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Associate degree

The Associate-degree (Ad) is a European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level 5 and is offered and accredited since 1 January 2018 as a stand-alone programme.

Existing Ads can be assessed during the visitation process of the bachelor: NVAO then provides separate decisions for the Ad and for the bachelor.

New Ad-programmes can be assessed in accordance with the procedure for initial accreditation, on the basis of the framework 2016 (see Frameworks/documents). At the same time institutions can submit an application for macro efficieny of higher education to CDHO. The risk of a negative efficiency advice while the NVAO-procedure runs (with the associated cost) remains.


NVAO handles applications for new Ad-programmes within six months and for existing Ad-programmes within three months. Upon receipt of the draft decision by NVAO, the institution may appeal (see below). 


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

Submitting applications

  • via email address (max. 30 Mb)
  • + by email 2 copies of the application dossier (existing Ad)
  • + by email 7 copies of the application dossier (new Ad)


In 2019 the rate for the assessment of an existing Associate-degreeprogramme is 850 euros. For new Associate-degreeprogrammes the rate is 18,700 euros.

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 There is a rest rate if the request for a new institutional audit is hereby repealed.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 Contact: Henri Ponds, policy advisor Department The Netherlands