The accreditation process in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia is established, compulsorily, by Decree 1210 of 1993, Article 6, of the Presidency of the Republic, which states: “The Universidad Nacional de Colombia will cooperate in the organization and operation of the National System of Accreditation. The academic programs will be submitted to the external accreditation defined by the Higher University Council.”
Agreement 23 of 1999 of the Higher University Council adopts in the University one only process of self-evaluation for its curricular programs, assigning tasks of execution, coordination and monitoring. Considering that it is necessary to analyze the national and international options of accreditation existing in the different fields of knowledge, the Higher University Council, through Agreement 18 of 2003, created the Accreditation Coordination, affiliated to the Presidency, for the Institution primary purpose of: The Accreditation of its curricular programs.
Recently the National Directorate of Undergraduate Programs (DNPPr for its Spanish acronym) was created, through Agreement 031 of 2005 of the Higher University Council by which the National Directorate of Curricular Programs and the Accreditation Coordination Unit are suppressed, making way for both the National Directorate of Undergraduate Programs and the National Directorate of Graduate Programs, and modifying the functions and composition of the National Committee of Curricular Programs. The National Directorate of Undergraduate Programs, according to Article 2, numeral 7, has the coordination of processes of permanent evaluation, accreditation and monitoring of the Undergraduate programs as one of its functions.
On the other hand, through Agreement 29 of 2014, el Higher University Council has decided to accredit its curricular programs before the National Council of Accreditation (CNA in Spanish), mentioned in the Article 54 of Law 30 of 1992. This is a body of academic nature and autonomous character, which leads, organizes, guide and attests to the quality of the accreditation process. Its integration and regulation are defined by the National Council of Higher Education (CESU for Spanish).
Self-evaluation is a fundamental component of the accreditation process of curricular programs. Most undergraduate programs have successfully developed this process, following the guide designed by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia for such task. The self-evaluation processes in most of the existing models that grant accreditation and, more specifically, the National Council of Accreditation (CNA), are carried out autonomously, so that the work done is in accordance to these accreditation guidelines.
The institutional accreditation has a global nature and it is a complement, rather than a substitute, to the accreditation of curricular programs. Thus, the evaluation of quality in pursuit of institutional accreditation implies the comprehensive evaluation of the institution. The aspects under which the National Council of Accreditation analyzes the institution are based on the global vision of the institution as a whole and draws from the quality displayed in the curricular programs; these are features appreciated in the purposes, the goals and the objectives, making reference to teaching, research and extension or social projection. The evaluation criteria are: the universality, integrity, equity, suitability, responsibility, coherence, transparency, belonging, effectiveness and efficiency.