AABS accreditation is a unique African accreditation, underpinned by African values and contexts. It is as such, a system to benchmark the provision of high-quality business and management education in Africa. It is a globally recognised standard of quality, and a bold step in shaping the African concept of management education.
AABS accreditation promotes excellence in management education in Africa through collaboration, capacity building and quality improvement. It aims to support African business schools in their contribution to inclusive social and economic growth in Africa.
The AABS quality benchmarking focuses on the relevance and quality of what your school does (research, teaching and student experience) to provide first-rate management education, and the consequent meaningful impact it makes on its environment.
Benefits of the AABS Accreditation
- Provides an international recognition of excellence that raises the prestige and reputation of your institution, helping to attract faculty, students, employers and strategic partners.
- Encourages a tradition of continuous improvement in all aspects of your school’s processes, enabling it adapt quickly to the changing needs of the environment in which it operates.
- Facilitates peer learning and sharing of best practice within a network of AABS-accredited schools.
AABS Accreditation Standards
The AABS accreditation standards for high-quality business and management education have been set to encourage African business schools to support inclusive social economic growth in Africa. AABS accreditation focuses on the relevance and quality of the school’s mission, programmes, facilities and so on, and the positive impact the school is able to make on society through its faculty, research and alumni. It looks at how well a school is able to foster responsible management practice, improve the skills of students, develop its (and other) faculty and generally contribute to the body of knowledge of business and management in Africa.
There are 15 AABS accreditation standards grouped into five main areas as follows:
- Relevance to Context: The context in which the institution operates is vital to its existence, because it determines the relevance of its programmes and influences all aspects of the institution’s operations.
- Leadership: The leadership under which the mission, strategy and governance of the institution lie is also of utmost importance. A clear mission, well-articulated strategies and effective governance are the foundation for achieving operational excellence. A successful school should also be able to contribute to capacity building by mentoring other schools at the leadership level.
- Operations: This evaluates the capacity and quality of facilities, allocation and management of resources, adequacy of support services and faculty management. It also assesses the school’s commitment to deliver quality management education through well-estatblished quality assurance sytems.
- Learning: This looks at how well, beginning with research studies that focus on African issues, the school’s faculty use appropriate teaching methods to deliver relevant programme objectives to appropriately selected students.
- Impact: This is an assessment of the meaningful impact a school makes on its operating environment while executing its mission and objectives.
AABS Accreditation Process
- Expression of Interest: The AABS accreditation process begins with the school making an enquiry and seeking advice about AABS accreditation. The school will be required to fill out an application form with a portion where it provides informtion about its eligibility for the accreditation.
- Eligibility: The AABS Accreditation Committee assesses the school’s eligibility for the AABS accreditation, from the information provided. If eligible, the school is sent a letter requesting it pays the accreditation fees to continue with the process.
- Self-Evaluation: The school proceeds to prepare a self-evaluation report (SER) along the AABS accreditation standards and criteria, with the help of a mentor. The mentor is appointed by the AABS Accreditation Committee, in consultation with the school. The process of submitting an SER from the date of receiving the ‘eligibility letter’ from the AABS Accreditation Committee should not exceed eight months.
- AABS Accreditation Team’s Visit: An AABS Accreditation Team will be constituted to review the SER within one month of receiving it. If found satisfactory, the AABS Accreditation Manager begins to plan with the school, a suitable date for a school visit. The visit may last up to two days, and the school will be required to cover the travel and accommodation expenses for the three-member AABS Accreditation Team.
- The AABS Accreditation Team submits it’s report to the school and to the AABS Accreditation Committee, who makes a recommendation to the AABS Board on whether to award AABS accreditation or not. These steps from submission of SER by the school to the recommendation made to the AABS Board may take up to four months.
- Accreditation Decision: The AABS Board makes the decision to award accreditation or not based on the recommendation of the AABS Accreditation Committee. This decision is taken during one of the two pre-scheduled Board meetings during the year.
- Mid-Term Report: The AABS accreditation is awarded for five years, and so half way into the accreditation, the school is expected to submit a mid-term report showing its progess, and informing the AABS Accreditation Office of any new changes relating to its accreditation.
- Re-Accreditation: A school wishing to be re-accredited will submit an application for re-accreditation, at least six months before the expiry of the initial accreditation. The process of re-accreditation is similar to the process of initial accreditation, but without the involvement of a mentor.