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Accreditation: To be or not to be mandatory?

Here are ten (10) benefits of Accreditation. The benefits are divided into three categories namely, benefits to the institution, benefits to the student and benefits to the nation.

Benefits to the Institution:

1) Self-evaluation and self-direction: Accreditation provides an opportunity for self-evaluation and self-direction which can create a sense of ownership and team spirit among staff members thus enhancing institutional capacity.

2) Peer-Review: Through peer review, an institution can benefit from the consultation and advice of experienced individuals and professional organizations in the field.

3) Increased enrollment-The possibility of increased enrollment is enhanced since in several countries financial aid from government sources to students is only given to persons enrolled in accredited institutions.

4) Staff Confidence: Accreditation provides public certification that an institution has met the established standards of the profession. This certification can only inspire confidence in the minds of the faculty and staff.

Benefits to the Student:

5) Credit Transfer: The ability to transfer credits from one institution to another, in many instances, is easier if the student is transferring from an accredited institution.

6) Employability: An informed Human Resource Manager is more likely to consider applicants from accredited institutions than those from unaccredited institutions.

7) Personal Confidence: Good performance in an accredited institution is likely to provide a student with confidence concerning his/ her ability to perform at higher degree level studies, and also in the workplace.

Benefits to the Nation:

8)  National Pride: Accreditation signals to the general public that the institution has voluntarily submitted itself to external scrutiny and has met or exceeded the required local, regional and international standards.

9) An Invitation: Since implicit in the Accreditation process is continuous review and feedback, Accreditation provides the public with an invitation to interact with the institution to ensure continuous improvement.

10) Assurance: Accreditation provides assurance to the public that the institution has    local, but equally important, regional and international currency.