About Registration & Accreditation
One of the obligatory functions of the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) is to register and accredit both public and private technical institutions capable of delivering courses, in order to guarantee their quality.
Registration entails that an institution is a legal and viable entity. It means that the institution has been established after fulfilling the legal requirements for the same and that it has adequate infrastructure, staff, teaching and learning as well as financial resources to support training.
Accreditation, on the other hand looks at the academic management of training programmes, is an approval of the Council granted to an institution on account of having a sound quality assurance system that ensures the provision of National Technical Award (NTA) qualifications as per educational standards established by the Council.
In short, while registration entails that the institution has followed the legal procedures for establishing a training institution and has met the minimum requirements for admitting students in terms of having adequate infrastructure, capacity and resources to offer training, accreditation deals with standards that assure quality of the provision and the resulting output. Accreditation granted by the Council is valid for five years. Accredited institutions are required to process for re-affirmation of accreditation before the expiry of the five years.
One of the main purposes of accreditation is to assure the educational community, the general public, and other stakeholders that an institution has clearly defined objectives appropriate to technical education and training; has established conditions under which training achievements can reasonably be measured; is organised, staffed, well resourced and sustainable and that it can be expected to continue to be so; and meets educational and training standards demanded by the relevant occupational sector.
Accreditation standards cover ten key elements necessary for providing sustainable quality technical education and training. They are statements that describe good practice in technical institutions. The ten accreditation standards of the Council are stated and summarised below.
- Institutional Vision and Mission
This standard requires the institution to have clear statements of Vision and Mission that define the institution, its educational purposes, its student constituency, and its place in technical education and training community.
- Governance and Administration
This standard requires the institution to have a clear governance system and organizational structure with a Governing or Advisory Board or Council responsible for quality and integrity of the institution. The system must be designed in line with the provisions in the institution’s establishing legal instrument. The institution is also required to have administrative staff of appropriate size to enable the institution achieve its goals and must be so organized to provide the required administrative services.
- Institutional Integrity
This standard requires the institution to ascribe to, advocate and demonstrate honesty, truthfulness in presentations to its constituencies and the public; in its pursuit of truth and dissemination of knowledge; in its treatment of and respect for administration, academic and supporting staff, and students; in management of its affairs and in relationship with NACTE and other external agencies. The essence of this standard has to do with integrity and honesty in all areas of institutional operations.
- Institutional Effectiveness
For this standard, the institution is required, appropriate to its mission and purposes, to develop and implement a broad based system of education and training, evaluation and planning, to assess institutional effectiveness and use the results for institutional improvement. The institution is also required to identify institutional outcomes that can be validated by objective evidence.
- Educational Programmes
This standard requires the institution to offer appropriate academic level programmes in recognized fields of study that culminate in identified student competencies leading to the National Technical Awards (NTA). The institution is required to demonstrate that education and training programmes it offers support the mission and vision for which it was established. The institution is further required to have clearly defined processes for establishing and evaluating all of its educational programmes.
- Student Support and Development
This standard requires the institution to recruit and admit students appropriate to its programmes. The institution is also required to identify the diversity needs of its students and provide appropriate support services and educational programmes to address those needs. The institution is further required to have the entire student pathway characterised by a concern for student access, progress and success.
- Information and Learning Resources
For this standard the institution is required to have information and learning resources sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, and currency to support the institution’s activities and programmes. The institution is also required to have professionally qualified staff to provide appropriate support to users of information and learning resources, including training in effective application of information technology to students’ learning and training.
- Teaching and Supporting Staff
This standard requires the institution to have sufficient numbers of qualified full time and part-time staff, with appropriate education, training and experience, to effectively support its educational programmes and services wherever offered and by whatever means delivered. This standard asks the institution to assess its academic and support staff in terms of their qualifications, selection and their evaluation. It also asks evaluation of professional development activities and personnel policies.
- Physical Resources
This standard requires the institution to have sufficient and appropriate physical resources to effectively support its education and training purposes and goals. Thus this standard requires that the institution review the quality of its facilities and their maintenance.
- Financial Resources
For this standard the institution is required to have adequate financial resources to achieve, maintain and enhance its education and training programmes. The level of financial resources provides a measure for sustainability, viability and assurance for institutional improvement.
Accredited institutions will enjoy the full rights and benefits associated with accreditation. These may include but not limited to the following:
- Approval to offer National Technical Awards (NTA) by using NACTE approved or validated curricula;
- Consideration for obtaining information through NACTE on international practices and experiences;
- Benefit from possible educational loan schemes and grants offered by the government and or development partners; and
- Permission to market their services by using, say, statements like “Accredited by NACTE”.