Accreditation is a concept of self-regulation which focuses on self-study and evaluation and on the continuing improvement of educational quality. It is both a process and a result.
As a process, it is a form of peer review in which an association of schools and colleges establishes sets of criteria and procedures to encourage high maintenance of standards of education among its affiliate members.
As a result, it is a form of certification granted by a recognized and authorized accrediting agency to an educational program or to an educational institution as possessing certain standards of quality which are over and above those prescribed as minimum requirements for government recognition. Accreditation is based upon an analysis of the merits of educational operations in the context of the institution's philosophy and objectives.
Membership to PACUCOA is open to all schools that are able to meet the standards and requirements of the agency.
Basic Principles of Accreditation
- Accreditation is based on accepted standards. Each school seeking accreditation will be surveyed and evaluated in terms of the appropriateness and adequacy of its philosophy and objectives and in terms of the degree and competence with which it achieves its goals.
- Accreditation is concerned with the teacher-learner relationship.
- Accreditation provides opportunities for institutional growth through self-study and evaluation and self-regulation.
- Accreditation admits periodic review, criticism and readjustment of its criteria, policies and procedures to changes in education.
Characteristics of Accreditation
- its prevailing sense of volunteerism;
- its emphasis on empowerment of people to accomplish the business of the school/program in an excellent manner;
- its strong tradition of self-regulation;
- its reliance on comprehensive evaluative techniques,
- its primary concern and passion for quality assurance and continuous improvement;
- its cultivation of a culture founded on organized orderliness, and adherence to greater efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.
Requirements for Accreditation
To be accredited by an authorized accrediting agency, an educational institution must demonstrate that it satisfies the following requirements:
- it has formally adopted an appropriate vision and mission;
- it offers educational programs (or curricula) consistent with its vision and mission;
- it has a viable number of students actively pursuing courses at the time of evaluation;
- it has a charter or legitimate authority to award certificates, diplomas or degrees to each person who has successfully complied with the requirements of an educational program;
- it has formally designated a chief executive officer or has formally organized and staffed a chief executive office;
- it has a duly constituted governing board
- it has documented its funding base, financial resources and plans for financial development, adequate to carry out its stated purposes;
- it has financial statements that are externally audited on a regular schedule by a certified public accountant or agency;
- it makes freely available to all interested persons accurate, fair, and substantially complete description of its program, activities and procedures; and
- it has graduated at least three batches before the evaluation for accredited status.
Legal Bases of Accreditation in the Philippines
In 1970, the Presidential Commission to Survey Philippine Education (PCSPE) submitted policy recommendations to improve and strengthen higher education.
Among others, it recommended that schools be encouraged to join or organize accrediting associations, and that a Federation of Accrediting Agencies (FAAP) be established.
The Commission Report better known as the Integrated Reorganization Plan (IRP), was approved by President Marcos in his PD 201 and subsequently issued Presidential Decree 6-A, otherwise known as the Educational Development Act of 1972, making accreditation one of the means of upgrading standards of education in the Philippines and providing therein a program of financial assistance.
Laws and regulations have been issued to articulate the government’s policy on accreditation. BATAS PAMBANSA 232;R.A. 7722, Creating the Commission on Higher Education (CHED): DepEd Order 32, s 2005; CHED Order 1, s 2005 and the 2008 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, have stipulated voluntary accreditation as means of ensuring quality education.