Accreditation is a process of according recognition to a tertiary educational institution for meeting satisfactory standards in performance, integrity and quality. A tertiary educational institution is normally made up of teaching staff and students, administrators, non-teaching academic and non-academic support staff. For any tertiary institution to be able to perform its core functions, it must have, among other things, a well-equipped and stocked library, adequate number of classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories/studios, workshops with the requisite equipment and adequate and reliable source(s) of funding.

The National Accreditation Board (NAB) was established by the National Accreditation Board Law, 1993 (PNDCL 317) to be responsible for the accreditation of both public and private tertiary institutions, with regard to the contents and standards of their programmes. This Law has since been replaced by Act 744 (2007) enacted by the Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

NAB categorises tertiary institutions into the following and applicants for the operation of tertiary institution should be guided by the definitions in choosing names for their institutions:

University:

An educational institution designed for advanced instruction and research in several branches of learning, conferring degrees in various faculties, and often embodying c colleges, schools, institutions, etc. Its status is attained either by an Act of Parliament or by a Presidential Charter granted by the President of the Republic.

University College:

An institution of higher learning that is affiliated to a chartered university and that offers instructions supervised by the University to which it is affiliated and whose degrees/diplomas/certificates are awarded by the chartered university. For the avoidance of doubt, the chartered university must be certified by NAB as having the expertise to supervise the programmes of the mentored university college. A university college must have not less than three (3) Faculties with each having at least two (2) departments. However, two faculties would suffice if one of them is natural science or engineering-based.

Polytechnic:

An institution of higher or further education in which courses in a large range of programmes, especially, of a technical or vocational nature are available.

College:

An establishment for further or higher education in the humanities/sciences or professional studies. The college may be part of a university e.g. Business college; college of music; navel college.

School:

An educational institution devoted to a special branch of higher education, e.g. School of Education, School of Economics, School of Medicine, and School of Law. It may be a component part of a university.

Institute:

An establishment offering advanced courses (up to the degree level) in the professions, arts, science and technology and may be part of a university.

Academy:

A place of study or training in a special field, e.g., Military Academy, Academy of Dance, Maritime Academy.

Tutorial College:

An institution which prepares students to take the examinations of a university or a recognized professional body.

Distance Learning Centere:

It is an arrangement where providers deliver courses/programmes to students in different countries through distance and on-line modes. It may include some face to face support for students through domestic study or support centers.

A tertiary institution is therefore expected to provide advanced academic and/or professional instruction and conduct research in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and career-focused programmes. The main objective of a tertiary institution is to train people to be capable of critical thinking, acquire knowledge and skills and also to be able to undertake research that will be beneficial for the development of the community and/or to advance the frontiers of knowledge.

The PNDC law 317 was operationalised by the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) 1700 dated 2002 that specifies regulations pertaining to:
  1. the procedure for the conduct of accreditation exercise;
  2. the type of accreditation to be granted to institutions;
    1. Authorisation
    2. Accreditation (both institutional and programme
  3. Responsibilities of Affiliation
  4. The procedure for the granting of Presidential Charter;
    1. Application from an accredited institution
    2. The applicant institution should have operated under supervision of recognised institutions for a minimum of four (4) years
    3. NAB should obtain an appraisal from the supervisory institution
    4. NAB should undertake comprehensive assessment to assure itself that the applicant. institution is well prepared for autonomy.
    5. Appropriate recommendations to be made by NAB to the President of Ghana through the Minister of Education.

Applicable fees to be charged for services rendered by and on behalf of the Board shall be on the basis of cost recovery.

Authorisation Authorisation entitles an applicant to take the following steps towards establishing an institution:
  1. To set up a governing body for the institution.
  2. Commence or continue with the mobilisation of financial resources needed.
  3. Commence or continue the development of physical facilities.
  4. Commence or continue assembling academic facilities.
  5. Authorization does not allow the applicant to advertise for or admit students.
  6. Authorization does not mean that the grant of any other applications will be automatic.
  7. Authorization is granted for a specified period within which the institution is expected to have progressed to accreditation.
  8. Authorization is not transferable.
  9. Authorization may be suspended or revoked if abused.

It is in pursuance of the functions assigned to NAB that this questionnaire has been designed to elicit the requisite information for the conduct of an exercise leading to the grant of Authorisation to your institution.

  1. A letter of application to the National Accreditation Board (NAB).
  2. Responses from NAB, including definition of the various categories of tertiary educational institutions, within two weeks of receipt of application.
  3. Choice of name of institution based on 2 above shall be in consultation with NAB.
  4. Registration of the institution at the Registrar General’s Department.
  5. Purchase, completion and submission of Authorization Questionnaire (NAB/INFO A.1).
  6. Payment of an appropriate fee.
  7. Institutional visit by the relevant NAB Committee where facilities are in place, within 30 days after receipt of payment.
  8. Decision by the NAB.
  9. Communication of decision within 30 days of Institutional Visits.
  10. Application for review, if any, within 21 days of communication.
  11. Communication of Board’s decision on the review application within 14 days after the next immediate Accreditation Committee meeting.
  12. Where necessary, appeal to Minister responsible for Education as specified in the LI within 30 days.

Affiliation is a relationship agreement between a newly-established tertiary institution/prospective tertiary institution (i.e. mentored institution) and a nationally recognized chartered tertiary institution (i.e. the mentoring institution). The relationship so established is to ensure that the mentoring institution provides academic support and supervision to the mentored institution for the introduction and running of programmes which the mentoring institution has demonstrable competence to supervise. Graduands of such programmes shall continue to receive certificates from the mentoring institution until the mentored institution is deemed to be mature enough to award its own certificates/degrees following the grant of a Presidential Charter. Accreditation shall not be granted until proof of affiliation is established.

  1. The mentoring institution shall be accredited by a nationally-recognised authority in the home country.
  2. The mentoring institution shall have a Faculty/Department with the requisite material and human resources to supervise the programme.
  3. There shall be at least one member of staff not below the rank of Senior Lecturer in the Mentoring Faculty/Department who possesses relevant qualification in the area of the programme to be supervised.
  4. The mentoring institution shall ensure that the entry requirements of the mentored institution are in conformity with the approved minimum national requirements.
  5. The mentoring institution shall be primarily responsible for the proper conduct of regulation of examinations in the mentored institution.
  6. The appointment of External Examiners for the programme(s) of the mentored institution shall be approved by the mentoring institution.
  7. Only person s of sufficient seniority and experience to be able to command authority will be appointed as external examiners. An External Examiner must possess specialist knowledge and expertise in the subject. Where a course leads to a professional award, at least one appropriately experienced practitioner nominated by the authorized professional body should be included among the examiners.
  8. Both the mentoring institution and the mentored institution shall submit to the NAB annually a completed questionnaire indicating the status of the affiliation.
  9. The mentoring institution shall submit to the NAB an annual report including the programmes(s) designed for supervising the mentored institution and a performance appraisal.
  10. NAB shall refer the annual report from the mentoring institution to the mentored institution for their comments.
  1. The accredited institution shall submit an application to NAB with a copy to the mentoring institution using the appropriate NAB questionnaire.
  2. The applicant institution shall have operated under the supervision of a mentoring institution for a minimum period of ten (10) years.
  3. The applicant institution shall request the mentoring institution to submit a comprehensive appraisal directly to NAB.
  4. A joint Committee of the Board, made up of the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) and the Accreditation Committee (AC), shall undertake a preliminary evaluation of the application based on the following:
    1. Special reports on Governance and Management.
    2. Comprehensive Audit Report.
    3. Annual Reports.
    4. A comprehensive appraisal report from the mentoring institution.
  5. Following the review of the above reports, the Joint Committee of the Board shall determine whether the application consideration process should continue or otherwise.
  6. Following a favourable recommendation the Joint Committee shall authorize a comprehensive assessment within 180 days to assure itself that the applicant institution was well prepared for autonomy.
  7. The Joint Committee shall make a recommendation to the Board within a period of 30 days.
  8. The Joint Committee shall make a recommendation to the Board within a period of 30 days.
  9. NAB shall make appropriate recommendations to the President of the Republic of Ghana through the Minster of Education for the grant of a Charter or otherwise immediately after the Board meeting.
  10. Decision by the President.
  11. Presentation (Charter Certificate – when granted).
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