INQAAHE Review Reports

Review of CNA

The National Accreditation Council (Consejo Nacional de Acreditación, CNA) of Colombia has asked to be reviewed simultaneously by INQAAHE (International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education) and RIACES (Red Iberoamericana de Agencias de Calidad en la Educación Superior, Iberian-American Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education) on the basis of its compliance with the Guidelines of Good Practice adopted by these networks.

The evaluation was entrusted to an international panel of four highly qualified experts – two of them appointed by INQAHEE and the other two by RIACES, two of them from Latin America and the other two from Europe. The Panel has used as reference the Guidelines of Good Practices in Quality Assurance drawn up by INQAAHE and also accepted by RIACES for the evaluation of the CNA’s status, strategies and activities.

After reviewing the extensive self-evaluation report prepared by the CNA the Panel visited the Agency’s headquarters in Bogota from 30 January to 2 February 2012 and held a series of interviews with persons belonging to the main groups of stakeholders of the Agency: the members of the Council; the staff of its Academic and Technical Secretariat; representatives of the Ministry of National Education of Colombia (with the personal participation of the Minister of Education and the Vice-Minister for Higher Education); a group of evaluators ( “academic peers”); representatives of various national professional councils that were all, at the same time, involved with universities in the corresponding academic disciplines; and delegations of the Rectors, Heads of internal quality assurance systems, Academic Vice-Rectors and students of the public and private universities (and some other Higher Education Institutions – HEIs) that make up the “National Accreditation System” (Sistema Nacional de Acreditación, SNA). 

The Panel came to the conclusion that the CNA of Colombia was adhering to all the Guidelines of Good practice of INQAAHE, which are also accepted by RIACES.  The compliance with these Guidelines was found to be complete for 9 of the 12 Guidelines and substantial for the remainder 3. On top of reviewing CNA’s compliance with these Guidelines, the Panel prepared for the Agency a number of suggestions for improvement, with the intention to support the Agency’s efforts aimed at enhancing its impact and credibility in the national, Latin American and global context.

Review of SINAES

The Sistema Nacional de Accreditacion de la Education Superior (SINAES) from Costa Rica requested that INQAAHE conduct an “adherence review” of the agency.  This review, conducted by a team of three highly experienced international and independent evaluators, measured the policies and practices of SINAES against INQAAHE’s “Guidelines of Good Practice in Quality Assurance.”

The team visited the SINAES offices from the 22nd to 24th March 2010, conducting there and elsewhere in San Jose a series of interviews with the National Accreditation Council, the SINAES Executive Director and staff, the Minister of Education, the rectors of adhering private universities, the quality managers from a variety of public and private universities, an impressive number of representatives from organizations and government agencies that collaborate with SINAES, national peers, and students.  These scheduled interviews together with the substantial amount of information and analysis provided by SINAES in its self-study documents and annexes allowed the team to conduct a thorough and impartial review.

The team determined that SINAES met fully ten of the INQAAHE Guidelines and it provided several commendations for how carefully SINAES had structured the agency and its accreditation programs to meet and, in some cases, exceed the international good practices. The team determined that SINAES substantially met the two other INQAAHE requirements, one that called for a formal appeal process involving people not involved in the contested decision and the other that called for policies and procedures related to transnational/cross border education. In both situations, the team noted that in practice, if not in policy, SINAES was meeting the spirit of the Guideline if not exactly meeting the letter of it.

The team has concluded that by meeting fully or substantially all of the INQAAHE Guidelines, SINAES is well positioned to maintain its excellence and credibility in the future.
The INQAAHE review report of SINAES can be downloaded below.