Accreditation Procedures

Accreditation Process

Accreditation process includes the following steps:
1. Submission of accreditation application
2. Recognition of an educational institution as an accreditation seeker
3. Creation of accreditation expert panel
4. Accreditation site visit
5. Elaboration of the accreditation expert panel’s draft accreditation report
6. Development of the final version of the accreditation report by the accreditation expert panel
7. A hearing on accreditation issues and decision-making by an accreditation council
8. Publication of a substantiated decision and accreditation report by the Center
The final decision on accreditation is made by the Council within 180 calendar days after the payment of accreditation fee.

1. Accreditation Application

An accreditation application submitted by a HEI should be enclosed with:
a) Accreditation self-evaluation report for each educational programme and the enclosed documentation.
b) Certificate of payment of the accreditation application examination fee.

Requisites for payments to be made to TREASURY:

Beneficiary Bank: Treasury
Name of Beneficiary: Treasury Single Account
Bank code: TRESGE22
Beneficiary act/ Treasury code: 707637113-(LEPL –National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement- service fee)

2. Recognition of an education institution as an accreditation seeker 

Within 3 working days the Center examines compliance of documentation attached to the accreditation application with the requirements set in paragraph one of Article 20 of this charter.
If the educational institution fails to submit to Center one of the documents required by the paragraph one of Article 20 of this charter, the Center shall determine no less than 5 and no more than 15 working days term for educational institution to correct this deficiency.
In case if deficiency is corrected within the terms defined in paragraph 2 of this Article, the Center issues an individual administrative-legal act on recognition of educational institution as accreditation seeker, while in case of failure to correct deficiency within the same period, an individual administrative legal act is issued about leaving application without examination.

3. Creation of Accreditation Expert Panel

After the payment of accreditation fee, the Center will issue individual administrative-legal act on creating an accreditation expert panel and site-visit to accreditation seeking institution.
Accreditation expert must declare his/her recusation, if he/she has a conflict of interest with the accreditation seeking institution where he/she must conduct a site-visit. Conflict of interest implies the existence of circumstances envisaged by Article 92 of the General Administrative Code of Georgia.
Accreditation seeking institution is allowed to file a motion for recusal against the accreditation panel member(s) within 2 working days after familiarization with the individual administrative-legal act defined in paragraph 2 of this Article.
The institution is required to justify a recusal against an accreditation expert. Reasonable grounds for recusal can be conflict of interests of a chair and/or member of the accreditation expert panel. 
The Center should review recusal application within 3 working days. In case of satisfying recusal application, the Center makes decision on the amendment of the composition of the accreditation expert panel.
In case of not taking into consideration a recusal of accreditation expert/experts, then the accreditation expert panel should conduct a site-visit in original composition.
An accreditation expert panel should be composed by members of expert pool- academic/scientific/invited/administrative staff and students of other higher educational institution (other than cases of accreditation of educational programmes in teacher education and Georgian as a second language), it may as well include international experts, employers, in case of regulated educational programme - representatives from relevant regulatory body and/or professional association and other persons with relevant qualification.
The duration of the site-visit and the number of members of accreditation expert panel participating in the site-visit is defined by the Center, taking into consideration volume and specifics of the workload, in accordance with accreditation expert selection, activity and expert pool membership termination rule.
The Center employee accompanies expert panel during the site-visit in order to ensure that accreditation expert panel works effectively within the framework of legislation and that the evaluation process is conducted consistently.

4. Accreditation Site-Visit

Accreditation expert panel is headed by accreditation expert panel chair who ensures distribution of tasks between the members of the accreditation expert panel. All members of accreditation expert panel fully participate in the work conducted by the group and ensure the preparation of the report on the topics distributed to him by the accreditation expert panel chair.
Accreditation expert is obliged:
To examine completed accreditation self-evaluation report and educational programme and evaluate its compliance with accreditation standards, prior to accreditation site visit.
To examine all the issues during the accreditation site-visit in order to prepare accreditation report, conduct interviews with stakeholders, request additional documentation if necessary, conduct visual inspection and also activities not envisioned by the site-visit agenda, when necessary.
The institution is required to assist accreditation expert panel in the course of accreditation site-visit and in preparation of respective report, present to them the documentation necessary for the accreditation and arrange experts’ interviews with stakeholders named by the expert panel.
In case if the institution obstructs accreditation expert group working process, the Center is authorized to issue individual administrative-legal act about termination of administrative proceedings.

5. Elaboration of the accreditation expert panel’s draft accreditation report

As a result of examination of completed self-evaluation report and attached documentation and accreditation site-visit, accreditation expert panel prepares a draft report and presents it to the Center.
Draft report describes compliance of the educational programme with accreditation standards.
If required, in order to ensure formal compliance of draft report of the accreditation expert panel with the requirements, draft report can be sent back to accreditation expert panel.
Within 5 working days after familiarization with draft report, accreditation seeking institution shall submit to the Center an argumentative position in writing on factual errors stated in the draft report, which are sent to the accreditation expert panel and the council.

6. Development of the final version of the accreditation report by the accreditation expert panel

If case of presenting an argumentative position, after familiarization with it or in case an argumentative position is not presented, after expiry of the term envisioned by paragraph 5 of this Article, accreditation expert panel draws up final version of the report and presents it to the Center.
Report describes the validity of the data presented in self-evaluation report and its compliance with accreditation standards.
Report is approved by individual administrative-legal act of the Center.

7. A hearing on accreditation issues and decision-making by the council

The Council makes decision on accreditation based on examination of accreditation application, accreditation expert panel report, and argumentative position on draft report of the accreditation expert panel provided by the institution and a hearing.
Council meeting is organized by the chair of the Council or the Director of the Center.
The HEI is notified about the hearing at least 7 calendar days prior to holding the hearing. The HEI participating in administrative proceedings is entitled to participate in the hearing.
The meeting is chaired by the Council chair, in case of his/her absence - by the deputy chair. If Council secretary cannot fulfill his/her obligations, then his/her functions are fulfilled by a Council member by the decision of the Council chair.
Council meeting is authorized if it is attended by more than half of the listed Council members.
The Council meeting is public. The chair of the Council is entitled to declare meeting as closed in cases envisaged by the law.
Representatives of the Center, accreditation seeker institution and also the members of expert panel are entitled to participate in the hearing.
Other experts from relevant fields, members of professional organization, field experts, or other persons may be invited to the hearing by the decision of the Council.
During the hearing the chair is required to investigate issues which are of essential importance to the case.
An interested party is entitled to make a motion related to investigation of the circumstances, which are important to the case. Documents of accreditation seeker institution which were drawn up after accreditation site visit are not taken into consideration when making a decision at the hearing. 
Council makes decision by no less than 3/4-of the members attending the meeting. 

The Council makes one of the following decisions: 

a) About Accreditation
b) About conditional accreditation
c) About refusal of accreditation
d) About withdrawal of accreditation
The term of first accreditation of an educational programme (except for the educational program, which has been continuously implemented by institution in authorized regime for at least last 2 years) is 4 years.
The term of each consequent accreditation of an accredited educational programme, as well as the first accreditation term of the educational program which has been continuously implemented by the institution in an authorized status for at least last 2 years, is 7 years.
Conditional accreditation term is not more than 2 years. Decision on conditional accreditation cannot be made twice in a row.
The minutes of the council session are officially documented within 10 working days following the Council session with signatures of the council chair and secretary.

8. Publication of a substantiated decision and accreditation report by the Center

The decision of the council and the accreditation expert panel report are published on the official website of the Center.

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