Criteria for Registration

The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago Act, Chapter 39:06 (hereinafter ‘the Act’) requires all post-secondary and tertiary institutions operating in Trinidad and Tobago to be registered.

Institutions that meet the criteria for registration will be placed on a Register of Post-Secondary and Tertiary institutions as stated in Section 8 (3) of the Act. The criteria represent seven categories in which institutions are evaluated. Evidence must be provided that all criteria are met in order for an institution to be registered.

In order to determine if an institution meets these requirements, it is required to submit to an evaluation by ACTT to ensure compliance with the minimum quality requirements for post-secondary and tertiary education institutions in order to be registered.

An institution established after the proclamation of the Act on 9th July, 2004, must also secure ACTT’s approval to use the institutional title with which it wishes to be registered, for example, a new institution desirous of bearing one of the following titles: 'university', 'college', 'tertiary college', 'polytechnic', 'community college', 'technical institute' and 'technical university'. An institution that has met the registration criteria is then issued a Certificate of Registration and placed on the Register of Post-Secondary and Tertiary Institutions.

Registration shall be for a maximum period of three (3) years, after which the institution must re-apply to maintain its status. Registered institutions are required to submit an annual report on a prescribed form and pay an annual registration fee. Registered institutions are eligible to seek accreditation by ACTT.

 

Criterion 1.0: Legal, Policy and Regulatory Requirements

Criterion 2.0: Governance and Administration

Criterion 3.0: Quality Management System

Criterion 4.0: Resource Management

Criterion 5.0: Teaching-Learning Process

Criterion 6.0: Review

Criterion 7.0: Continuous Improvement

 

Criterion 1.0: Legal, Policy and Regulatory Requirements
   
Criterion Statement: The institution’s activities comply with legal, policy and regulatory requirements.
   
Standard 1.1: The institution has been established as a legal entity.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Certificate of incorporation or legislative decree bearing the name under which the institution wishes to operate or Cabinet minute or Act of Parliament showing the establishment of the institution.
 
  • Certificate of Conferment of Institutional Title bearing the name under which the institution wishes to operate, if it was established after July 9th, 2004.
   
Standard 1.2: The institution demonstrates the ownership of, and responsibility for, assuring access to the learning facilities that support and facilitate the learning expected of its students.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Master plan for buildings and facilities (for a minimum period of three years).
 
  • Provision for adequate ventilation and lighting to ensure occupant comfort, health and safety.
 
  • Adequate space allocation for learners, academic, administrative, support staff and other stakeholders to facilitate the fulfilment of institutional goals.
 
  • Plan for the acquisition of furnishings and equipment that are appropriate, functional and relevant to the needs of all constituents (students, lecturers etc).
 
  • Evacuation procedure and map.

 

Criterion 2.0: Governance and Administration
   
Criterion Statement: The corporate governance body and management actively show their commitment to achieving the development and continual improvement of the Quality Management System.
   
Standard 2.1: Institution has a governance structure.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Policies and procedures of the governing body or board that are consistent with the institution’s mission.
 
  • Distribution of authority, responsibilities and relationships as defined in governance structures, processes and activities are understood by management, implemented through delegated authority, and periodically reviewed.
   
Standard 2.2:  Institution has a documented Vision Statement.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Vision statement was formally adopted by the governing body.
 
  • Vision statement that is consistent with the philosophy of the institution.
 
  • The vision statement is published in official documentation of the institution or other information sources.
   
Standard 2.3 Institution has a documented Mission Statement.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Mission statement was formally adopted by the governing body.
 
  • Mission statement that is consistent with the purposes of the institution.
 
  • The mission statement is published in official documentation of the institution or other information sources.
 
  • The institution makes the mission available to the public, particularly toprospective and enrolled students.
 
  • The institutional goals are congruent with its mission.
   
Standard 2.4: Institution has an approved current Organisational Structure with supporting text that clearly identifies the role and responsibilities of all personnel.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • The lines of reporting within the institution are clearly defined on the organisational chart.
 
  • The number of staff members in a particular job function is sufficient to support the needs of the institution.

 

Criterion 3.0: Quality Management System
   
Criterion Statement: The institution has a well-planned Quality Management System that is in keeping with its vision, mission, policies, processes, organisational structure, responsibilities and resources, in order to assure the quality of educational outcomes.
   
Standard 3.1: Institution has a documented Quality Policy.
   
Examples of evidence: Quality Policy
 
  • is appropriate to the mission of the institution.
 
  • includes a commitment to comply with government rules and regulations for the particular sector.
 
  • has measurable objectives.
 
  • indicates how the objectives in Policy will be achieved.
 
  • includes continual improvement, the result of which will increase the satisfaction of the institution’s stakeholders.
 
  • does not contradict other policies of the institution.
 
  • is efficiently communicated to stakeholders.
Standard 3.2: Appropriate personnel have been assigned the duty of establishing, implementing and maintaining the institution’s Quality Management System (QMS).
   
Examples of evidence: QMS representative’s job description contains the responsibility for
 
  • ensuring that processes needed for the QMS are established, implemented and maintained.
 
  • reporting to top management on the performance of the QMS and any need for improvement.
   
Standard 3.3 Institution has documented student policies to ensure that quality services are delivered to them.
   
Examples of evidence: Equal Opportunity Policy which ensures that the institution does not discriminate against applicants
 
  • on the grounds on which it refuses or fails to accept that person’s application for admission as a student; or
 
  • in the terms and conditions on which it admits him/her as a student.
  Equal Opportunity Policy which ensures that the institution does not discriminate against students by
 
  • denying or limiting the student’s access to any benefits, facilities or services it provides
 
  • the grounds under which it expels students; or
 
  • subjecting the student to any other detriment.

 

Standard 4.6Management of the institution plans, makes available and controls the financial resources which are necessary for achieving the institution’s objectives.

Criterion 4.0: Resource Management
   
Criterion Statement: The resources essential to the institution’s operational activities are identified and available.
   
Standard 4.1: Institution has established and documented policies and/or procedures relating to the management of its resources.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Health and Safety Policy and/or Procedures
 
  • Human Resources Policy and/or Plan
 
  • Physical Resources (Plant and equipment) Policy
 
  • Finance Policy and/or Procedures
Standard 4.2: Members of staff are competent on the basis of appropriate education, skills and work experience to perform their teaching functions as they relate to quality programme delivery in the institution.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Members of staff have appropriate qualifications and experience to match the level and area of instruction.
 
  • Job descriptions that clearly define requirements to perform the job and responsibilities
 
  • Résumés
   
Standard 4.3 Institution has established and documented a procedure for maintaining its infrastructure.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Maintenance plan
 
  • Budgetary allocation
Standard 4.4 Institution offers reliable access to student and/or guidance counseling services, whenever needed.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Student support policy
 
  • Access to Student Counselor/Guidance Officer
 
  • Tutorials or other learning support
 
  • Access to Health Care Services
Standard 4.5 Physical resources are relevant and sufficient to meet the institution’s needs.
   
Examples of evidence: Adequate modern classroom, library, laboratory and workshop facilities, storage room(s) and resources that are easily accessible.
   
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Approved budget which includes projections for both income and expenditure
 
  • Tuition and non-tuition fee structure
 
  • Purchasing procedure

 

Criterion 5.0: Teaching-Learning Process
   
Criterion Statement: The institution has a plan for the various stages in its teaching-learning process.
   
Standard 5.1: Institution has established and documented an overall Quality Plan for its teaching-learning process.
   
Examples of evidence: Quality Plan includes or addresses
   
  Documented Policies and Procedures for
 
  • Programme Approval
 
  • Programme Monitoring
 
  • Programme Review
Standard 5.2: Curricula have been designed and developed to enable students to achieve the intended learning outcomes.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Approved Programme specifications
 
  • Programme Approval Committee that is independent of the academic department/unit that will be offering the programme. Evidence that the committee has access to any specialised advice which may be needed.
Standard 5.3 Institution has established and documented policies for the teaching-learning process.
   
Examples of evidence: Policies for
 
  • Admission
 
  • Tuition, Compulsory and Other Fees
 
  • Class Attendance
 
  • Dropping/Adding courses
 
  • Leave of Absence or Withdrawal
 
  • Granting of Bursaries, Scholarships and Other Financial Aid
 
  • Student Support
 
  • Award and Transfer of Credits
 
  • Award of Qualifications
 
  • Processing and Disbursing Transcripts

 

Criterion 6.0: Review
   
Criterion Statement: The institution’s management reviews the Quality Management System at planned intervals to ensure that it is suitable, adequate and effective. Records of the review are kept.
   
Standard 6.1: Institution’s management has established a process for collecting appropriate information.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Internal quality review procedure
 
  • Institutional research capability
Standard 6.2: Institution has reliable methods for monitoring and measuring stakeholder satisfaction.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Student feedback forms
 
  • Satisfaction surveys of other stakeholders, e.g. graduates, staff, parents, employers, etc
Standard 6.3 Institution has established and documented methods for monitoring student learning outcomes.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Plans for the identification, storage, protection, retrieval, retention time and disposition of records of assessment
 
  • Plans for the conduct of tracer studies

 

Criterion 7.0: Continuous Improvement
   
Criterion Statement: The institution continually reviews its Quality Management System.
   
Standard 7.1: Institution has documented a process to address all activities that do not comply with established criteria and standards for registration.
   
Examples of evidence:
  • Procedure to address past problems to prevent their recurrence
 
  • Procedure to avoid potential problems