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As identified in Afghanistan’s National Higher Education Strategic Plan, in 2009 the commission on Quality Assurance and Accreditation was established.   In 2011 the bye-laws were prepared and as a result the Ministry of Higher Education established the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QAAD) to administer and oversee the accreditation process.  In 2012, the first Accreditation Framework was drafted and approved by the MoHE.  Initially during 2012 to 2015 more than 50 universities, both public and private, applied for and were qualified for initial candidacy status. In 2016, the first draft of the Framework and Accreditation Process was revised based on feedback from universities. In 2016 a focused pilot was conducted with 8 universities (4 public and 4 private) based on the revised framework.  Finally, in 2017 based on feedback from the pilot study, the framework and process were revised for a final time and a second phase of accreditation was launched and is on-going. Under the administration of the QAAD, internal and external quality assurance processes were implemented and now Afghan universities can apply for different stages of accreditation. Recently, among 38 public universities 3 were awarded full accreditation, seven are in the second stage of accreditation and nine are at the initial or first stage of accreditation. Among 137 private institutions of higher education, two of them are fully accredited, 8 are in the second stage and 32 are in the first stage of accreditation.

The QAAD encourages, promotes and enhances quality improvement in the nation’s public and private higher education institutions with the goal of meeting international standards in all areas of higher education.  The QAAD oversees the accreditation process of all public and private higher education institutions and informs and educates higher education institutions and the public about accreditation standards and requirements, the process, procedures and benefits of accreditation as well as organizes the selection and training of peer reviewers.

The university-based quality assurance units oversee the preparation of institutional self-assessment reports (SAR); capacity building for faculty and staff (workshops); and overall quality improvement at the institution (monitoring); as well as the hosting Peer Review Teams.

The main responsible bodies for quality assurance and accreditation process in Afghanistan are the nine national board members of QAAD, and the academic evaluation committee members.  Both of these groups are based at the Ministry of Higher Education under the organizational structure of QAAD; in addition, there are many internal quality assurance committee members which are based at each Afghan university.

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