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Barbados Accreditation Council
Suite 1, Building 1, Manor Lodge Complex
Lodge Hill
St. Michael BB14000

Telephone: (246) 535-6740
Fax: (246) 622-1089

  • CARICOM Skills Qualification
  • Registration
  • Accreditation
  • Programme Approval
  • Recognition
  • Engagement of External Evaluators

Recognition is the formal acknowledgement by a competent authority of the appropriateness of a foreign qualification to access education and/or employment in the receiving country. Generally, the recognition process requires that tertiary education and training institutions be recognized and accredited within the country of origin.

A determination by a competent authority that a particular programme or course has attained a comparable recognized standard. The purposes of determining equivalencies include facilitating (1) articulation arrangements between institutions and other issues related to the transfer of students to other educational institutions and (2) entry of graduates of the programmes into the workplace.

Accreditation is a process in which a programme of study or institution is assessed for its standard and given official recognition. At the programme level, accreditation is concerned with the quality of a specific course or programme of study, while institutional accreditation is concerned with the evaluation of an entire institution. The accreditation process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of educational provisions, making it worthy of public confidence.


  • Highlights the capabilities/competencies of the institution;
  • Assures recognition of qualifications and transferability locally, regionally and internationally;
  • Improves education/training and learning achievement as the quality of the institution’s provision is assured;
  • Provides assurance that an individual is getting value for money for time spent on a programme of study;
  • Facilitates the transfer of learner credits from one institution to another;
  • Provides recognition for entry into higher education, profession and business.


  • Provides national, regional and international recognition of quality, accountability, and public trust;
  • Verifies the quality of the educational provision to potential students, businesses and governments;
  • Facilitates access to support and services designed to continually improve the quality of education and training;
  • Lends prestige to the institution;
  • Highlights strengths and capabilities of the institution;
  • Aids with student recruitment efforts; and
  • Provides credibility by enhancing the image of the institution.


  • Assures the quality of human capital;
  • Assures the quality of qualifications and credentials presented;
  • Increases productivity and performance which may lead to increased profitability; and
  • Provides benchmarks against which educational provision can be measured against employment requirements.


  • Assures a highly skilled workforce, which should enhance international competitiveness;
  • Increases the global competitiveness of local institutions;
  • Provides assurance to taxpayers of the quality of educational provision; and
  • Assures government of positive returns on investment in the educational sector.

A Diploma Mill sells qualifications with very little or no quality assurance. Diplomas issued by a Diploma Mill are granted without ensuring that the students are properly qualified.

This is accreditation with low educational standards and without recognition from government and other competent authorities. Accreditation mills give the public the impression that the institution has met the required standards.
For more information on fraudulent accrediting agencies, institutions and diploma mills. For further information see www.osac.state. or.usloda/unaccredited.html (Also see the Barbados Accreditation Council pamphlet on Websites that provide Information on Accredited and Non-accredited Institutions)

The best safeguard against fraudulent providers is to check with the Barbados Accreditation Council to ensure that the institution and programmes of study are either recognised or accredited by an authorised accreditation agency or body. You must make sure that a recognised accrediting body accredits the institution, which is the highest mark of accreditation quality. If the profession you are studying requires a licence for admission to practise, then you must also check the accreditation of the programme.

The Council offers a Recognition of Qualification service, also known as Equivalency, where foreign qualifications are evaluated to provide information about the comparability to local qualifications i.e. what the foreign qualification is equivalent to locally.

Once the recognition of qualification process has been completed, the applicant is issued with a Statement on Recognition or Standard Evaluation Report, depending on the applicant’s request at application. The Statement on Recognition is a basic account which certifies the comparability of the foreign-based qualification to local awards. The Standard Evaluation Report is a comprehensive assessment statement which includes an overview of the issuing country’s educational system; description of the qualification; employment related information; comparability of the award and description of the comparable level.

NOTE: In addition to the required documentation outlined in the application guidelines, persons with qualifications awarded by the WAEC or NECO must also submit a ‘Scratch Card’ with their application.

The Council provides a Programme Approval as well as a Programme Accreditation service.  However, educational providers must first be registered with the Council.

Any provider seeking registration must comply with the Council’s registration requirements which are outlines in the Council’s “Registration Guidelines.” The provider must demonstrate its ability to provide students with proper academic supervision, adequate physical and learning resources, appropriate support services.

The Process for Programme Approval

  1. The provider must complete and submit an application form with all relevant documentation to the BAC;
  2. The BAC will review the application form and supporting documentation and advise the provider on the status of the application;
  3. The programme will be reviewed by a team of professionals including independent consultant evaluators contracted by the BAC who have specialist knowledge in the relevant field;
  4. The provider will receive a report on the outcome of the evaluation and a statement on the approval or non-approval of the programme;
  5. The provider will receive a Certificate of Approval for each programme approved by the BAC;
  6. A provider that submits a programme that is granted ‘Conditional Approval’ by the BAC will be given for a period not exceeding one (1) calendar year to correct the deficiencies identified and to re-submit the programme for approval.  No additional fees will apply.
  7. Re-application and the payment of fees will be required for programmes that are not approved on the expiration of the 1 year period.

Accredited providers or programmes are subject to a full evaluation every three, five or seven years depending on for example, the maturity of the provider.

Programme accreditation process involves the comprehensive review of a particular programme or discipline against standards established by the accreditation body. In this type of accreditation, the accreditation agency utilises professionals in the field to evaluate the quality of the programme or course. It focuses on all factors related to the quality of the educational provision(s) or discipline under review, such as the curriculum and programme/course content. This form of accreditation seeks to assure that graduates have achieved the stated academic and occupational competencies as designed in the programme.

The following must be submitted to apply for Programme Accreditation:

  • Full name and contact details of the provider;
  • Full title of the programme(s)/course(s) to be accredited;
  • Mode(s) of study offered;
  • Name of authorising or primary contact person;
  • Proof of approval by the governing body/board/management to seek accreditation from BAC;
  • Whether another body accredits the programme(s)/course(s) and date of the next reaccreditation; and
  • Date of last institution accreditation evaluation, where applicable.

Programme approval may be considered a precursor to programme accreditation. It evaluates all aspects of an educational programme except actual outcomes such as student performance; feedback from students and teaching staff; and feedback from employers of graduates of the programme.  Actual outcomes are evaluated during the programme accreditation process. Each programme must be internally approved by a provider before it is subject to external review and approval by the BAC.

General Documentation required for Certificate of Recognition of CARICOM Skills Qualification


  1.  Application form (completed, legible, signed by a Justice of Peace and with official stamp/seal of the Justice-of-the-Peace)
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Proof of status as a CARICOM national
  4. Marriage Certificate (where applicable)
  5. Qualification (undergrad/post-graduate/professional)
  6. Two (2) Professional reference letters (as on attached application form)
  7. Proof of registration with professional agency (where applicable)
  8. Letter(s) from respective National Federation or Ministry (Artistes, Media persons, Musicians, Sports persons)
  9. Letter(s) from previous employers (Artistes, Media persons, Musicians, Sports persons)
  10. Letter from General Nursing Council of a CARICOM Member State (Registered Nurse)
  11. Passport (copy of biodata page & date of issue)
  12. Two (2) passport size photos (applicant’s name in block letters at back)
  13. $100 application fee (per application)
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