The Flemish quality assurance system constitutes an integrated system for external quality assurance. The system comprises four key components:
- initial accreditation, the assessment of all higher education programmes that are not yet actually provided;
- programme assessment (leading to accreditation) of a well-defined cluster of programmes provided by universities and university colleges, and of all the programmes provided by other higher education establishments;
- the assessment of the manner in which universities and university colleges safeguard the quality of their programmes (i.e., control the quality assurance of the programmes);
- the institutional review, assessing the quality of the educational policy pursued by a university or university college.
This quality assurance system was rolled out in 2015. It was intended to reinforce the autonomy of the institutions at the fundamental level. It offers the universities and university colleges, in particular, the opportunity of substantiating their responsibility for their own quality policy.