The process of granting official status to an institution or a program of study, indicating that it has been recognized by the appropriate legislative or professional authorities as having met or exceeded pre-determined standards.
(HRSDC, adapted from the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials)
In the U.S., accreditation is carried out by private, nonprofit organizations designed for this purpose. (CHEA 2002, 1)
In Canada, accreditation is the process by which university programs in professional fields are subject to review by professional bodies at the relevant provincial, Canadian or international levels. Accreditation by professional bodies ensures that the content of university programs, teaching resources and research outputs are of consistently high quality to meet competency expectations and to support future professionals in their area of expertise. Note, as a federal country, Canada does not have a national accreditation authority for universities. As education falls under provincial or territorial jurisdiction in Canada, these university-level polices are set within each province’s established system of quality assurance. While the overall system is decentralized, it is also comprehensive and comparable across the country. (Universities Canada 2015)
Council for Higher Education Accreditation. “The Fundamentals of Accreditation: What do you need to know?” Washington DC: CHEA. Accessed June 27, 2015, http://www.chea.org/pdf/fund_accred_20ques_02.pdf.
Universities Canada. “FAQ’s about quality assurance in Canada.” Accessed June 27, 2015, http://www.univcan.ca/canadian-universities/quality-assurance/quality-assurance-f-a-q/.