Finding a university that best serves your interest and budget is hard enough without having to worry about accreditation. However, accreditation might be the most important factor when it comes to choosing a university. The related certification received by universities is a verification of the authenticity of the course in question. Understanding these certifications and what they mean can help you in choosing the right university and furthering your career after graduation.
Before we delve into the myriad of accreditations and licenses, here are a few things to know:
DIAC and KV are purpose-built zones in Dubai that provide facilities and infrastructure for higher education. They have attracted institutions from all around the world to provide high-quality international degrees. Other purpose-built areas that include higher education institutions are Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Healthcare City, and Dubai Silicon Oasis.
All institutions in Dubai outside of the Free Zones must be licensed and accredited by the CAA.
The University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB) was established by KHDA to assure the quality of education at higher education institutions in the Free Zones. UQAIB uses a validation model to ensure that the academic programme delivered in Dubai is the same accredited programme taught at the institution’s home campus. All higher education institutions located in Dubai’s Free zones must undergo the UQAIB quality assurance process. UQAIB is a full member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), and abides by the INQAAHE Guidelines for Good Practice and the OECD/UNESCO Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education (2005).
Licensure and Accreditation
- What is Licensure?
Licensure signifies that the institution has a mission appropriate to higher education and possesses the governance structure, by several factors. Licensure applies to the entire institution and all its activities. In order to be licensed, the institution must meet ten standards and their criteria that cover all major institutional activities. Licensure is initially granted for up to five years, after which the institution applies to renew its license, which must be done every five years. A licensed institution is required to identify its status as licensed by the Ministry in all documents and advertising and to comply with the Commission’s requirement for reporting data annually.
- What is accreditation?
An accredited program is offered by a licensed institution and meets the Ministry’s criteria for each of its ten quality assurance standards. These standards are designed to promote high quality institutions and to assure prospective students, their families, employers, and other interested parties that licensed institutions meet standards of quality consistent with current international practice and professional judgment.
Only after being granted licensure can an institution apply for accreditation for an academic program, which must be obtained before the institution may advertise that program and recruit and enroll students.
So, let’s start with the main question out there, how many accreditations are out there and what do they mean?
The first thing we would like to talk about is Academic Authorisation.
What is an Academic Authorisation?
All higher education institutions wishing to operate within the Free Zones are required to obtain an Academic Authorisation from KHDA. Academic Authorisations are issued by the Regulation and Permits Commission (RPC) of KHDA and are for a period of 12 months. An Academic Authorisation constitutes permission to operate as a higher education institute in the Free Zone, subject to terms and conditions specified in the Academic Authorisation.
Benefits of an Academic Authorisation Obtaining an Academic Authorisation is mandatory.
It gives the institute following benefits:
- The right to operate as a provider of higher education within any of Dubai’s Free Zones
- The right to have Academic Qualifications certified (attested) by KHDA.
Now let’s get on to the different types of accreditation, according to the courses.
Verifies that your educational experience meets the global standard for technical education in your profession.
Enhances your employment opportunities—multinational corporations require graduation from an accredited program.
Supports your entry to a technical profession through licensure, registration, and certification—all of which often require graduation from an ABET-accredited program as a minimum qualification.
Establishes your eligibility for many federal student loans, grants, and/or scholarships.
Paves the way for you to work globally, because ABET accreditation is recognized worldwide through international agreements, and many other countries’ national accrediting systems are based on the ABET model.
Certain job’s might ask you for the ABET verification.
The available accreditations are:
Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC)
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJM)
Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC)
Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)
Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC)
National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB):
The NAAB develops and maintains a system of accreditation in professional architecture education that is responsive to the needs of society and allows institutions with varying resources and circumstances to evolve according to their individual needs.
The NAAB Conditions for Accreditation are broadly defined and achievement-oriented so that programs may meet these standards within the framework of their mission and vision, allowing for initiative and innovation. This imposes conditions on both the NAAB and on architectural programs. The process relies on evaluation and judgment that, being rendered on the basis of qualitative factors, may defy precise substantiation. The organization has collateral organizations like:
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is a nonprofit organization made up of the architectural licensing boards of 54 states and territories. While each jurisdiction is responsible for regulating the practice of architecture within its borders, NCARB develops and administers national programs for licensure candidates and architects to ensure they have the mobility to go wherever their career takes them.
Whether you’re newly licensed or have been practicing for years, the NCARB Certificate can help expand your professional reach. Along with the flexibility to pursue work in multiple jurisdictions, Certificate holders have access to free continuing education, exciting leadership opportunities, and more.
Having an NCARB Certificate gives you the flexibility to apply for reciprocal licensure in all 54 U.S. jurisdictions. The Certificate can also be used to support registration in Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand
International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
There are several significant benefits of IACBE accreditation for institutions of higher education throughout the world. These are:
- Evidence of Quality
Through its accreditation process, the IACBE provides external validation and confirmation of quality in an institution’s business programs, and ensures that its academic business unit exhibits the characteristics of excellence in business education. Both graduates and their employers benefit from this external quality assurance.
- Public Accountability
The demand for public accountability in higher education is increasing rapidly. Specialized accreditation by the IACBE provides external accountability for the quality of an institution’s business programs.
International Partnership Opportunities
The IACBE provides opportunities to partner and engage in student/faculty exchanges with IACBE member schools around the world.
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).
Once a candidate indicates they’ve earned a business degree (whether at the undergraduate or graduate level), your next step should be to verify that degree was granted by an AACSB-accredited institution.
AACSB-accredited schools have earned their distinction by participating in a rigorous quality improvement process, ensuring they
Deliver on their mission and education promise
Maintain the highest-quality faculty
Offer a relevant, evolving, and challenging curriculum
Provide educational and career opportunities not found at any other business schools
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
ACS WASC accreditation is a school improvement process and therefore is a process that serves as the foundation for quality education. An accredited school is a statement to the broader community and the stakeholders that it is trustworthy institution for student learning and committed to ongoing improvement.
The public is assured that accredited institutions are evaluated extensively and conform to expectations of performance and quality. Students can be assured that the educational quality of programs and services offered by the WASC accredited institution are current, reflect high standards of quality, and are offered with integrity.
Students can be assured that the institutions in which they seek to enroll have been reviewed and the educational programs that are offered have been evaluated for quality.
Educational institutions benefit from the stimulus for self-study and self-improvement provided by the accreditation process.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges (COC)
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in a number of American states and other international sites approved by the Commission that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. The Commission also grants accreditation to other international institutions of higher education.
When accreditation is awarded to an institution of higher education by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, it means that the institution has
(1) a mission appropriate to higher education,
(2) resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain its mission,
(3) clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that it is
(4) successful in assessing its achievement of these objectives and demonstrating improvements. Accreditation by SACSCOC is a statement of the institution’s continuing commitment to integrity and its capacity to provide effective programs and services based on agreed-upon accreditation standards.
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
The process of accreditation requires a rigorous self-examination. Each unit measures its performance against its own mission and goals and against the nine accrediting standards. Once the self-study is completed, the unit undergoes external evaluation, first by a site-visit team composed of peers and practitioners, then by the Accrediting Committee. The full Accrediting Council makes final decisions on accreditation status.
Each unit that applies for accreditation is measured on its own performance. It is not compared with other units, nor are units ranked. ACEJMC encourages research and innovation. The thorough and detailed process of accreditation typically results in progress and improvement by each program. Seen from various perspectives, the value of accreditation becomes even more clear.
- Students and prospective students
Accreditation is an assurance of quality in professional education in journalism and mass communications. Students in an accredited program can expect to find a challenging curriculum, appropriate resources and facilities, and a competent faculty. Accredited programs may offer scholarships, internships, competitive prizes, and other activities unavailable in non-accredited programs.
College and university administrators
Accreditation provides external validation to university administrators that a program on their campus is recognized by national academic and professional organizations. Many administrators believe that accreditation confers prestige, which aids in fund-raising.
- Accredited programs
Measuring the educational merit and relevance of the program typically brings improvements, both through the internal examination by the staff and administrators and through the insights of external evaluators. More-over, accreditation enhances the stature and reputation of a program.
- Media and mass communications professionals
Practitioners seeking to hire entry-level or more experienced candidates know that accredited programs prepare students with a solid professional education and a firm grounding in the liberal arts and sciences.
Governmental and public agencies
Accredited status is an important criterion in the evaluation by government agencies of proposals to fund scholarships and research.
International Advertising Association (IAA)
The International Advertising Association’s (IAA) mission is to accredit formal education programs that prepare students for the global commercial communications industry.
The IAA accreditation program has a twenty-year record of accomplishment. Presently, 44 leading universities, colleges, and professional schools located throughout the world hold IAA course accreditation. It is the course, not the university, college or tertiary institution that is accredited. Each accredited course is individually assessed and scored through a rigorous, benchmarked IAA Education Council process. Ensuring an internationally recognized quality of formal content and teaching required by the global communications industry for its students and future young professionals.
- Benefits of IAA Course Accreditation:
International industry recognition of quality of course content
Listing of institution and course on IAA Global website
Exclusive educational resources for classroom use
Networking and interaction with global industry professionals
Potential internship program opportunities
The IAA Certificate of Completion awarded to approved graduates
Profiling of accredited Academic Experts and their areas of relevant research
Local IAA Chapter support promoting industry/academic engagement and collaboration
IAA Young Professional support and mentorship opportunities for students
Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA),
The work of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is intrinsically linked to the interior design profession’s future through the value it provides in assuring students of a quality education.
Setting Standards: CIDA’s superior educational standards provide the foundation upon which students will acquire the knowledge necessary to inform and inspire the profession to continued growth throughout the 21st century.
Evaluating and Accrediting Programs: CIDA’s thorough and careful review of interior design programs’ compliance with standards ensures that graduates will be prepared for entry-level practice and poised for future professional growth, a significant competitive advantage considered by potential employers.
Facilitating Outreach and Collaboration: CIDA’s unique involvement with both interior design education and the practice of the profession allows it to facilitate the mutual exchange of information between the two segments. This provides continual momentum on behalf of educators and the profession, strengthening the bonds of professional community where each is a collaborative partner in the advancement of the field.
Enrolling in a CIDA-accredited interior design program means you can be confident that the program meets standards recognized by the profession and fulfils educational requirements necessary for your entry into the profession upon graduation. An accredited program has voluntarily placed itself before the scrutiny of the profession – investing time, energy, and money – to ensure that the education you receive will not only serve you during your time at school, but also position you for future professional growth.
CPD for Medical Education
Continuing Professional Development (CPD): It is the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge, experience and skills, and the development of personal qualities helpful in the execution of professional duties throughout a career. It has been referred in the past as Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Nursing Education (CNE), Continuing Midwifery Education (CME), Continuing Professional Education (CPE) or Continuing Education (CE).