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Flanders rolled out a more integrated external quality assurance system, comprising an institutional review, a review trail focused on the control of the quality assurance of programmes, and accreditation of a well-defined group of programmes.

Up until 2021, the programmes provided by the university colleges and universities will be exempt from programme assessments and accreditations. This exception does not apply to the following programmes that are subject to additional external assessment and accreditation:

  • the programmes provided by institutions that have been exempted from the institutional review: the registered institutions, the institutions for public benefit providing post-graduate programmes, conducting research or providing scientific or academic services, and the recognised faculties of protestant theology;
  • the programmes whose accreditation has been limited in validity because the programme or one of its modes of study did not meet all the generic quality standards (i.e., the programmes going through an improvement period);
  • the joint programmes that are deemed accredited on the basis of the selection in accordance with the stipulations of a European funding scheme.

Existing programmes or modes of study may also apply for assessment on distinctive quality features

Following completion of the institutional reviews, the system will undergo a thorough evaluation. In 2018, this will determine the set-up of the higher education quality assurance and accreditation system to take effect in 2020.

Assessment panel

Higher education institutes may engage a quality assurance agency for their external assessment. VLUHR-KZ [quality assurance cell of the Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges] convenes the assessment panels to assess programmes provided by statutory registered institutions. NVAO advises VLUHR-KZ regarding the composition of such panels.


The main documents are presented on the right side of this page.

Submitting applications

Applications shall be submitted in accordance with the procedural requirements as set down in the Regulations Regarding Procedural Requirements (see section on related matters):

  • no later than 4 months prior to expiry of the validity of the current accreditation or recognition as a new programme / temporary recognition;
  • via email address (max. 30 Mb) (no paper dossier / for compiling dossier – see box, par. 2.6.2 "Verifiable facts"- link to VLUHR website will suffice).

Your application will be processed after receipt of payment. NVAO may send you a request for payment (please indicate so with your application). Please transfer the amount due, stating the name, degree, and qualification of the new programme, to:
Bank: KBC Bank
Account no.: 733-0292973-63
IBAN: BE40 7330 2929 7363
In the name of: NVAO, Parkstraat 28, 2514 JK The Hague, the Netherlands


The 2018 rate for programme accreditations by NVAO will be EUR 500. There will be no charge for the assessment of a distinctive quality feature as part of the regular assessment. Separate assessments of distinctive quality features will be charged at a cost-covering rate.

Other rates apply in the event of non-standard procedures. If NVAO declares the application inadmissible, the amount paid will be refunded.

More information

Contact: Nancy Van San, team leader or Pieter Caris, policy advisor