Message from Eaquals Director of Accreditation, Ludka Kotarska

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Another busy year for Eaquals accreditation is coming to a close. It has been marked by what constitutes the core of our activity – organising and conducting advisory visits and inspections. There have been 46 this year and we have welcomed 12 new accredited members to the Eaquals family, extensive and intensive schools and a university centre located in 11 countries. There are 146 accredited members teaching 25 languages in 38 countries on 3 continents. The Eaquals map includes now 3 new countries: Algeria, Estonia and Korea.

Running the accreditation scheme is not a one person show. As ever it has been teamwork: Eaquals inspectors, the Accreditation Panel and the Secretariat. We rely on the inspectors’ judgement and expertise to ensure that applicant institutions and members benefit from the inspection experience, and on the Accreditation Panel to safeguard a consistent application of the Eaquals standards from inspection to inspection. Organisation of 46 inspections and advisory visits, almost one every week, and deployment of 90 inspectors would not have been possible without unfailing support of Anna Andor and Vivi Koszegi. Thank you all for doing an excellent job.

Development of the Accreditation Scheme
The review of Version 7.1 of the Inspection Scheme and the development of its variant for Higher Education has been our flagship project this year. I am pleased to report that the Advisory Group has made a considerable progress and Version 7.2 of the Scheme has been piloted and will be launched at the beginning of next year.

The main purpose of the review was to keep up with developments in our sector and to respond to member and inspector feedback. In Version 7.2 we have maintained the spirit and the principles of Version 7.1. The structure of the Scheme has been revised to achieve greater coherence and progression. The main Categories have been maintained and grouped in 5 Sections in a more logical way. The grading system has not been changed and we have kept most of the Quality Standards and detailed Criteria.

The development of the Scheme for Higher Education institutions is work in progress and we aim to pilot it in quarter 2 of next year.

Accreditation Panel
The Accreditation Panel – composed of eight members – is responsible for moderation of inspection reports, and it also contributes to the development of the Inspection Scheme and inspector training. Two of its members – Binnie Hadjidimitrova and Valérie Clochard will step down at this end of this month having served on the Panel for six years. Working with Binnie and Valérie has been a rewarding experience. On behalf of Eaquals I wish to thank them for the reports they have read over the years, for their insight and constructive feedback and for the training sessions they have run for Eaquals inspectors. We appreciate their contribution to the development of the Scheme, unbiased views and professional integrity. Both Binnie and Valérie will continue working as Eaquals inspectors.

It is a pleasure to inform you that the Eaquals Board approved the appointment of Angela Signorastri and Galya Mateva as members of the Panel so please join me in welcoming them on board. They are experienced freelance inspectors who have been active in Eaquals for a number of years. Their professional experience includes teacher training and academic management.