Formerly the EEAA

Independence, Conflict of Interest and Intolerance Prevention Policy

Independence

The ECTE operates independently in full autonomy from other bodies and is fully responsible for its operations and outcomes.

Although the association is governed by the General Assembly and operates within a peer-accreditation scheme, accreditation decisions are performed by the ECTE Council independently, with no influence or interference from the General Assembly, from the institutions that are the beneficiaries of the accreditation or from other stakeholders.

VETs (Visitation Evaluation Teams) are nominated and appointed independently from third parties such as higher education institutions, governments and other stakeholder. VETs make recommendations to the ECTE Council by means of written Review Reports following on-site visits, but do not participate in the accreditation decision-making processes.  Both the independence of the reviewers and the independence of decisions are thus safeguarded.

Other measures to guarantee independence are found in a number of ECTE policies and procedures.

The following table depicts areas of organisational, operational and formal outcomes independence in the ECTE.

All personnel (Council members, staff and VET) are required to commit to this policy, which is included in the No Conflict of Interest Declaration.


Conflict of interest

The ECTE No Conflict of Interest Declaration is meant to prevent situations where doubt is cast on an accreditation recommendations or decisions because those involved might not be fully impartial.

To ensure that the VETs performing review visits and the ECTE Council that is responsible for making the final accreditation decisions are free of conflict of interest, VETs and Council members (on being elected) will be asked to fill out and sign the No Conflict of Interest Declaration that includes a declaration to decline review involvement should conflict situations arise. Should Council members be involved as VET members in reviewing an institution or programme, they will abstain from the accreditation decision-making process related to the review. ECTE staff also sign the declaration.

In deploying the VET teams, care will be taken to safeguard operational independence in practice, in defining procedures and methods and nominating experts. The ECTE will not not send experts to visit institutions with whom they have proven close relations. Generally speaking, VET teams will also have an international composition so as to avoid regional competition or conflicts of interest.


Intolerance Prevention Policy

The ECTE intolerance prevention policy refers to the work of Council members, staff and VET members with ECTE institutions, other Council and staff.

  1. ECTE personnel commit to act respectfully of other persons and to give the same opportunities regardless of race, colour, gender, age, disability, religion and theological convictions, political opinion or social origin.
  2. ECTE personnel commit to maintain accreditation decisions and judgments unrelated to agreement/disagreement with the theological convictions of the parties involved.

All personnel (Council members, staff and VET) are required to commit to this policy, which is included in the No Conflict of Interest Declaration.