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Accreditation in Denmark

The accreditation system helps create a more coherent and transparent education market in Denmark for the benefit of students, the labour market and education institutions.
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The Danish accreditation system includes universities, university colleges and academies of professional higher education as well as art and maritime education institutions. As a part of the Bologna Process, the system was established in 2007 to enhance education institutions’ efforts to develop programmes of an ever-increasing academic quality and relevance.

With the Accreditation Act of 2013, the system gradually switched from accreditation of individual programmes to accreditation of entire education institutions. During a transitional period, there will continue to be accreditations of existing and new programmes offered by education institutions which have not yet obtained a positive institutional accreditation.

How accreditation is carried out

Based on an accreditation report by the Accreditation Institution, the Accreditation Council makes a decision regarding accreditation. The report gathers the accreditation panel’s assessments on the basis of statutory criteria for institutional accreditation and programme accreditation, respectively. Prior to this, the report has been sent to the educational institution for consultation.

The overall accreditation process has four stages:

Recruitment and training of accreditation panels
For every accreditation process, the Danish Accreditation Institution will appoint an accreditation panel to assess the quality assurance of the institution or programme. The recruitment process follows established procedures where we look to our internal expert database and suggestions from the individual institution. In some cases, other Scandinavian accreditation agencies or other relevant organizations are consulted.

For institutional accreditations the members of the panel are appointed to ensure that they collectively cover the competences listed below:

  • Experience with management and quality assurance responsibilities
  • International experience
  • Evaluation experience
  • Knowledge of the education sector and the education system
  • Knowledge of relevant labour market conditions
  • Student perspectives

The size of the individual panel ranges from 4 to 6 panel members depending on how the overall pool of competences can be covered by the specific experts in the specific situation, and on the size and nature of the institution.

For programme accreditations the accreditation panels range from 3 to 4 members that collectively have experience with quality assurance and in-depth professional knowledge of specific education’s subject field. The actual composition of the accreditation panel depends on whether the process is regarding an existing or new programme.

In all accrediation processes, the composition of the panel will be forwarded to the individual institution for hearing. Once the accreditation panel is formed and approved we will train the members in carrying out the accreditation task and provide secretariat services for the panel throughout the process.

Read more about the process, criteria and decisions for institutional accreditation, accreditation of existing programmes and accreditation of new programmes on the pages below and under ‘Guides’.

Students' role in accreditation

Students are involved in accreditation in a number of different ways:

  • In the Accreditation Council: The students have two representatives among the nine members of the Accreditation Council who make all decisions regarding accreditation.
  • In the accreditation panels: When a programme or an education institution is to be accredited, we set up a panel of experts to perform the accreditation process. A student is always part of the panel.
  • Site-visits: When accrediting an existing programme or an education institution, the accreditation panel always visits the institution to interview management, teachers, quality-assurance employees, potential employers of graduates and other relevant stakeholders. Moreover, the panel always interviews the students at the institution about their experiences with quality assurance.

Read more about the ambitions for student involvement in accreditation