European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education

Eligibility and Criteria for Inclusion

Quality assurance agencies that wish to be included on the register need to demonstrate that they operate in substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG). Compliance with the ESG will only be considered if the application fulfils all eligibility requirements.

The application process is currently being revised. The information on this page is being updated and a revised EQAR Guide for Applicants will be available in May 2015, once the revised ESG are adopted.

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Important: ESG Revision

The ESG have undergone a revision process. The proposal for the revised version has been endorsed by the BFUG and is subject to approval by EHEA ministers in May 2015.

Agencies should use the endorsed proposal to prepare for necessary changes, while bearing in mind that the text is subject to final approval by ministers.

Initial applications based on the current ESG are no longer possible. There will be no application round in the autumn of 2015. As from 2016, applications can be made based on the revised ESG in line with the regular deadlines.

Registered agencies that have their registration expiring between 1/1/2015 and 31/12/2016 have to renew their registration based on the revised ESG. They can have their registration provisionally extended until 31/12/2016, so as to have sufficient time to adjust and prepare for a review against the revised ESG.

Please read the EQAR Policy on Transition to the Revised ESG for details.


The eligibility requirements address two sets of issues: the applicant's type of activities, and the external review of the applicant.

Eligibility will be assessed as the first step when an application is considered. Only if all eligibility requirements (Procedures §1.1 – 1.16) are fulfilled, does the Register Committee proceed to consider the applicant's substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG). Should the application not be eligible, it is refused without making any judgement on the applicant's substantial compliance or not with the ESG.

Criteria for Inclusion

Through their external review, applicants need to demonstrate that they substantially comply with the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG). The Register Committee makes a judgement on the applicant's substantial compliance with the ESG based on the external review report and additional documentation, as appropriate.

European Standards and Guidelines (ESGThe ESG were adopted by the Bologna Process ministerial summit in Bergen (Norway) in 2005 and contain common principles and reference points for quality assurance of higher education in Europe.

The ESG were developed by the European representative bodies of quality assurance agencies (ENQA), students (ESU), universities (EUA) and professional higher education institutions (EURASHE), gathered in the E4 Group.

They consist of three parts, addressing:

  • Part 1: Internal quality assurance within higher education institutions
  • Part 2: External quality assurance of higher education
  • Part 3: External quality assurance agencies

Naturally, parts 2 and 3 thereof are those with direct relevance to quality assurance agencies and thus serve as criteria for inclusion on the register. It should, however, be noted that standard 2.1 expects part 1 of the ESG to be considered in external quality assurance activities. The extent to which part 1 is reflected in the agency's work with higher education institutions and programmes thus plays an important role, too.


The ESG were developed and adopted in English. ENQA gathered on its website references to some (unofficial) translations of the ESG into eight (as of 7/5/08) further European languages. It should, however, be noted that for the purpose of inclusion on the register only the English original version of the ESG shall be relevant.

English version [PDF]

Overview of translations [ENQA website]


The ESG are currently undergoing a revision, and the revised version will be adopted by EHEA ministers in 2015.

Initial applications based on the current ESG will only be possible until 15 March 2015, i.e. the last application deadline before the expected adoption of the revised ESG.