Institutional Accreditation

What does "accreditation" mean?

By Noella Baker

Principal Standards Setting Officer


Accreditation is a vital part of quality assurance of any system, it is, in fact a method of External Quality Assurance (EQA). It gives an indication of compliance of education and training providers to set criteria, which in turn shows that they have healthy and efficient internal quality assurance systems in place. It is the Seychelles Qualifications Authority’s (SQA) responsibility to evaluate tertiary education and training providers and their programmes.

According to the SQA Act 2021 “accreditation” is a “process of assessment and review which enables a person, a tertiary education and training provider, or a programme of education and training to be recognised and certified for a specified period of time by the Authority as meeting and conforming to appropriate standards of quality set by the Authority”.

There are two forms of accreditation “Institutional” and “Programmatic”; currently two Units within the SQA offer accreditation services.

Institutional Accreditation Unit

This Unit evaluates Tertiary education and training providers or institutions to determine whether they meet standards for educational quality set by the SQA. The institutional accreditation process is a comprehensive evaluation of the institution and its academic and administrative effectiveness, with particular focus on its Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) system. The evaluation of the quality of the provider focuses on the overall policies and practices of the institution and how these impact on the quality of programmes being offered.

The definition of Institutional Accreditation, according to the SQA Act 2021 is “recognition status granted to a provider by the Authority for a stipulated period of time after an evaluation through self-assessment and external review indicates that it meets or exceeds established standards for educational quality set by the Authority”. There are three possible outcomes in relation to institutional accreditation, in Seychelles; if an institution is:

accredited – the tertiary education and training provider meets all the prescribed national institutional accreditation standards. The provider has sustainable practices; it is fit for purpose; it is consistent, effective and efficient in its practices and therefore, offers value for money. Normally, an institution will be accredited for three to five years after which it needs to re-apply to the SQA for accreditation.

provisionally accredited - the tertiary education and training provider has met the majority of the prescribed national institutional accreditation standards but further work is required to achieve full accreditation status. The provider will undergo Institutional Standards Reassessment following a defined period of provisional accreditation.

not accredited – the tertiary education and training provider does not meet several of the prescribed national institutional accreditation standards. The provider will undergo a new Institutional Standards Assessment following a defined period.

Programme Accreditation Unit

The SQA Act 2021 defines programme accreditation as “recognition status granted to a programme by the Authority for a stipulated period of time after an evaluation by the Authority indicates that it meets standards of quality”.

The Programme Accreditation Unit, approves programmes being offered by education and training providers or institutions, including the Professional Centres and the University of Seychelles. The accreditation of a programme is for a specified period of time, usually five years. A programme must carry a credit value of 120 credits or more to meet the requirement of a qualification on the Seychelles Qualifications Framework (NQF). Both full and part qualifications can be registered on the NQF; however, a short course leading to a part qualification has to carry a minimum of 3 credits (30 notional hours) or more.

There are specific criteria that the programme needs to meet in order to achieve accreditation status. After the evaluation process a programme may be categorised as such:

accredited programme –it has met all the established national quality criteria and therefore, the programme is recognised nationally for five years and can be used for Recognition of Prior learning (RPL).

provisionally accredited programme –it has met the majority of the established national quality criteria, but minor changes are required to achieve full accreditation status.

non-accredited programme –it has not met most of the established national quality criteria, so major changes are required to achieve accreditation status. Qualifications issued on completion of a non-accredited programme will not be recognised by the SQA.


The SQA is responsible for assuring the quality and standards of education and training in Seychelles; and protecting the interests of learners enrolled in education and training programmes. The Seychelles Qualifications Authority is authorised to fulfil these functions through its system of Accreditation and Quality Assurance.

Quality Assurance Training For Tertiary Education and Training Institutions in Seychelles held from 20 24 June 2022

Quality Assurance training for Tertiary Education and training institutions in Seychelles held from 20-24 June 2022


Institutional Accreditation means "recognition status granted to a provider by the Authority for a stipulated period of time after an evaluation through self-assessment and external review indicates that it meets or exceeds established standards for educational quality set by the Authority” as per the SQA Act 2021. Institutional Accreditation is both an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the national quality assurance criteria for accountability purposes and an opportunity for quality improvement.

The main purpose of the quality assurance system is to assure stakeholders that the registered institution is providing good quality education. The concept ‘quality’ includes value for money, sustainability, fitness for purpose, compliance with standards, consistency, effectiveness, efficiency, and excellence

Institutional Accreditation
Processes of Institutional Accreditation and Institutional Audit.


Programme Accreditation approves, for a specified period of time, a specific education and training programme or course, offered by an education and training provider or institution, leading to the award of a specific qualification or part of a qualification to be registered on the Seychelles National Qualification Framework (NQF).

A provisionally accredited programme meets the majority of the requirements of the NQF to be offered to learners but minor changes are required to achieve full validation status.

By accrediting a programme or credit bearing course, the SQA has ensured that the programme or course has met certain national quality assurance criteria which enable it to be registered on the framework at a specific level of the NQF.

A programme / course registered on the NQF means that there can be confidence that the programme / course is at the level at which the provider or institution has pitched it.

Only registered providers can apply for accreditation of a programme / course.


Submission of the application

Accreditation applications should be submitted for:

New programmes At least six months before the programme is to be offered.
Substantially changed programmes At least six months before the revised programme is to be offered.
Programmes which are nearing the end of the accreditation period At least four months before the current accreditation expires


Programme accreditation process diagram



Members of the Unit during an inspection

 Members of the Unit during an inspection


The mission of the Inspectorate Unit is to provide an inspection service to the Ministry of Education and Primary /Secondary schools to raise the quality of education received in Seychelles, by improving the quality of the schools' self-evaluation processes and by setting standards to enhance the quality of education for all children in Seychelles.

The Aim

The main aim of the Inspectorate unit is to inspect all Primary and Secondary State Schools against established standards and performance indicators and report to the schools and Ministry of Education for monitoring, support and follow-up actions.

In line with SQA’s mission, the School Inspection Unit’s main aim in inspecting primary and secondary schools is to boost the quality of the services they offer, particularly in teaching and learning, and consequently raise the quality of education provision. This Unit is also responsible for setting standards to guide schools to improve the quality of their self-evaluation processes thereby eliciting the setting and implementation of realistic improvement targets to enhance the quality of education for the children in Seychelles.

Operational Principles

  • Openness and Transparency - valuing a collaborative approach
  • Comprehensiveness - Conditions associated with 'effective' schools
  • Capacity Building - with a focus on Self Evaluation
  • Focus on Learning - progressive improvement in attainment / achievement / quality assurance and development planning
  • Formative Emphasis - improvement is data driven
  • Confidentiality - reports restricted to those services having a direct responsibility for school supervision and support

Roles & Responsibilities

  • To work with schools to keep performance indicators and evaluation criteria under review
  • To work closely with management teams and services in Schools Division to monitor and support the development of structures and processes for self- evaluation in schools
  • To analyse data from examinations and evaluation reports with a view of helping schools to set targets for improvement particularly for attainment
  • To evaluate the performance of schools against agreed performance indicators and targets and give feedback to the school
  • To publish outstanding practices
  • To monitor the provisions of quality education in all state schools through evaluation and monitoring in compliance with the Education Act 2004
  • To evaluate, educate and advise Senior Management Teams, Schools Councils and teachers on good implementation of Schools' Development Plans & day to day running of the school
  • To approve the recruitment, training and deployment of part-time EQA team members
  • To recommend points for actions and strategies for improving the quality of basic education
  • To report to the MOE, School Councils and schools on the accountability and the effective use of resources in schools.


 Inspection Diagram

Inspection Diagram

Types of Inspection


 1. Whole School Inspection
This is a comprehensive assessment which examines all the six key areas as per the framework.

2. Short Inspection
This form of inspection is partial and focuses on a limited number of predetermined aspects of a school based on the school SER analysis.

3. Return / Monitoring Visits
The focus will often be dictated by the need to monitor progress in respect of a particular area of concern identified through a previous inspection.

4. Special Inspection
Special Visits can be:

* The Confirmation of Good Practice (to confirm individual members of staff as models of good practice)

* Follow up or monitoring visits to schools which are not performing to standard.

* To investigate and report on a specific issue of concern identified by officers.

* Investigative visits carried out with a limited focus in a specific institution:

       (i) in response to complaints from parents, School Council, other agencies within or
          outside the school community regarding a particular situation, and
      (ii) as directed by the SQA Board or at the request of the Ministry of Education.
         The purpose of the inspection is to arrive at a valid judgement or resolution to a conflict.


Code of Conduct for Inspection Officers

Inspectors should:

  • Evaluate objectively, be impartial and evaluate without fear or favour
  • Evaluate provision in line with frameworks, national standards or requirements
  • Base all evaluations on clear and robust evidence
  • Report honestly and clearly ensuring that judgements are fair and reliable
  • Carry out their work with integrity, treating all those they meet with courtesy, respect and sensitivity
  • Endeavour to minimise the stress on those involved in the evaluation
  • Act in the best interests and well-being of service users
  • Maintain purposeful and productive dialogue with those being evaluated, and communicate judgements clearly and frankly
  • Respect the confidentiality of information, particularly about individuals and their work
  • Respond appropriately to reasonable requests, and advise the Ministry on appropriate action safeguarding health and safety issues
  • Be accountable for their decisions and actions to the school and stakeholders when reporting on the school concerns
  • Be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take
  • Dress appropriately in a way that upholds the good reputation of the SQA, Ministry of Education and the teaching profession.

Coming soon...

Contact Details

Tel: +248 4324055


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Seychelles Qualifications Authority
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Victoria, Mahe

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