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Accreditation (programme assessment)

The existing programmes of Dutch colleges and universities are accredited via visitation groups. Herefore every year 1 May and 1 November are used as fixed deadlines for accreditation requests.

NVAO's assessment takes place via a "limited accreditation" or "extended accreditation" (see Frameworks/documents). If the institution has applied for the institutional audit, the programmes are assessed through "limited accreditation".

At the accreditation of a programme from a university of applied sciences, NVAO checks also if the used degree fits with the content of the programme and matches the usual titles (WHW, article 5a.2, paragraph 2a, b).


For the (limited and extensive) programme assessment the institution shall inform the visitation panel together, designates a by NVAO trained Secretary and submit the composition of the panel prior to the visitation to NVAO for approval. The institution may hire an quality assessment agency for this work. The Chair has followed a NVAO-training.

New assessment framework

The new Assessment Framework for the Higher Education Accreditation System of the Netherlands 2016 (see Frameworks/documents) has been in force since 1 January 2017. There is a transitional arrangement.


The accreditation term for a programme assessment takes up to six years. The NVAO may decide to issue a positive decision "under conditions" of up to two years.

The NVAO covers the programme assessment within three months. Upon receipt of the draft decision by the NVAO, the institution may appeal (see below).


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

Submitting applications

  • for programmes in visitation groups fixed deadlines are used for accreditation requests: 1 May and 1 November each year
  • via email address (max. 30 Mb)
  • + by email 2 copies of the application dossier


In 2018 NVAO rates 800 euros for a programme assessment (accreditation) (ditto after accreditation for limited duration). 

Different rates apply to different procedures. The cost for foreign visits or the use of external experts, advice or additional requirements are additional invoiced. There is a rest rate if the request for a new institutional audit is hereby repealed.

More information

NVAO Communication the Netherlands