What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a system of according recognition to an educational institution for meeting satisfactory standards in performance, integrity and quality. Such an institution is normally made up of teaching staff, 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, well-qualified staff in adequate numbers, a well-equipped and well-stocked library, adequate number of classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories, workshops, with the requisite equipment, and adequate and reliable sources of funding.
Simply put, the institution must have the physical, material, financial and human resources for the delivery of quality education so that students in possession of the requisite entry qualifications have a reasonable chance of entering and passing the stipulated examinations at the end of their studies.
What is a Tertiary Institution?
A tertiary institution is a post-secondary institution of higher or further learning, or professional studies. It is expected to provide advanced academic and/or professional instruction and conduct research (especially in the universities) 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 to advance the frontiers of knowledge.
Admission requirements, usually demand an applicant obtaining an aggregate score of 24 or better in six (6) subjects, including English, Mathematics and Integrated Science/Social Studies at the SSSCE level or three (3) A-level passes with a total aggregate of 14 plus General Paper are the minimum requirements for admission into the public universities. Some institutions also have schemes through which mature students, who may otherwise not have been admitted, could avail themselves of tertiary education.
What is a Chartered Institute/Institution?
A “Chartered” institute/institution implies one that has been granted certain rights and privileges by the President or the Legislature to operate as such. To obtain this legal status, the institute’s statutes, examination procedures, quality assurance standards, etc are subjected to Parliamentary scrutiny.
For example, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana is backed by Act 170 of 1963, while the Chartered Institute Marketing, Ghana is a branch of the mother Institute in the United Kingdom. The Chartered Institute of Administration – Nigeria was chartered by Decree No. 103 of 1992. Merely registering a name at the Registrar-General’s Department does not confer a Charter status.
What type of institutions does NAB accredit?
NAB accredits all categories of tertiary institutions, be they universities, university colleges, polytechnics, colleges, schools, institutions, academies, or tutorial colleges.
By law, all public and private tertiary institutions must seek accreditation.
What is special about NAB Accredited Institutions?
Institutions that have been accredited by NAB are those that have demonstrated their commitment to the maintenance of acceptable standards. They have benefited from advice offered by assessors selected by NAB. They are the only ones that would be recommended by NAB and the Ministry of Education to parents, guardians and students looking for serious and reliable tertiary institutions and to overseas institutions enquiring about quality of certificates/diplomas/degrees.
The list of colleges accredited by NAB is the most reliable guide in choosing between the many private and public tertiary institutions. It is based on a thorough system of assessment and on-site inspection by independent experts.
NAB ensures that qualifications obtained from these institutions are comparable to international standards and acceptable to employers/institutions both in Ghana and overseas.
NAB grants accreditation for periods of up to five years to institutions, depending on the state of facilities and resources – human and material - available to them – and the degrees of deficiencies identified by assessors.
How does one ascertain the accreditation status of an institution?
The Board issues a specific letter or certificate to an institution indicating its accreditation status and the period for which the status is valid. The letter also specifies the various programmes and levels at which each accredited institution should offer them.
The Board also publishes information about accredited institutions from time to time in the national newspapers and the Gazette. The information can also be obtained from the Secretariat of the National Accreditation Board.
What is the penalty for operating an institution without accreditation?
In the first place, Section 1 of the Education (Amendment) Act; 1965 states among other things that “No person shall establish a private institution without prior approval of the Minister of Education.”
Secondly, Regulation 19(2) of L. I. 1700 (2002) states that:
“No person or institution shall
after the commencement of these Regulations unless the person or institution complies with these Regulations”
Regulation 19(3) of L. I. 1700 adds that: “Any person or institution that contravenes any provision of Sub-regulation (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units”.
What does the NAB do about the recognition of certificates?
As one of its mandates, NAB evaluates certificates and qualifications awarded by institutions in Ghana or elsewhere to establish comparability.
The Board has well-laid out and elaborate mechanisms to determine the authenticity and comparability of both local and foreign educational certificates.
In recent times, the Board has received certificates acquired online for evaluation. Investigations have revealed that these certificates are fake, as the institutions supposed to have issued them do not exist. Employers, institutions, parents and individuals are therefore advised to be wary of such online qualifications and endeavour to seek information from the National Accreditation Board.
Further information on accreditation matters may be obtained from:
The Executive Secretary
National Accreditation Board
P. O. Box CT 3256
Cantonments – Accra
Tel. No. 233-0302-518630