Western Europe Commission on Higher Education

Accreditation Process

A Process of Systematic Improvement

Accreditation relies on a voluntary, peer review process, engaging educators in the region on hundreds of reviews each year. A self-study process of 12-18 months is undertaken by schools and colleges in regular review cycles. Member institutions undergo a comprehensive evaluation process at least once every ten years.


The Commissions are authorized to conduct the on-site evaluations at shorter intervals if institutional circumstances so dictate. The standards applied by the Commissions are qualitative and can be adapted and applied to any of the types of educational institutions served. An institution found to be deficient in regard to standards is usually given time to take corrective action. Once the time allowed for appeal by an institution of adverse action (i.e., denial of candidacy, termination of candidacy, denial of accreditation, placement on probation, termination of accreditation) has elapsed, a public announcement of Association action is released. In such cases the effective date, the reason(s) for the action taken, and the Commission’s plans to monitor or work with the institution are stated. 


Accreditation is an expression of confidence in the institution's purposes, performances, and human and financial resources. The goals are effectiveness, improvement and public assurance. Unlike popular magazines, this does not involve ranking institutions, but rather, establishes a level of acceptable quality for all accredited institutions while respecting the unique missions of the institutions involved.


WECHE accreditation is structured in a 5-year cycle of: 

  • Self-study
  • Peer review
  • Follow-up


WECHE accreditation attests to substantial compliance with established qualitative standards, integrity in statements to the public describing the institution's program, institutional commitment to improvement, and sufficiency of institutional resources.


WECHE accreditation does not guarantee the experience of individual students, guarantee the quality of specific programs, compare or rank institutions.


WECHE serves as a clearinghouse for the public and its policymakers in a variety of roles. Professional staff is available to ensure full participation at all levels ranging from accreditation to educational partnerships that strengthen education. The Association is private, nonprofit and thus uniquely positioned to work with other organizations on a regional, national and international scale focusing on improving education.



Where does WECHE accredit?