There are two time points each year for the receipt of applications for accreditation. These are 1 May and 1 November.
You will need to provide a portfolio of supporting evidence to demonstrate that your course meets the stated requirements. Your submission should include:
- Course Structure (section A on Evidence Form)
- Entry requirements (sections B or C on Evidence Form)
- Departmental/School/University Infrastructure (section D on Evidence Form)
- Course Assessment (section E on Evidence Form)
- Application form
- Payee details and purchase order number
Much of this material may be included in the Course Handbook or similar document and so this information does not need to be duplicated; it can be cross-referenced to the appropriate part of the Course Handbook, etc.
Cost of Applying for Accreditation
The cost of applying for the accreditation of a Bachelors or Masters degree is £2,500 for the first course submitted by a university then £2000 per subsequent course(s). If agreed the accreditation will last for 5 years.
There will be an annual accreditation maintenance fee of £150 (as of 2016) and at this point the current Course Handbook should also be submitted. This annual accreditation maintenance will include the assessment of any programme/course changes during the accreditation period.
Five yearly renewal
After 5 years, or following a major change to the course structure and/or content, an application for renewal of accreditation (present fee: £2,500/£2,000) will be required. If necessary, what constitutes a major change in course structure and/or content may be determined in consultation with IFST. Applications for more than one similar degree courses at the same time, where there is some commonality of course structure and content, will attract a discount.
IFST will invoice your institution for payment. Please include payee details (including Purchase Order no, if required) on your application form. The results of the assessment will not be released until payment is received.
Request for Reconsideration of outcome & Appeals procedure
Reconsideration of outcome
An institution that has had an application for accreditation turned down may request that the decision be reconsidered. This request should be received, in writing, by IFST within one calendar month of the date of the decision.
Normally such a request may only be made on the following grounds:
- information that may have influenced an accreditation decision, and which was not included in the application, has become available.
- information in the application documentation was not properly taken into account.
- the accreditation process was not properly carried out by IFST.
The request will be considered by the Accreditation Assessment Panel who will consider the grounds for the request against the procedure followed; in essence, this will be a reassessment of the accreditation application. The outcome, including the reasons for the outcome, will be communicated to the institution. If the institution accepts the outcome the matter will be considered resolved.
If the institution is not satisfied with the outcome, it may formally appeal the decision by writing to IFST, within a calendar month of receiving the decision, setting out the grounds of their dissatisfaction and asking for reconsideration. A fee of £150 will be payable, which will be refunded should the appeal be successful.
The appeal will be considerd by an Appeal Panel set up by IFST which will be independent of the original Accreditation Assessment Panel. This Appeal Panel will reassess all of the information provided, including any supplementary evidence submitted by the appellant, and it can take evidence from the Accreditation Assessment Panel, to determine the processes followed and how decisions were reached. The Appeal Panel may uphold the original decision or ask the Accreditation Assessment Panel to reconsider its recommendation.
The outcome of the appeals process will be communicated back to the institution in writing.
There is no further right of appeal and no further correspondence will be entered into regarding the appeal.