Instituto Cervantes Sistema de Acreditación de Centros Instituto Cervantes (Instituto Cervantes Accreditation System for Centres) Español
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Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications must an institution meet to apply for Cervantes Institute accreditation?

Public or private institutions may apply for SACIC accreditation if they:

  • Engage in Spanish language teaching as an exclusive, priority or supplementary activity meet the minimum requirements in terms of academic endeavour, teaching quality, premises and facilities, administration, information and advertising, and legal status as listed on pages 20-30 of the document Accreditation System Procedure. General Information (in Spanish).

In its analysis of the application, the Cervantes Institute takes the following into consideration:

  • The information received about the candidate institution: in particular, its experience, measured in years (with a minimum of 2), teaching Spanish as a foreign language.
  • The information furnished by the Cervantes Institute’s divisions and its centres outside Spain.
  • The Cervantes Institute’s annual strategic plan.

Are Cervantes Institute-accredited institutions the same as the examination centres for the Diploma in Spanish as a foreign language (DELE)?

No. The designation 'Cervantes Institute-accredited’ constitutes explicit acknowledgement of an institution’s compliance with the requirements, conditions and other criteria laid down in the SACIC accreditation and assessment procedure and entails the conclusion of an accreditation agreement.

Examination centres are organisations that collaborate with the Cervantes Institute to organise the DELE exams.

The proceedings leading to acknowledgement of an organisation as a DELE examination centre are described on the ‘institutions’ page on the DELE website:
http://diplomas.cervantes.es/instituciones/centros.jsp.

What are the benefits of Cervantes Institute accreditation?

Cervantes Institute accreditation entitles an institution to use the logotype and designation ‘Cervantes Institute-accredited’. It also entails direct promotion as an accredited institution on the Cervantes Institute website designed for that purpose.

Are the institutions listed on the ‘Spanish in Spain’ website Cervantes Institute accredited?

Not necessarily. 'Spanish in Spain' (http://eee.cervantes.es/en/index.asp) is a directory of all the institutions teaching Spanish as a foreign language in Spain. The details were uploaded by the institutions themselves.

The Cervantes Institute does not appraise the institutions listed on this website, although it does specify which are accredited.

Who verifies accreditation candidate conformity with requirements, conditions and criteria?

Candidate institutions are assessed by a Cervantes Institute evaluation agency or an evaluation agency certified by the Institute as qualified to conduct SACIC assessments.

Does the issuance of a favourable technical-academic report by an evaluation agency necessarily lead to Cervantes Institute-accredited status?

A favourable technical-academic report does not automatically lead to accreditation. The Cervantes Institute must approve the dossier, subject to a favourable report on the legal formalities, before the institution’s owner is invited to conclude an accreditation agreement.

Can an institution that has initiated proceedings or been the object of a favourable technical-academic report use the ‘Cervantes Institute-accredited’ logotype?

Neither the logotype nor the designation may be used until an accreditation agreement has been concluded with the Cervantes Institute. The Institute sends the logotype to accredited institutions upon conclusion of the accreditation agreement to ensure its correct use and compliance with graphic standards.

How long is accreditation in effect? Can it be renewed?

Initial accreditation is valid for 3 years. It may be renewed, subject to notifying the Cervantes Institute accordingly 8 months prior to expiration.

The rules governing renewals are as follows.

  • First and third renewals: the previous technical-academic report must be ratified. Ratification entails assessment on the grounds of documents furnished by the institution and reviewed by the evaluation agency hired by the institution. It does not require an on-site survey.
  • Second renewal: midway into the maximum term of the agreement, a favourable report must be issued by the evaluation agency chosen by the institution, subject to an on-site survey conducted by the agency’s technical team.

What costs are involved in Cervantes Institute accreditation?

The assessment expenses to be defrayed by an institution are as follows:

  • Price for initiating the accreditation dossier. This price is paid by institutions inside and outside Spain when submitting their application for accreditation, along with any additional documents, to the Cervantes Institute.
  • Technical-academic report. The cost of conducting a comprehensive assessment and issuing a technical-academic report and the survey findings is payable by the accreditation or renewal candidate to the evaluation agency.
  • Ratification of the technical-academic report. The cost of ratifying the previous technical-academic report is paid by institutions applying for (first or third) accreditation renewal to the evaluation agency that issued the previous report, or to the Cervantes Institute.
  • Annual accreditation fee. As stipulated in the accreditation agreement, this yearly fee is paid to the Cervantes Institute by accredited institutions in and outside Spain throughout the term of accreditation.

Since each evaluation agency sets its own rates for issuing technical-academic reports and ratifications, the total charge may differ from agency to agency. Nonetheless, it must conform to the following principles.

  • The price list must be the same nationwide.
  • The prices for issuing or ratifying a technical-academic report may be no higher than the sums established yearly by the Cervantes Institute for those items.
  • Evaluation agencies may discount Cervantes Institute prices by no more than 20 %.

Issuance of a technical-academic report is contingent upon an on-site survey. In such cases, the institution must also defray the travel, per diem and lodging expenses incurred by the survey staff.

Updated price information (Accreditation prices) is published on the SACIC website and may be obtained as well by emailing inquiries to the following address: centros.acreditados@cervantes.es.

If the technical-academic report contains an item calling for teacher training, the institution must defray all the related expenses, including trainers’ travel, lodging, per diem and prices.

If the accreditation agreement is concluded in June, for instance, would the institution have to pay the full year’s fee?

No. In that case, the fee would be prorated for a 6 month period.

How long does accreditation take, from submission of the application to conclusion of the agreement?

Once the candidacy for initial accreditation is approved, the time lapsing from receipt of the application approval notice to conclusion of the accreditation agreement depends largely on the institution’s preparedness and activity and the time it devotes during the assessment and legal report stages. The estimated time to complete a dossier is 10 months (6 months from the initial application through issuance of the technical-academic report and 4 months to issue the favourable legal report and process the accreditation agreement), unless the institution fails to meet one of the established deadlines.

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