Europe’s accreditation body, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), is to launch a mentoring and quality improvement service for business schools that fall short of the accreditation standards necessary to be validated under the existing two-tier system. The mentors for the programme will be led by former business school deans.
The Deans Across Frontiers (Daf) system will sit alongside the Equis and Epas accreditation systems already operated by EFMD. The Equis accreditation is given to the top tier of business schools and Epas is a programme-level accreditation for those that do not meet the full Equis accreditation standards. Daf will be those schools that have not yet achieved the standard needed to be accredited by Epas.
Chris Greensted, who is heading up the project, says EFMD is hoping to launch the Daf advisory system with three business schools in 2012 and six business schools a year from 2013. Prime customers for the service will be the 400 EFMD members who are not accredited under Equis and Epas, though business schools from outside that group are also eligible to apply.
For those business schools who can afford to pay for the advisory service, the cost will be €36,500; for schools in developing economies, a partial “scholarship” scheme is being put into place. The Daf process will involve the school carrying out a self-assessment followed by a peer review, mentoring and annual progress reports.