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General accreditation procedure

1.1. Initial accreditation

The three stages of institution accreditation are:

  1. Creation of an accreditation dossier and verification of the legal documents required.
  2. Issuance of a favourable technical-academic report.
  3. Conclusion of an accreditation agreement.

STAGE 1a. Creation of accreditation dossier

Institutions wishing to apply for accreditation must:

  • Submit an application form to the Cervantes Institute, together with a statement attesting to their compliance with the minimum requirements, any supplementary documents required by the Institute and payment of the fee for initiating proceedings.
  • Receive notice from the Cervantes Institute accepting the application to initiate proceedings.

STAGE 1b. Favourable legal report

This phase involves the following steps:

  • Within one month of receipt of confirmation of acceptance of the application, the institution must send the Cervantes Institute the legal documents requested. If it fails to do so, it must re-apply.
  • After submission of the documents, the institution receives an email from the Cervantes Institute confirming the initiation of stage 2 of the accreditation proceedings.
  • The institution must then hire an evaluation agency, which may be the Institute’s own or any of its certified agencies, to conduct the respective survey and issue the technical-academic report.

STAGE 2.Issuance of a favourable technical-academic report

This stage involves the following:

  • The institution sets a date for the survey with the evaluation agency. The institution provides the agency with a completed self-assessment questionnaire together with all other documents required (Group 1 documents) at least 15 days prior to the date scheduled for the survey.
  • The evaluation agency conducts the survey to verify the information on the institution’s self-assessment questionnaire.
  • The agency issues its provisional technical-academic report, specifying the institution’s score. This report is attached to the survey findings.
  • The agency sends its provisional report and survey findings to the Cervantes Institute.
  • The Cervantes Institute’s specifically designated technical unit validates the evaluation agency’s report.
  • Upon receipt of validation, the evaluation agency sends the institution its permanent report with the survey findings.

If the technical-academic report is unfavourable, the institution may apply for re-assessment and issuance of a second report.

STAGE 3. Conclusion of an accreditation agreement

This final stage, which entails concluding an accreditation agreement, comprises the following steps:

  • As appropriate, the Cervantes Institute invites the institution to conclude an accreditation agreement whereby it is awarded 'Cervantes Institute-accredited' status.
  • Further to the conditions laid down by the Cervantes Institute’s Board of Directors, accreditation is valid for an initial period of 3 years, renewable up to the maximum 12 years envisaged in the accreditation agreement.

1.2. Renewals

The accreditation agreement is renewable every 3 years, for a maximum of 12. According to the agreement, renewals entail the following:

  • First and third renewals: the extant technical-academic assessment must be ratified. Issuance of ratification calls for assessment by an external agency, but does not require an on-site survey.
  • Second renewal: midway into the maximum term of the agreement, a favourable technical-academic report must be issued by an evaluation agency, subject to an on-site survey.

To be eligible for renewal, institutions must formally notify the Cervantes Institute of their intention to renew the accreditation agreement at least 8 months in advance of the expiration date. Such renewal is subject to receipt of a notice from the Cervantes Institute of its consent.

If the institution meets all the requirements for a favourable technical-academic report or ratification of the previous report, and providing the Cervantes Institute deems it suitable, the accreditation agreement renewal is signed, subject to submission of updated legal documents where necessary.

The accreditation renewal is concluded under the terms laid down by the Cervantes Institute’s Board of Directors.

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