Independence and conflict of interest


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 nor by the institutions that are the beneficiaries of the accreditation.

VETs (Visitation Evaluation Teams) 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.

Conflict of interest

The ECTE has a No Conflict of Interest Declaration 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. 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.