Accreditation FAQs

What Is The Meaning Of Accreditation?


Accreditation is a quality assurance review process that requires an institution to demonstrate their compliance to the accreditation criteria and standards established by The National Accreditation & Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB) and peers from others recognized quality assurance bodies, networks, and agencies. Applying for Accreditation Candidacy is the required route towards accreditation of new and/or developing registered institution that offers educational programmes in the commonwealth of The Bahamas. Only those institutions that have initially submitted an application for registration with NAECOB and were approved are eligible to now start the application process for accreditation candidacy. After initial accreditation is achieved, the institution must be continuously dedicated to upholding educational standards, best practices, and benchmarks, to remain credible and reputable in the education industry.




What Is The Difference Between Accreditation, Registration, And Recognition?


The terms ‘Registration’, ‘Accreditation’, and ‘Recognition’ are often [and incorrectly] used interchangeable at times, however, they differ in the following ways: Registration – “Registration” certifies that a local institution/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in The Bahamas has met the criteria for the provision of such services stated in the Education Act. The criteria for registration are designed to provide registered institutions with a foundation for logical development towards accreditation. Please review more information here: https://www.naecob.org/registration Accreditation – “Accreditation” is a means for systematizing, evaluating and maintaining academic standards for integrity and educational quality. Accreditation is a multitier quality assurance process that evaluates and certifies the credibility, quality, and relevance of a particular service(s), educational programme(s), product(s) and/or activity (ies) provided by locally registered institutions to the general public. Please review more information here: https://www.naecob.org/accreditation Recognition – “Recognition” is a quality assurance review process for Non-Bahamian Post-Secondary Institutions that already hold [full] accreditation status from international or regional accreditation bodies [recognized by The Bahamas] and seek to offer their academic programmes in The Bahamas. Please review more information here: https://www.naecob.org/recognition




What Is The Difference Between Institutional Accreditation And Programme Accreditation?


Institutional Accreditation – This is the quality assurance review process of the applicant institution’s organizational resources, processes and procedures in its entirety to determine its readiness and credibility in the field of education. Programme Accreditation – This is the quality assurance review process of the applicant institution’s academic programme offerings only, to determine its relevancy, readiness and credibility in their jurisdiction. Please note, however, that this evaluation process does not only involve a review of academic programme by themselves but will require the submission and assessment of other relevant documents as outlined in the Standards for Programme Accreditation.




What Are The Criteria For Institutional Accreditation?


  • Institution must already be registered with NAECOB.
  • The institution should have the legal authorization by the respective licensing agency in their jurisdiction to operate; they must be in operation for at least one (1) year.
  • The institution must have been under the same ownership, at the same location (main campus) for at least one year of continuous operation.
  • The institution must offer Post-Secondary education programmes where the student will graduate with at least an Associate Degree in an economically viable discipline.
  • The institution must have fair admissions policies and procedures that are aligned with best practices and benchmarks in higher education.
  • The Institution should have completed at least one graduation exercise from a cohort with the longest offered programme major at the time of application.
  • The institution should have at least twenty-five (25%) of the student population attending in full-time (FT) status; related documents with this data must be submitted.
  • The institution must have full time (FT) on-site administrative and support staff in the respective department/unit with the requisite qualifications and experience. They must have been employed with the institution for at least six (6) months prior to submitting an application.
  • The institution must have sufficient qualified and experienced faculty assigned accordingly to support the delivery of educational programmes.
  • The institution must have the appropriate administrative systems, technologies, processes, and capabilities in support of the educational programmes offered.
  • The institution must have the necessary learning resources in support of instructional staff, administrative staff, students and other related stakeholders in the teaching and learning environment.
  • The institution must have the physical space and demonstrate efficient management of their facilities in support of the teaching and learning environment.
  • The institution must have the necessary student services in place to support educational programmes and co-curricular activities of its student population.
  • The institution must have sufficient financial resources in support of its academic and administrative operations. Externally audited financial statements of at least one-year must be submitted.
  • The institution must have a clearly defined structure of governance which is the final authority with respect to the formulation and implementation of basic policies that govern the institution.
  • The institution must have a developed strategic plan for the continued educational, physical, and financial growth of the institution; the plan should map at least three (3) years of activities.
  • The institution must be able to submit an annual report demonstrating at least one year of operation data and outcomes.
  • The institution must agree to comply with all requirements of The National Accreditation & Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB).




What Are The Criteria For Programme Accreditation?


  • The institution must have authorization from the governing body or relevant authority has been granted to offer the programme.
  • The programme is consistent with the institutions stated mission and educational goals.
  • The institution has a system for internal programme approval, review, and monitoring.
  • There is a detailed programme specification developed.
  • The institutions resources adequately support its education programme offering.




What Is The Accreditation Process


  • Registered Institution submits 'LOI Package' (i.e. Letter Of Intent, Report of Eligibility, Ownership Disclosure Form, and Copy of the Institution’s Business License).
  • Institution receives communication from NAECOB acknowledging submission; Institution acknowledges receipt of communication and information involving next steps.
  • On review of the Report of Eligibility, an Advisory Visit will be requested to validate the contents of the report. There after the institution will be advised on whether to begin the formal ‘Application for Accreditation Candidacy' Process.
  • The Institution is invited to begin ‘Application for Accreditation Candidacy' Process.
  • The Institution's Accreditation Liaison Officer attends NAECOB's Accreditation Candidacy Workshops.
  • The Institution submits completed 'Application for Accreditation Candidacy Form' along with the Accreditation Readiness Report and other accompanying documents.
  • A decision is made on the Applicant Institution’s submission as to whether Accreditation Candidacy Status has been granted, denied, or deferred by NAECOB.
  • Candidate Institution’s Accreditation Liaison Officer attends NAECOB’s ‘Self-Study Report’ workshops.
  • Candidate Institution submits updated Accreditation Readiness Report(s) on a date determined by NAECOB.
  • Candidate Progress Visits by NAECOB Committee are scheduled for Candidate Institution on dates determined by NAECOB.
  • Candidate Institution is invited to submit completed ‘Self-Study Report’ along with accompanying documents.
  • An On-Site Visit(s) by peer-review evaluators will be scheduled for the Candidate Institution on a date(s) determined by NAECOB.
  • Candidate Institution On-Site Visitation Report is completed by NAECOB and communicated to the institution.
  • Candidate Institution’s prepares a formal response to the Candidate Institution On-Site Visitation Report, focusing primarily on compliance standards violations and other areas of concern, if any.
  • A decision is made on the Candidate Institution’s submission after the Self-Study Report, the Candidate Institution’s On-Site Team Visitation Report and the Candidate Institution’s Response is reviewed by NAECOB. This decision is communicated to the Institution subsequently after.
  • Via meetings and workshops, the newly Accredited Institution is informed about the expectations, periodic evaluations, visitations, and reports that will be scheduled on dates determined by NAECOB.




What is The Self-Study?


The self-study process is the central part of determining an institution’s eligibility and readiness for accreditation. The institution performs a comprehensive self-introspective review of its related internal and external operations that support its organizational mission and goals. This rigorous self-analysis of programmes, resources, policies, procedures, and services, among other areas of evaluation, will determine its alignment with NAECOB’s guidelines, and on a larger scale its compliance with regional and international standards in Higher Education.




What are On-Site Visits?


On-Site Visits are undertaken by peer-review evaluators and/or NAECOB committee members to assess quality assurance factors that cannot be determined in written form. On-Site Visits are also done to verify and validate the information submitted by the institution.




Who Are Peer-Review Evaluators? How Are They Selected?


Peer Review Evaluators are professionals and practitioners with expertise in institutional and programme assessment criteria. Peer Review Evaluators are volunteers who are typically professors, educational administrators, curriculum development specialist, and education officers from regional and national quality assurance networks, among others. Peer review evaluators objectively review submissions from institutions against The NAECOB ACT and NAECOB’s standards to gage for compliancy.




Where Can I Access The Accreditation Application?


The accreditation application is available for download here: https://www.naecob.org/forms-resources . Please note that there is a separate accreditation application form for Institutional Accreditation vs Programme Accreditation




When Is The ‘Application For Accreditation ‘Cycle Open?





How Long Is The Review Process For ‘Accreditation Application Submissions?


The review time for accreditation application submissions for Post-Secondary Institutions takes a minimum of three (3) years. Please click HERE to view the ‘accreditation application submission review’ diagram.




What Are The Costs Associated With Accreditation?


All the costs associated with the accreditation process can be found in the accreditation manual which can be accessed here: https://www.naecob.org/publications




How Will The Institution Be Notified About The Decision On Their ‘Application For Accreditation’?


A decision is made on the Candidate Institution’s submission after the Self-Study Report, the Candidate Institution’s On-Site Team Visitation Report, and the Candidate Institution’s Response is reviewed and verified by NAECOB. This decision is communicated to the Institution subsequently after in writing




How Long Is The ‘Accreditation Status’ Valid?


Institutions that meet all standards throughout the candidate institution phase will be granted Initial Accreditation for a period of five (5) years before seeking reaffirmation of accreditation.




What Are The Requirements For An Accredited Institution To Maintain Its Status?


Accredited institution must also submit a comprehensive annual report outlining evidence-based data and information concerning programme and institutional data, organizational activities, and financial performance from the preceding year. This report is due JUNE of each year. During the reaffirmation of accreditation process, institution will submit the Compliance Certification twelve (12) months prior and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) at least twelve (12) weeks prior to schedule reviews, off-site, and on-site visits by NAECOB.




What Public Statements Concerning The Institution's Accreditation Status Is Allowed To Be Made?


1. An institution granted accreditation candidacy status must only use the following statement whenever it makes reference to its affiliation with NAECOB: [Institution’s Name] has been granted Institutional or Programme Accreditation Candidacy status by The National Accreditation & Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB). The Institutional Accreditation Candidacy status does not suggest that [Institution’s Name] now has accreditation with NAECOB nor does it guarantee that [Institution’s Name] is ensured eventual accreditation. Institutional or Programme Accreditation Candidacy status solely indicates that the institution has currently satisfied one of the several steps in progressing towards being fully accredited by NAECOB. Please direct all inquiries regarding the status of [Institution’s Name] Institutional Accreditation Candidacy to a representative of NAECOB. Their contact information is outlined below: The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB) RND PLAZA WEST JOHN F. KENNEDY DRIVE P.O. BOX N-3913 NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS 2. An institution granted accreditation status must only use the following statement whenever it makes reference to its affiliation with NAECOB: [Institution’s Name] has been granted Institutional or Programme Accreditation status by The National Accreditation & Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB). Accreditation status indicates that the institution has satisfied several quality assurance standards outlined by NAECOB. Please direct all inquiries regarding the status of [Institution’s Name] Institutional Accreditation Candidacy to a representative of NAECOB. Their contact information is outlined below: The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB) RND PLAZA WEST JOHN F. KENNEDY DRIVE P.O. BOX N-3913 NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS TELEPHONE: 328-8872/3 Email: info@naecob.org





The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) is a statutory body established under the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council ACT of The Bahamas on 4th October 2006; assented on the 29th of December, 2006 and came into force on the 28th of February, 2007.
 NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools and any institution or provider that offers training in The Bahamas.
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