Quality assurance processes will determine the formal and/or legal standing of an academic award or institutional provision. Normally these activities are commissioned by a national accreditation agency or by a self-accrediting higher education institution:

Accreditation Accreditation is the evaluation of an institution or a specific educational programme in order to determine the degree to which it will, if approved, meet the minimum threshold standards required to receive a licence to award academic qualifications. Accreditation is normally time-limited with periodic renewal.

Revalidation   Revalidation is the process of periodic review through which an already accredited programme is judged to continue to be meeting, and to what degree, the threshold standards required for the accredited award. Revalidation, as a process of quality assurance, is also linked to evidence for the actions an institution has taken to deliver quality enhancement of the provision throughout the period since the previous validation, the degree to which this enhancement has been achieved and the strategies in place to further that enhancement.