EAPAA

European Association for Public Administration Accreditation

Accreditation
Accreditation foremost is an ongoing process for understanding and improving learning. It requires clearly defined objectives and intended results at the programme and course level, systematic gathering and analysis of evidence to verify that performance meets the objectives set by the institution, and the use of that information to make timely improvements.
The process of self-evaluation (important element of the accreditation process) can be an element in the quality control process of a programme. Presenting the programme and its objectives to peers from abroad is a very good learning experience.
Accreditation on a European level is an acknowledgement of quality which can be of worth within the home university as well as in relation to other national institutions.

NISPAcee always have been stimulating programmes to assure their quality through accreditation, and supported EAPAA, the organisation that organises the accreditation of public administration programmes in Europe. In 2010 NISPAcee and EGPA became the two corporate members of EAPAA.


EAPAA Organisation

EAPAA was founded in 1999 and was reformed in 2010. EAPAA now has two formal corporate members: the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) and the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee). The member programmes of these organisations can be affiliated to EAPAA.

The first accreditation process was performed in 2001. Up to 2010 35 programmes of 20 affiliated programmes have been accredited.

The Accreditation Committee, an independent body of recognised Public Administration professors from all over Europe, decides upon accreditation.

EAPAA Board and Accreditation Committee

The EAPAA Board consists of two representatives of both EGPA and NISPAcee and an independent chair. The independent Accreditation Committee is composed of renowned public administration scholars.

EAPAA affiliated programmes

Among the early supporters of EAPAA were programmes from Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. Since programmes from much more countries have joined EAPAA. The actual list of affiliated and accredited programmes can be found on the EAPAA website (http://www.eapaa.org/)


Types of evaluation
In line with the Bologna Treaty of 1999, EAPAA recognizes different categories of pro-grammes:
• First cycle bachelor level public administration programmes;
• Second cycle graduate/master level public administration programmes;
• Combined/comprehensive public administration programmes;
• Executive/mid-career public administration master programmes.

Since programmes are different in nature, EAPAA awards different types of quality evalua-tion:
(a)    Accreditation
(b)    Certification

Although the evaluation processes are in many ways similar, there are some differences.

The accreditation process places more emphasis on academic multi-disciplinarity, inter-nationalisation and the research-based element of programmes. This is suited to academic programmes at a mature stage of development and with an international orientation.

The certification process puts more emphasis on training for the national public service and is a lighter procedure at lower costs. Certification can be pursued independently or, for programmes that aim to become more internationally oriented, as a first step towards ac-creditation.   

If programmes are uncertain which type of evaluation is best suited to them, they are wel-come to contact the EAPAA secretariat for advice.
 

Accreditation Services Fees

To cover the costs of the activities of EAPAA, both EGPA and NISPAcee charge EAPAA affiliated programmes a Accreditation Services Fee (EGPA: €400; NISPAcee: € 300). The costs of the accreditation or certification procedure are to be assumed by the programme applying. See for details the EAPAA website.

How to apply for affiliation

Applications for affiliation can be sent to the EAPAA secretariat. It is also possible to use the application form on the EAPAA website: (http://www.eapaa.org).

 
EAPAA Secretariat

The secretariat is hosted by

School of Management and Governance of the University of Twente in Enschede (the Netherlands).

Please send all correspondence to:

Mrs. Seeta Autar
University of Twente, School of Management and Governance
p.o. box 217, NL 7500 AE Enschede, the Netherlands
tel. +31-53-483-6346, fax +31-53-483-6347, e-mail: secretariat@eapaa.org

EAPAA website

All information about EAPAA can also been found at: http://www.eapaa.org/

 

Join the European Quality Programmes in Public Administration



EAPAA: Quality Assurance through Accreditation!

Public Administration, Public Policy, Public Management

 

 

Quality

Stimulus for quality improvement
Accreditation foremost is an ongoing process for understanding and improving learning. It requires clearly defined objectives and intended results at the programme and course level, systematic gathering and analysis of evidence to verify that performance meets the objectives set by the institution, and the use of that information to make timely improvements.

The process of self-evaluation (important element of the accreditation process) can be an element in the quality control process of a programme. Presenting the programme and its objectives to peers from abroad is a very good learning experience.

 

 

Acknowledgement of quality
Accreditation on a European level is an acknowledgement of quality which can be of worth within the home university as well as in relation to other national institutions.


 

Europeanisation

The ministers of Education, through the Declaration of Bologna, have declared that more comparability of university programmes and degrees is necessary. More exchange of information about the study programs is needed.

More and more Europe is becoming the level on which disciplines organise their quality, and one of the instruments for this is accreditation.
Student exchange
More students want to do more of their studies abroad. In order to advise their students and to acknowledge courses taken abroad, universities require reliable information about the level and quality of programmes of other universities.

Accreditation and the information available through accreditation can be of help here. Although less frequently at stake, the same arguments hold for staff exchange.

Collaboration
Collaboration between universities is essential in the field of joint programmes. For effective and efficient co-operation detailed knowledge about the programmes working together is important. Accreditation can present part of this knowledge in a systematic way.


 

Peer Group Evaluation

Evaluation by public administration peers

Accreditation must be discipline-oriented, i.e. carried out by competent members of the discipline: this reduces a known tendency to excessively 'procedure-oriented' systems of evaluation. It is our conviction that peer group evaluation is an academic as well as an professional necessity.

Clear perspective on public administration

Accreditation by EAPAA is based on a clear view of the essential elements of a public administration programme (laid down in the ‘standards'). Public Administration is seen as an interdisciplinary study of governance and all the aspects of management and policy that come with it; this is meant to include the social and economic environments that affect it and are affected by it. It also embraces the understanding of democratic values.


 
No Pressure to Conformity

Mission-based accreditation

Although there is an identified set of ‘core elements' of a public administration programme, EAPAA accreditation takes into account the specific missions programmes want to achieve. Each Public Administration programme is evaluated foremost against its own objectives.

Substantial (not total) conformity to standards

Based on a view of the discipline of public administration and on widely agreed features of a ‘good' study programme, a set of standards has been developed. But this set of standards is not absolute; deviation from these standards can be motivated, for example, with reference to the mission.

National institutional constraints

The clause on substantial conformity to standards recognises the important differences in national institutional constraints for public administration programmes. These differences are fully taken into account.



Flexibility

Adaptation to national procedures and guidelines

In some countries there are national accreditation and/or quality assurance regulations; they may contain guidelines for the presentation of material which are different from those of EAPAA. In order to increase efficiency, institutions may present material regarding their programme in a different way than is set out in the in the guidelines of EAPAA as long as they signpost the information EAPAA required. Information not contained in the national documentation, must, of course, be added.

Self-evaluation in English, French or German

The self-evaluation, considered as most important element of the accreditation process, may be submitted in English, French or German. If the self-evaluation is submitted in another language, the institution will be required to provide a translation in English, French or German of the main text of the self-evaluation.

Site visit and language

The Accreditation Committee will endeavour to have at least one member of the site visit team who has oral and written competence in the language of the programme.

Joint/Dual accreditations

In order to reduce the bureaucratic burden of accreditations, EAPAA is a promoter of joint/dual accreditations with national accreditation authorities. Through a common self-evaluation report and a joint site visit team, both the national authority and EAPAA can reach a decision on accreditation independently of each other. EAPAA has experience with this in several countries.



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