Educational Accreditation Bodies in Portugal

Since 2007, the Portuguese Accreditation Agency (Agencia de Acreditacao) was in charge for the national ranking of the higher education institutions and qualifications in Portugal.  The agency is managed and run by the state. The Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - A3ES ( Agencia de Avaliacao e Acreditacao do Ensino Superior) was responsible for accreditation of the higher education in 2010. In the year 2012 was released the first comprehensive accreditation report. In Portugal, there are many professional bodies that run their own accreditation systems and they are referred as Ordens. 

All higher education institutions-university and polytechnics are regulated as per the same accreditation and evaluation procedure. The process comprises of two stages:
Stage 1: Initial approval of study programmes by the independent Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES)
Stage 2: Official recognition of higher education is granted by the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES), a division of the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

In Portugal, higher education quality assurance mechanism has been based on the Higher Education Evaluation Act, 1994. This act was composed jointly by the contractual model and the Conference of Rectors of Public Universities (CRUP) and it lead to the formation of the National Council for the Evaluation of Higher Education (CNAVES), which is a national quality assurance agency of higher education in Portugal.

A3ES - Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (In Portuguese: Agencia de Acreditacao): The A3ES is in charge for the evaluation and accreditation of Portuguese higher education institutions and their degree programmes.  It furthers the integration of Portugal in the European higher education quality assurance system, and additionally establishes the accreditation standards and norm. 

Directorate-General of Higher Education (Direccao Geral do Ensino Superior, or DGES): The Directorate General of Higher Education provides support to the government and the Agency for assessment and accreditation of higher education, in defining and organizing the higher education institutions. It also manages the proceedings associated with the admissions in higher education. It also supports the mobility of pupils of Portuguese higher education in Europe.

National Council for Education (Conselho Nacional de Educacao): The National Education Council provides its viewpoints and recommendation on issues related to the Portuguese education. It is an independent body. 

Portuguese Conference of University Rectors (Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas, CRUP): The CRUP is responsible for organizing and managing university education in Portugal and comprises of permanent members of all public universities and the Catholic University of Portugal. It participates in the developing the national education plans and strategies; and issues opinion on the budgetary matter and changes required in public university education. 

Coordinating Council for Polytechnic Institutes (Conselho Coordenador dos Institutos Politecnicos, or CCISP): The Coordinating Council of Higher Polytechnic Institutes, established in 1979, is the joint representative authority of public higher polytechnic education. It manages the polytechnic higher education system in Portugal; develop policies related to polytechnics, and issues opinions on budgetary matters.

For latest updates see Study and Research in Portugal

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