Interim accreditation supports newly developed degrees that do not yet have a cohort of graduates. To assess degrees for accreditation, the Royal Society of Biology looks at learning outcomes achieved by graduates. However, we encourage new degree programmes, where students have yet to graduate, to apply for interim accreditation.

Under these circumstances, the accreditation process is likely to involve a review of the course and a visit to the university before the first cohort of students graduate. We may then grant interim accreditation pending first cohort graduation, with full accreditation status awarded afterwards, if appropriate.

Universities seeking interim accreditation should refer to our guidance for interim accreditation, and contact us to discuss suitable pathways to gaining accreditation before submitting an application.

Assessment process for interim accreditation

Under these circumstances, the interim accreditation process is likely to involve:

Stage one

The Assessment Panel will review the application and supporting documents, and complete the interim accreditation stage one report. The university will then be advised whether the degree programme is likely to meet the accreditation criteria and given the opportunity to make amendments before a site visit is scheduled.

Stage two

If the degree programme demonstrates the potential to meet the criteria, a site visit will be conducted. If the assessors remain satisfied the programme will meet the learning outcomes, they can choose to award interim accreditation; otherwise, the HEI will be given the opportunity to implement any recommended changes.

Stage three

The Assessment Panel will make their recommendation to the Royal Society of Biology Degree Accreditation Committee whether interim accreditation should be awarded. Once interim accreditation is ratified by the Degree Accreditation Committee, the institution may publicise this.

In order to gain full accreditation, the university must provide evidence to assure the assessors that the graduate learning outcomes are being achieved and the degree meets the requirements for accreditation.

If you have any queries about interim accreditation, please do not hesitate to contact us.