Accreditation is a good process in ensuring the quality of a university. In every process of accreditation, the aim is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality in order to function effectively. There are many types of accreditation such as institutional accreditation, professional accreditation, and programme accreditation.
According to the Medical Act 1971, Medicine in Malaysia is regulated by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), a national licensing board which regulates the teaching and practice of medicine in the country.
In the beginning, MMC defines its core functions related to the registration and practice of medical practitioners. the period of compulsory service and the provisions related to the registration, practice and period of service provision.
Later, MMC has extended its role in collaboration with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) of granting recognition to other medical schools in the country and overseas.
For the purpose of recognition of medical schools, the MMC/MQA endorsed a guideline on standards and procedures on accreditation developed in 1996, which was later realigned with international and regional guidelines, in 2000 and 2001. (Mahmud Mohd Nor).
In the Malaysia context, MQA uses accreditation as a basis for other parties including the Public Service Department (PSD) to recognize the qualification for a variety of reasons such as employment in the public service.
Programme accreditation is also used for other purposes such as to apply for loans from various funding institutions, for credit transfer, and to franchise the accredited programmes from an institution to another.
MQA deploys Malaysia Qualifying Framework (MQF) as an instrument that qualifies qualifications based on the set of criteria that are approved nationally and benchmarked against the international best practice.
MQA has set up a Code of Practise for Programme Accreditation (COPPA) which comprise guidelines on the preparation of documents for programme accreditation and assists assessment process for programme accreditation.
The process of acquiring accreditation starts with an application, date setting, visit an institution, tabling reports to various committees including Joint Committee MMC/MQA meeting and recommendation to the institution.
The time frame for the development of a quality assurance document is usually about 12 months, starting from the receipt of the task until the document is uploaded in the MQA website. The important stages of the development process are illustrated in the diagram.
The Impact study of Programme standards to stakeholders was conducted online from 1st to 30th Sept 2013 to obtain feedback on the impact of programme standards in curriculum development and review processes of a programme. Among the findings include five (5) years is agreed by the majority of respondents to be an appropriate duration for review of programme standards. The five years duration provides sufficient time to evaluate the content and importance of particular programme standards.