how easy or difficult this is depends on a number of factors, including what you mean by accreditation, whether the university is already running modules or programmes that are similar to your requirements, the department’s capacity to take on additional work, and previous experience of accreditation. If you want your leadership development programme to carry academic credits, and this programme needs developing from scratch because it is significantly different from anything already being provided, that involves a lot of work; the university would need to consider whether the proposed programme is financially viable in relation to potential student numbers, income and costs.

    If you haven’t seen the previous threads on accreditation, they are here:

    Good luck!

  2. Accreditation

    It is useful to approach 2-3 institutions. Common suitability criteria include:
    Recognised expertise in the subject area(s)
    Experience in working in partnership with employers to accredit work-based learning
    Experience and reputation in working with your sector
    Experience in working with methods that fit your situation (eg elearning, work-based projects)
    Location –not vital but proximity may be useful in some circumstances
    Flexibility – willingness to adapt their approach to match your requirements
    Range – can they accredit several programmes on several topics and at different levels (so you only have to liaise with one institution rather than several)
    Their representatives are people you feel you can do business with
    Costs – not just start-up costs but also ongoing costs for assessment, moderation, graduation, etc.

    Issues to discuss include:
    Standard or level of the training provided, in particular the learning outcomes and the syllabus – this will influence the type and level of qualification
    Duration of the taught programme and amount of self study – this will influence the number of credit points that can be awarded and the time it will take for individuals to qualify
    Methods (eg Action Learning, reflective statements, assignments, residential courses, required reading)
    Standard, qualifications and suitability of those leading and delivering the programme
    Support available to students – from pastoral support to library services
    Access on to the programme
    Assessment processes, marking, moderation and QA
    Administration, records and systems
    Procedures for extensions, appeals and complaints
    Learning philosophy, training style and operational implications (eg time off for study)
    Accreditation approval procedures, time-scales, roles, and communications

    Having weighed the potential benefits – eg credibility – against the costs in terms of time, loss of flexibility, money and effort, also consider who will deliver the programme (you or a supplier) and who will assess.

    A member of academic staff will explain the submission process. Ask for an example of a successful submission form and a draft contract with estimated costs. Once you have negotiated the detail it will go to their accreditation board. These meet around 2-3 times a year. Approval may be subject to review every 3-5 years.



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