What is an accreditation?
An accreditation is the public recognition awarded to an institution and/or specific program after demonstrating compliance with high quality standards to external evaluators. Such standards guarantee that students receive an optimal education, ensuring the achievement of the necessary competencies to perform professionally with success.
The accreditation of a program, as well as the university's institutional accreditation, is a national or international recognition that extends to students and graduates. Moreover, it contributes to reaffirming the market that the education provided is appropriate and adjusts to society's needs. An accreditation contributes to the development of agreements with prestigious foreign institutions.
What does an accreditation process consist of??
The accreditation process starts with z self-assessment, followed by the preparation of a self-study, and it usually ends with an external evaluation visit.
What is self-assessment??
It is an internal evaluation carried out by the institution (programs/university), which contributes to the continuous improvement process. It aims to identify strengths and improvement opportunities through the analysis of the academic processes and the program results. During this stage, the institution demonstrates the achievement of high quality standards through evidence.
Who can provide accreditation?
Globally, there are several agencies devoted to providing quality accreditations or certifications to particular specialization programs. Universities and institutes are free to choose the accrediting agency in order to be evaluated at an institutional or programmatic level.
In Peru, the body in charge of national accreditation at an institutional and programmatic level is the National System for the Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation of Educational Quality (SINEACE, in Spanish), a specialized technical entity affiliated to the Ministry of Education of Peru, created in 2006 by Law No. 28740.
In 2017, SINEACE presented an update of the institutional and programmatic accreditation models. These new models "conceive quality assessment as a formative process that offers institutions opportunities to analyze their work, introduce changes to improve in a progressive, permanent and sustainable manner, strengthen their self-regulation capacity and establish an institutional quality culture through continuous improvement" (SINEACE, 2017).
The Ministry of Education demands that all health science, education and law programs be accredited. Furthermore, it encourages other programs to also participate in accreditation processes.