Accreditation is a process of 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 library, an adequate number of classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories/studios, workshops with the requisite equipment and adequate and reliable sources 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 This Law has since been replaced by Act 744 (2007) enacted by the Parliament of the fourth Republic.

Tertiary institutions should be guided by the definitions provided below in choosing their names:


An educational institution designed for advanced instruction and research in several branches of learning, conferring degrees in various faculties, and often embodying 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.


A tertiary educational institution in which courses in a large range of programmes, are of a technical or vocational nature.


An establishment for tertiary education in the Humanities, Sciences or Professional Studies, which grants degrees. The college may be part of a university e.g. Business College, College of Music, Naval College.


An educational institution for instruction in a skill or business, or 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.


An establishment to promote a cause by offering advanced courses and carrying out research in the professions, arts, science and technology. It may be part of a university.


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 Center:

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.

NAB has been operationalised by a Legislative Instrument that specifies regulations pertaining to:

  1. Establishment of a tertiary institution.
  2. Accreditation.
  3. Registration.
  4. Rights and obligations of accredited institutions.

Applicable fees

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

  1. Purchase, completion and submission of Institutional Accreditation Questionnaire (NAB/INFO A.2)
  2. Provide proof of affiliation.
  3. Payment of an appropriate fee.
  4. Institutional visit by the relevant NAB Committee within 30 days after receipt of an application the Board considers complete.
  5. Visit by NAB Experts on physical facilities, library and finance within 30 days after the Committee’s visit.
  6. Communication of NAB’s decision within 90 days of the Committee’s visit.
  7. Application for review if any, within 21 days of communication.
  8. Communication of Board decision on review application within 14 days after the next immediate Board meeting.
  9. Where necessary, appeal to the Minister of Education as specified in the LI within 30 days on receipt of unsatisfactory review decision by the NAB.
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