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Accrediting Agencies And Quality Assurance For Education In France

In France, the chief accrediting agency is none other than the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports. Accreditation is a very important process for all educational institutions in France. The government monitors the schools and colleges very carefully to ensure high standards of education. Most of the quality assurance for educational organizations and institutions is conducted by national bodies.

Accrediting Agencies In France

Role Played By The Ministry In Accreditation Of Educational Institutions

The Ministry confers accreditation in the following ways for educational institutions in France:
  • Accreditation through the collation and preparation of academic degrees: Higher educational institutions in France can only confer diplomas. It is the Ministry which issues degrees. This accreditation level is accorded to public universities.

  • Accreditation via recognition: This is a third-tier accreditation reserved for private educational institutions in France.

  • Accreditation through visa: This is an indirect or second tier accreditation. It is conferred on private institutions.

Other Accrediting Agencies

Some of the top accrediting agencies in France other than the Ministry are listed in the table below:

Commission d'evaluation des formations et diplomes de gestion / National Commission for the Evaluation of Training and Qualifications in Management

This agency provides consultation services to the Ministry. It provides accreditation for French business schools through accreditation in the following 2 ways:
  • Accreditation via visa
  • Accreditation through collation of degree at Master’s level

Commission des Titres d'Ingenieur

It plays a key role in the accreditation and evaluation of private engineering higher educational institutions in France. It also offers advice and consultation regarding accreditation of public engineering institutions.  It also provides Grandes Ecoles with the authority to confer Diplome d'Ingenieur.

Commission Nationale de la Certification Professionnelle / National Commission for Vocational Certification

This is an accrediting body for vocational education in France. It provides accreditation by inscription on the RNCP (Repertoire national des certifications professionnelles). RNCP is the body which updates information on educational certificates and degrees.

Conference des Grandes Ecoles (CGE)

This association was created in the year 1973. It is the chief body for providing accreditation for the following courses at Grandes Ecoles:
  • Mastere Specialise (Advanced Master’s Programme)
  • Bilan d'aptitude delivre par les grandes ecoles (Assessment of competency conferred by Grandes Ecoles)
  • Mastere en sciences (Masters in Science

Quality Assurance

The Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports And Its Role In Quality Assurance
Directorate of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance (DEPP) which is under the Ministry of Education in France conducts research on teaching and educational practices. This is done in collaboration with general inspections as well as research teams. The Directorate also partners with national or international external agencies and organizations for regulating and monitoring the quality of education.

Inspectors General of Education  which is also part of this ministry is another important body for regulating the education system. It concentrates on primary and secondary educational institutions. Schools at both elementary and secondary level are evaluated by this organization. The aims are to assess and regulate teaching content and methods as well as curricula of schools across France.

Other National Organizations For Monitoring The Quality Of Education

Research centres such as the National Institute for Educational Research (NPRI) conduct specialized research aimed at maintaining high standards of excellence in schools and universities in France.

National Assessment public scientific, cultural and professional (CNE) Committee regulates the quality of higher education in France. It reports on subjects taught as well the state of higher education.

Public policies for to improving the quality of education are assessed by the Directorate of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance and various other research laboratories and institutes.

The Court of Auditors monitor public education expenditure in the country.

International Organizations For Quality Assurance

Many international organizations also conduct evaluations of the French educational system in comparison to global standards of education. These include the following:
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • International Association for Evaluation in the field of education (IEA)
  • Eurydice, the information network pertaining to education in Europe

Conclusion

There are separate agencies for accreditation of technical and vocational educational institutions in France. Though the Ministry plays an important role in the accreditation process, there are also several other organizations which provide consultation to it. Several agencies and organizational bodies also conduct evaluation studies to monitor the quality of education in France.
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