The Dutch and Flemish accreditation systems stem from the agreements reached among the European Ministers of Education to establish a European Higher Education Area (EHEA). In the European regions concerned, they agreed to establish a Bachelor’s/Master’s degree structure in higher education and to introduce an independent accreditation system.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Flemish Community of Belgium signed a Treaty on 3 September 2003 concerning the accreditation of Dutch and Flemish higher education programmes in order to establish a common accreditation organisation.
As of 1 February 2005, the independent Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) became an international body established by treaty that has the status of a legal entity under Dutch public law. The tasks and work method of NVAO in the Netherlands and in Flanders are set down in legislation. In the Netherlands, the tasks of NVAO are based on the "Higher Education and Research Act" (Wet Hoger Onderwijs en Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, WHW), in Flanders, the operation of NVAO is established by the "Decree on Higher Education" of 4 April 2003.
The main documents are presented on the right side of this page.