NAAC Accreditation: Guide to National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) for Higher Education

08, January 2021

Getting "successfully accredited" from a recognized body is quite imperative for any higher education institution. It determines the quality of education that the institution offers and helps the students to choose an institution that would accelerate their growth in terms of their career & personality development.

Accreditation status also captivates the attention of employers to arrange campus placement drives to choose the best students having in-depth knowledge.

In short, accreditation adds value to the "degree" that students earn & ensures the "quality check" of the institutions.

What is NAAC Accreditation?

National Assessment and Accreditation Council or NAAC certification can be defined as a measure to evaluate and then guarantee a standard of education provided in higher institutions across the nation. The University Grant Commission (UGC) has issued a decree stipulating that every university and faculty must get certification by the council called National Assessment and Accreditation Council.

In the pursuit of NAAC accreditation, institutions get an excellent opportunity to-

  • Multiply its productivity & efficiency
  • Figure out the shortcomings & academic strengths
  • Enhance teaching-learning processes
  • Continuously improve the plan of action

Thus, the NAAC accreditation stands for a reliable methodology to maximize student & institutional success.

"National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC Accreditation) will be compulsory for all HEIs by the year 2022."

NAAC's Assessment and Accreditation (A&A) initiatives follow a strict review process that keeps a tab on evaluating the "quality", "credibility" and "relevance" to offer grades to the HEIs.

What is the Vision of the NAAC?

As stated by the NAAC, their vision statement goes like this -

"To make quality the defining element of higher education in India through a combination of self and external quality evaluation, promotion, and sustenance initiatives."

In a nutshell, improving quality is the immediate goal that NAAC wants institutions to think and act on.

However, the plan of action is bound to change from time-to-time after periodic assessments.

It is a continuous process that helps HEIs to attain the best results.

Mission of the NAAC

The Mission of the NAAC reflects the long-term goals of the NAAC committee when it comes to education.

Here are the 5 major highlights of the NAAC mission.

  • Periodic assessments of the teaching-learning methods
  • Promote the educational environment with research & proven educational techniques
  • Encourage the concept of autonomy, edTech, innovation & self-evaluation
  • Undertaking research & training programs for student success
  • Collaboration with the stakeholders for feedback & improvement in work

Thus, NAAC aims at developing the "quest for excellence" amongst educational institutions that would help students learn in a competitive environment.

NAAC Committee Hierarchy

Chairman (EC), President (GC) and the Director - These authorities are responsible to maintain the proper functioning of the NAAC committee. The lead the entire team & strive to implement the quality analysis parameters and fulfill the vision & mission of the NAAC.

They are responsible for the changes in the NAAC policy.

They update the policy whenever there’s a need and scope of improvement.

What is the Eligibility for the NAAC Accreditation?

The eligibility criteria for getting NAAC accreditation is quite simple yet very strict.

The Universities and Colleges that want to get successfully accredited by NAAC need to fit into the given NAAC accreditation criteria.

  • State, Central, Private and Deemed-to-be colleges & universities are eligible
  • The HEIs campus must be in the Indian Region. No off-shore campuses are entertained by the NAAC committee
  • The Assessment and Accreditation (A & A) process of NAAC considers the HEIs recognized by autonomous colleges & universities

NAAC Accreditation process

NAAC’s accreditation process is more about Quality Assurance (QA). The latest framework of NAAC accreditation primarily requires -

  • Institutional data & reports submission
  • Data verification & validation
  • Proof & documents to support the reports
  • ICT-enabled education
  • Student feedback

The NAAC accreditation process is an amalgamation of these aspects and can be summarized in the following steps.

  • Registration of the HEIs on the NAAC official website
  • Compilation of the institutional data & information for initial Quality Assessment (IIQA)
  • The submission of the self-study reports - SSR after the acceptance of IIQA (If it is rejected then the educational institutions get two more attempts to resume the process within 1 year)
  • Data Validation & Verification Process - DVV process & Pre-qualifier Score (System Generated Scores, SGS along with the online evaluation weighs - 70% and the peer judgement is only 30%)
  • SSS or the Student Satisfaction Survey after the DVV
  • NAAC peer team visit in the institution for further verification
  • Final grades are assigned to the institution

What is the Assessment and Accreditation (A&A) Framework of NAAC?

The Revised A & A Framework of NAAC reflects the paradigm shift in the evaluation of the educational core values. Introduced in July 2017, the major highlights of the assessment process are as follows-

  • Qualitative peer judgment is replaced with the updated data-based quantitative analysis to obtain better transparency
  • ICT-enabled institutions can qualify the quality test more swiftly as it promotes the use of the edTech
  • Simplification of the reports
  • Pre-qualifier for the NAAC peer team visit - SGS score -30%
  • Online evaluation score - 70% weightage
  • New element of the third party data validation
  • More participation of alumni & students in the overall NAAC assessment process

The NAAC committee demands documents & compliance for the past five years. Here institutions need to be careful in compiling a vast chunk of data as the probability of errors is high.

If everything falls in line, the institutions get successfully accredited.

NAAC Criteria: What are NAAC Accreditation Criteria?

NAAC assessment relies on the following set of 7 criteria.

#1: Curricular Aspects

Curriculum & syllabus is one of the basic pillars of quality education. It's crucial to have a relevant, detailed, well-organized syllabus to boost the student learning outcomes & skills.

#2: Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation

This criterion takes the first criteria of curriculum designing one step ahead. It involves teachers to implement teaching-learning activities & keep a tab on the results to enhance student progress.

#3: Research, Innovation, and Extensions

This criterion suggests that institutions must focus on directing students towards research & innovation and also addressing real-life problems & solutions to enable students to grow personally.

#4: Infrastructure and Learning Resources

This criterion focuses on having good classrooms, labs, edTech tools, and various other infrastructure & resources to ensure a good educational environment.

#5: Student Support and Progression

This criterion recommends institutions to pay attention to students’ requirements and guide them at every step of their academic life.

#6: Governance, Leadership, and Management

Faculty empowerment is vital when it comes to the quality of education. This criterion suggests authorities of the institution to plan strategies for institutional growth by mentoring faculties.

#7: Institutional Values & Best Practices

This criterion focuses on ensuring the best practices by following the institutional values. It suggests that institutions must develop values & then follow them with utmost honesty.

The NAAC committee has further categorized the HEIs into three bodies - University, Autonomous College, and Affiliated/Constituent Colleges and has decided their assessment criteria based on the category in which they fall into.

The criterion-wise weightages for 3 types of HEIs

Curricular Aspects 150 (U) 150 (Au) 100 (Aff UG) 100 (Aff PG)
Teaching-learning & Evaluation 200 (U) 300 (Au) 350 (Aff UG) 350 (Aff PG)
Research, Innovations & Extension 250 (U) 150 (Au) 110 (Aff UG) 120 (Aff PG)
Infrastructure & Learning Resources 100 (U) 100 (Au) 100 (Aff UG) 100 (Aff PG)
Student Support & Progression 100 (U) 100 (Au) 140 (Aff UG) 130 (Aff PG)
Governance, Leadership & Management 100 (U) 100 (Au) 100 (Aff UG) 100 (Aff PG)
Institutional Values & Best Practices 100 (U) 100 (Au) 100 (Aff UG) 100 (Aff PG)

U : University

Au : Autonomous Colleges

Aff UG : Affiliated Undergraduate College

Aff PG : Affiliated Post Graduate

Updated Grading System of NAAC - JULY 2017

As the NAAC’s grading criteria depends on -

  • The Peer Team Report (30%)
  • Institutional Grading (70%)

The final Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is obtained as per the following table-

CGPA Letter Grade Status
3.51- 4.00 A++ Accredited
3.26 - 3.50 A+ Accredited
3.01 - 3.25 A Accredited
2.76 - 3.00 B++ Accredited
2.51 - 2.75 B+ Accredited
2.01 - 2.50 B Accredited
1.51 - 2.00 C Accredited
≤ 1.50 D Not Accredited

Institutions with their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) that range between 3.76 and 4.00 get the highest grading by NAAC - A++. Likewise, institutions that scored the CGPA of 2.76 to 3 get B++ and so on. Institutions with less than 1.50 CGPA don't get any accreditation and may need to improve their processes before they apply for NAAC reassessment again.

What is NAAC Reassessment & NAAC Grievance Redressal?

NAAC Reassessment: As we mentioned earlier, institutions that need to improve their grades can apply for the NAAC reassessment process.

They need to identify the areas of improvement and work on them the next time before they appear for NAAC.

If they are able to achieve good results, they’ll stand for chances of better NAAC grades.

NAAC Grievance Redressal: Although NAAC maintains clear transparency of work processes, there are chances that institutions may have any grievances.

And, being one of the most trusted & reputed accreditation entities, NAAC has made a provision to address all the concerns of institutions.

If any HEI is not satisfied with the NAAC accreditation process, they can request a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the same.

"The validity of NAAC accreditation which was earlier five years has been extended to a couple of more years. (Institutions with the highest NAAC scores)"

What is the role of IQAC Members in NAAC?

The term "IQAC" in NAAC stands for the Internal Quality Assurance Cell. The members of the IQAC cell initiate, organize, plan, and monitor all the quality matters related to NAAC accreditation.

The prime task of IQAC is to create and submit the Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR), which is one of the most crucial parts of the NAAC accreditation process. As per the guidelines of the NAAC, the IQAC members need to focus on the given parameters-

  • Create a system that enhances the institutional performance
  • The system should ensure the use of edTech and innovation
  • Ensure the best teaching-learning practices in the classroom

How to Apply For NAAC Accreditation? ( Steps and process)

You need to follow the given steps to successfully apply for the NAAC accreditation -

  • Step1: As an educational institution, you need to understand the criteria of NAAC Assessment and Accreditation first.
  • Step2: Visit the NAAC official website
  • Step3: Go through the various manuals & information
  • Step4: Check the eligibility criteria of the NAAC committee
  • Step5: Read the Institutional Information for Quality Assessment (IIQA) aspects carefully
  • Step6: Register online!

Which Educational Institutions Can Apply For NAAC Accreditation?

If your institution is eligible, go ahead and apply for the accreditation process. The following types of colleges & universities that fall under the given categories are eligible to apply for the NAAC accreditation. You can search for the eligibility criteria using the following terms.

  • NAAC for engineering colleges
  • NAAC for pharmacy colleges
  • NAAC for open university
  • NAAC for dental colleges
  • NAAC for health sciences
  • NAAC for b.ed college
  • NAAC for teacher education
  • NAAC for distance learning
  • NAAC for open universities
  • NAAC for library
  • NAAC for affiliated colleges

Benefits of Obtaining NAAC Accreditation for Colleges

Here are the top advantages of obtaining NAAC accreditation for higher education institutions...

  • Helps the institution identify its weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, and threats using a continuous evaluation process
  • Helps to understand the need for planning in the internal areas and allocating resources
  • Improves campus collegiality
  • The result provides objective data from funding agencies on performance financing
  • Introduces institutions with modern and innovative educational methods
  • Elevates the institution image and offers a new direction of success
  • Provide the market with consistent details about the quality of courses offered
  • An organization that recruits candidates have a reach to these details about the educational quality provided by the college
  • Makes inter-and-intra institutional communication possible

National Education Policy 2020 and the NAAC

As per the New Education Policy (NEP 2020), the grades given to colleges would majorly depend on the uniqueness of the teaching-learning processes followed by the institutions.

Institutions would need to develop student success formulas on their own, keeping in mind their personal as well as academic growth.

Read More: National Education Policy: All You Need To Know About NEP 2020 For Higher Education –Part 2

Education ERP Software & NAAC Accreditation

A reliable & robust education ERP software enables colleges to streamline their work processes & manage institutional data to help them get ready for NAAC accreditation.

In addition to this, the college ERP software also helps in generating error-free compliance Self Study Reports (SSR reports) with gaps and suggestions for improvement.

In simple terms, ERP software helps higher education institutions manage entire data seamlessly.

Moreover, with the improvement input details in the reports, colleges get an opportunity to equip themselves with state-of-the-art facilities. In the process of learning, the techniques to promote conformity with accreditation quality, classification becomes easier.

College ERP software manages the entire college management system including the administration, operations related to the campus, academic management, administration, and library management system.

Thus, MIS reports generated using the college software provides all the details accurately to be presented to NAAC peer teams.

The team will check details from every SSR report. NAAC officers believe that this report is beneficial for qualifying the colleges.

The ERP software helps in creating this report to its perfection.

How MasterSoft's Accreditation Data Management Solution can help you in easing Data Management for Accreditation?

MasterSoft after consultation with academicians across India has built an accreditation data management system to help institutions collect, manage & analyze data required by NAAC.

This system provides guidelines as per DVV at each step helping institutions & IQAC Coordinators manage data seamlessly. The Accreditation data management system provides an analysis of data points entered across. It is integrated with ERP providing the best support & auto fetching of data.

NAAC has mentioned in its guidelines that accurate reports are mandatory. With the MasterSoft ERP, creating MIS reports in a graphical or any given format can happen quickly. The NAAC Committee can verify the same and further decide on the NAAC grades.

Therefore, after knowing that NAAC certification offers so much help in upgrading the education quality in the college, every college must look at obtaining the same.

It is not only prestigious obtaining NAAC accreditation but also useful to uplift the college process and stand ahead in the competition to offer quality education.

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  • MasterSoft’s Accreditation Data Management System allows Institutes to assimilate Campus data in one Central database, generates various reports related to accreditation bodies. MasterSoft doesn't calculate Accreditation/ ranking scores or do not claim to improve your score or ranking.
  • This document shows overall features of MasterSoft’s Accreditation Data Management System. You will have access to limited options of this System for which you have opted.
  • MasterSoft will modify this Solution as & when necessary & same will be automatically mandatorily available to you.

Mustak Ahmed,
Partner Manager India Sales

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