National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas Act


Published: 2007-02-28

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National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas Act
NATIONAL ACCREDITATION AND
EQUIVALENCY COUNCIL

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 47A

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION AND
EQUIVALENCY COUNCIL


LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 - 15 LRO 1/2008

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation and application of Act.

PART II - THE NATIONAL ACCREDITATION
COUNCIL OF THE BAHAMAS

3. Establishment and Constitution of the Council.
4. Functions of the Council.
5. Powers of the Council.

PART III - FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

6. Funds and resources of the Council.
7. Application of the funds of the Council.

PART IV - GENERAL

8. Reporting relationship of the Council.
9. Appointment of Executive Director and other staff.
10. Annual reports and estimates.
11. Borrowing powers.
12. Guarantee of loans.
13. Appeal.
14. Governor-General to approve the appointment of public

officer.
15. Minister may give directions to the Council.
16. Regulations.
17. Penalties.
18. Transitional provisions.


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FIRST SCHEDULE (section 3(3)) — CONSTITUTION AND

PROCEDURE OF THE COUNCIL
SECOND SCHEDULE (section 13(1)) — THE APPEALS

TRIBUNAL

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CHAPTER 47A

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION AND EQUIVALENCY
COUNCIL

An Act to provide for the establishment and
incorporation of a body to be known as the National
Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The
Bahamas and for matters connected therewith.

[Assent 29th December, 2006]
[Commencement 28th February, 2007]

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the National
Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas
Act.

2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires —

“accreditation” means evaluation and approval of an
institution, provider, or programme that has met
the established standards of quality relative to its
mission, educational objectives, resources,
programmes and services;

“award” means any degree, diploma, certificate or
other evidence of competence;

“Caribbean Community” means the community
established under the revised Treaty of
Chaguaramas signed on the 5th July, 2001;

“Chairman” means the Chairman of the Council;
“college” means a post-secondary institution that

offers a range of programmes and grants
qualifications mainly at the sub-baccalaureate
level;

“Commission” means the administrative body through
which the work of the Council shall be carried
out;

25 of 2006

S.I. 8/2007.

Short title.

Interpretation
and application
of Act.

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“Council” means the National Accreditation and
Equivalency Council of The Bahamas established
under section 3;

“course” means a defined body of knowledge, skills
and aptitudes acquired over a specified period and
to which one or more credits may be awarded;

“equivalency” means the formal assurance that
programmes or courses are approved by a
validating authority as being of a comparable
standard in weight, level and quality;

“Executive Director” means the Executive Director of
the Council appointed under section 9;

“Minister” means the Minister with responsibility for
Education;

“post-secondary” means the teaching and learning
process that occurs following completion of
secondary school or its equivalent and leads to
the award of sub-baccalaureate qualification,
baccalaureate degree and post graduate degrees;

“primary” has the meaning assigned to it under the
Education Act;

“programme” means an approved curriculum
composed of a series of courses in an academic or
vocational speciality leading to a particular kind
of certification in such form as a certificate,
diploma, associate degree or bachelor’s degree, or
post-graduate degree;

“provider” means a person or group of persons
offering one or more courses or programmes for
award or credit;

“registration” means that an educational institution, or
provider has met the criteria for the provision of
education or training courses or programmes;

“secondary” has the meaning assigned to it under the
Education Act.

(2) This Act shall be binding upon the Crown.

Ch.46.

Ch.46.

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PART II - THE NATIONAL ACCREDITATION
COUNCIL OF THE BAHAMAS

3. (1) There shall be established, for the purposes of
this Act, a body to be called the National Accreditation and
Equivalency Council of The Bahamas.

(2) The Council shall be a body corporate with
perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to
acquire, hold and dispose of land and other property of
whatever kind, and to sue and be sued:

Provided, however, that the Council may not
dispose of any land without the approval of the House of
Assembly signified by resolution thereof.

(3) The First Schedule shall have effect with respect
to the Constitution and procedure of the Council and
otherwise in relation thereto.

4. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other
law, the Council shall be the principal body in The
Bahamas for conducting and advising on the accreditation
and recognition of educational and training institutions,
providers, programmes and awards, whether foreign or
national, and for the promotion of the quality and standard
of education and training in The Bahamas.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(1) the functions of the Council are —

(a) to accredit and re-accredit the programmes of
institutions operating in The Bahamas;

(b) to promote the advancement in The Bahamas of
education, training, learning skills and
knowledge;

(c) to ensure that the quality of all primary,
secondary and post-secondary education
delivered in The Bahamas is appropriate to the
qualifications, degrees, diplomas or certificates
conferred and that the appropriate standards are
being maintained and improved, to protect the
interest of students;

(d) to offer public assurance by enhancing public
understanding of career and work force
development providers and the value of education
and the credentials offered by these providers;

Establishment
and Constitution
of the Council.

First Schedule.

Functions of the
Council.

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(e) to provide guidance to the educational and
technical institutions for the continual
improvement of their educational offerings and
related activities;

(f) to advise on the recognition of foreign institutions
of education and training and their awards;

(g) to determine equivalency of programmes and
qualifications in accordance with internationally
established frameworks;

(h) to promote a quality assurance culture in The
Bahamas;

(i) to provide the public with information on the
quality and recognition of programmes and
institutions in order to protect the public interest;
and

(j) to liaise and co-operate with regional and
international accreditation bodies in pursuance of
its objectives.

(3) Subject to section 13(1), the decision of the
Council shall prevail in any dispute regarding assessments
conducted by other bodies for the accreditation, or
recognition of institutions, providers, programmes and
awards.

5. In the exercise of its functions, the
Council may —

(a) withdraw or cancel accreditation, approval,
recognition or title granted to, or conferred on any
institution or provider for a good and sufficient
cause in the opinion of the Council;

(b) accept, as partial fulfillment of the study and
examination requirements for the award of any
degree, diploma or certificate, such periods of
study and examinations as are recognized by the
Council and successfully completed by students
on courses other than those leading to the award
of a degree, diploma or certificate;

(c) co-operate with other organizations and bodies
for such purposes as the Council may deem fit;

(d) appoint such committees as the Council may
think fit, consisting either wholly or partly of

Powers of the
Council.

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members of the Council and to delegate to such
committees, with or without restrictions or
conditions as it thinks fit, the exercise of any of
the Council’s functions, except functions relating
to finance and the appointment and dismissal of
the Chairman and members of the Council;

(e) supervise and co-ordinate the work of committees
appointed by it and to determine all matters and
disputes which may be submitted or referred to it
by any such body;

(f) act as trustee of any property, legacy,
endowment, bequest or gift for the purposes of
the Council and, unless expressly forbidden by
the terms of the trust, to invest funds arising
therefrom in investments authorised under the
Trustee Act;

(g) demand and receive fees in connection with the
exercise of its functions and to receive grants and
other payments;

(h) appoint any person to hold honourary office in
connection with the Council; and

(i) do all such other acts as, in the opinion of the
Council, are necessary or incidental to the proper
performance of its functions.

PART III - FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

6. The funds and resources of the Council shall
consist of —

(a) such monies as may be appropriated by
Parliament;

(b) special grants or other funds as may, from time to
time, be provided by the government or any other
entity or agency, whether national, regional or
international, for the financing of special projects
and activities;

(c) monies received by the Council in connection
with the performance of its functions;

(d) monies borrowed under this Act; and

Ch.176.

Funds and
resources of the
Council.

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(e) all other property and assets duly acquired by the
Council.

7. The funds of the Council shall be applied in
defraying the following expenditure —

(a) the remuneration, fees and allowance of members
of the Council and members of the committees
established by the Council;

(b) the emoluments, allowances, fees and
superannuation benefits of officers and other
employees of the Council;

(c) the capital and operating expenses, including
maintenance and insurance, of the property of the
Council;

(d) the making and maintenance of the investments
of the Council; and

(e) any other expenditure authorized by the Council
in the discharge of its functions.

PART IV - GENERAL

8. The Council shall report to the Minister, giving
advice on the quality and standards of primary, secondary
and post-secondary educational provisions in The
Bahamas, and the fitness or otherwise of institutions to
offer education and training, to receive public funds and
otherwise practice in The Bahamas.

9. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the Council
shall appoint a suitably qualified person as Executive
Director who shall be the principal executive of the
Council and shall be responsible for the day to day
management of the Council.

(2) A person appointed Executive Director under
subsection (1) shall hold office for a period of three years,
or such shorter period as may be specified in his instrument
of appointment, and shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(3) The Executive Director shall be paid such
remuneration (including allowances) and the appointment
shall be on such terms and conditions as the Council may
determine.

Application of
the funds of the
Council.

Reporting
relationship of
the Council.

Appointment of
Executive
Director and
other staff.

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(4) The Council may appoint and employ such other
officers and employees as it thinks fit:

Provided that —
(a) no salary in excess of the prescribed rate shall be

assigned to any post; and
(b) no appointment shall be made to any post to

which a salary in excess of the prescribed rate is
assigned, without the prior approval of the
Minister.

10. (1) The Council shall in each year prepare and
submit to the Minister on or before the 31st day of March a
report of its proceedings during the twelve months ending
on the 31st day of December in the preceding year.

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report
together with the annual statement of accounts and the
auditor’s report thereon to be laid on the table of each
House of Parliament.

(3) The Council shall, before a date specified by the
Minister, submit to the Minister for his approval estimates
of income and expenditure for the ensuing financial year.

11. (1) Subject to this section, the Council may
borrow monies required by it for meeting any of its
obligations or discharging any of its functions and may in
respect of such borrowing, issue debentures in such form
as the Council may determine.

(2) The power of the Council to borrow shall be
exercisable only with the approval of the Minister, given
with the consent of the Minister of Finance, as to the
amount, as to the sources of the borrowing and as to the
terms on which the borrowing may be effected.

(3) An approval given in any respect for the purposes
of this section may be either general or limited to a
particular borrowing or otherwise and may be either
unconditional or subject to conditions.

(4) A person lending money to the Council shall not
be bound to inquire whether the borrowing of the money is
within the power of the Council.

12. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister of
Finance may, on behalf of the Government, at the request
of the Minister, guarantee in such manner and on such

Annual reports
and estimates.

Borrowing
powers.

Guarantee of
loans.

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conditions as he thinks fit the repayment of the principal
of, and the payment of interest and other charges on any
authorised borrowings of the Council.

(2) No guarantees involving a financial liability shall
be binding upon the government, unless entered into with
the prior approval of the House of Assembly signified by
resolution thereof.

13. (1) A person or institution aggrieved by a
decision of the Council in refusing an application for
accreditation may within fourteen days after the date on
which the notice of such decision was received by him,
appeal against such decision to the Appeals Tribunal
appointed by the Minister in accordance with the
provisions of the Second Schedule.

(2) An appeal under subsection (1) to the Appeals
Tribunal shall not operate as a stay of the decision of the
Council.

14. The Governor-General may, subject to such
conditions as he may impose, approve the appointment of
any public officer in the service of the Government to any
office with the Council and any public officer so appointed
shall, in relation to pension, gratuity, or other allowance,
and to other rights as a public officer be treated as
continuing in the service of the Government.

15. (1) The Minister may give to the Council
directions of a general nature as to the policy to be
followed by the Council in the carrying out or in pursuit of
its functions as appear to the Minister requisite in the
public interest and the Council shall give effect to any such
directions.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the Minister shall
not give directions relating to the appointment, termination
of appointment, promotion or disciplining of any employee
of the Council.

16. The Minister may, after consultation with the
Council, make regulations —

(a) prescribing the qualifications of the Executive
Director or any member of the Council;

(b) prescribing any fees to be payable under this Act;
(c) providing for the criteria and standards for

accreditation; and

Appeal.





Second
Schedule.

Governor-
General to
approve the
appointment of
public officer.

Minister may
give directions to
the Council.

Regulations.

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(d) generally for the proper carrying out of the
provisions and purposes of this Act.

17. An institution or provider that —
(a) operates or alters its operations without proper

approval;
(b) uses words such as “university”, “college”,

“polytechnic”, “community college”, “technical
college” or “technical university” in its title
without such title and/or degree granting powers
being approved by the Minister; or

(c) misrepresents to the public the recognition
accorded to it or its courses or programmes or its
awards,

commits an offence and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.

18. (1) Approvals previously granted to institutions
and providers to operate in the country and which are still
valid when this Act is passed shall continue to be valid for
the period approved.

(2) Regulations governing the registration of
institutions and providers shall continue to be valid in so
far as they are consistent with this Act.

(3) Registered institutions and providers shall apply
to the Council for the accreditation of their courses or
programmes within a period of five years from the passage
of this Act.

Penalties.

Transitional
provisions.

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FIRST SCHEDULE (section 3(3))

CONSTITUTION AND PROCEDURE OF THE COUNCIL

1. The Council shall consist of not less than sixteen
members including —

(a) the Executive Director of the Council ex officio;
(b) the person appointed head of the Secretariat for

the Commission on Post-Secondary Education
and the Head of the Secretariat for the
Commission on schools;

(c) six members appointed by the Minister as
representatives of the primary, secondary and
post-secondary institutions, at least one such
member shall be a representative of the body
known as the Association of Tertiary Institutions
in The Bahamas;

(d) eight members appointed by the Minister from
persons appearing to the Minister to be
representatives of —
(i) professional bodies or organizations;
(ii) the Ministry of Education, and the

Department of Public Service and other
segments of the public sector (ex officio);

(iii) key employers or employer organizations;
and

(iv) organizations other than those specified in
subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii).

2. The appointment of every member of the
Council, other than the ex officio members, shall be
evidenced by instrument in writing, and such instrument
shall state the period of office of the member which shall
not exceed three years.

3. A member of the Council shall not hold office for
more than two consecutive terms, but such a member is
eligible for re-appointment after the expiration of one year
thereafter.

4. (1) The Minister shall appoint a Chairman and a
Vice-Chairman from among the members of the Council.

Composition of
Council.

Appointment of
Members.

Re-appointment.

Chairman.

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(2) In the case of the Chairman’s absence or inability
to act, the Vice-Chairman shall perform the function of the
Chairman.

(3) The Minister may appoint any other member to
perform the functions of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

5. (1) The seal of the Council shall be authenticated
by the signatures of the Chairman and any other member of
the Council authorized to act in that behalf and such seal
shall be officially and judicially noticed.

(2) All documents other than those required by law to
be under seal, made by, and all decisions of, the Council
may be signified under the hand of the Chairman or the
Executive Director.

6. The Council shall pay to the members of the
Council, other than the Executive Director, such
remuneration and allowances as the Minister may
determine.

7. No act or proceeding of the Council shall be
questioned on account of any vacancy in the membership
thereof, and no defect in the appointment of any member of
the Council shall vitiate any proceeding thereof.

8. The Council shall have power to regulate its own
proceedings.

9. The Chairman shall preside at meetings of the
Council, and if the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the
persons appointed under paragraph 4 are absent from a
meeting, the members of the Council present shall elect
one of their number to preside at the meeting.

10. (1) The Council may invite any person who, in
the opinion of the Council has expert knowledge
concerning any of the functions of the Council which is
likely to be of assistance, to attend any meeting of the
Council and to take part in the proceedings.

(2) Any person attending a meeting under this
paragraph may, if invited, take part in any discussion at the
meeting but shall not have any voting rights.

11. The quorum of the Council shall consist of nine
of its members.

12. The decisions of the Council shall be by a simple
majority of votes and in addition to an original vote, the

Seal.

Remuneration
and allowances.

Vacancy in
membership.

Proceedings of
Council.

Meetings.

Power of the
Council to invite
persons to attend
meetings.

Quorum.

Decisions of
Council.

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Chairman or other person presiding at a meeting shall have
a casting vote in any case in which the voting is equal.

13. The names of all members of the Council as first
constituted and every change in the membership thereof
shall be published in the Gazette.

14. No action, prosecution or other proceedings shall
be brought or instituted personally against the Chairman or
any other member in respect of any act done bona fide in
pursuance or execution or intended execution of the
provisions of this Act.

15. (1) The Council, with the approval of the Minister
at intervals of six years, shall cause a review to be
undertaken of the functions of the Council in order to
assess its efficiency and effectiveness and the impact of the
operations of the Council on the society.

(2) The review pursuant to subsection (1) shall be
undertaken in collaboration with the Regional
Accreditation Body established for the Carribean
Community and with other recognized authorities.

16. A member of the Council or any committee
appointed by the Council who is directly or indirectly
interested in a contract or proposed contract or has any
interest in a matter under consideration by the Council or
any committee thereof shall disclose that fact at the next
meeting of the Council or committee and shall not
participate in the consideration of, or vote on, any question
relating to that matter.

Names of
members of the
Council to be
published.

Protection of
Directors.

Review of the
activities of the
Council.

Declaration.

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SECOND SCHEDULE (section 13(1))

THE APPEALS TRIBUNAL

1. The Appeals Tribunal shall, subject to paragraph
2, consist of three members appointed by the Minister, one
of whom shall act as chairman of the Appeals Tribunal.

2. For the hearing of any appeal under this Act the
Appeals Tribunal may consist of one member sitting alone,
if the parties to the appeal agree, and that member shall be
legally trained and conversant with quality assurance.

3. The members of the Appeals Tribunal shall,
subject to the provisions of this Schedule hold office for
such period not exceeding two years as the Minister may
determine and shall be eligible for re-appointment.

4. The Minister may appoint any person to act in the
place of the chairman or any other member of the Appeals
Tribunal in the case of the absence or inability to act of the
chairman or any other member.

5. (1) Any member of the Appeals Tribunal other
than the chairman may at any time resign his office by
instrument in writing addressed to the Minister and
transmitted through the chairman and from the date of the
receipt by the Minister of such instrument, that member
shall cease to be a member of the Appeals Tribunal.

(2) The chairman may at any time resign his office
by instrument in writing addressed to the Minister and such
resignation shall take effect as from the date of receipt by
the Minister of that instrument.

6. The Minister may at any time revoke the
appointment of any member of the Appeals Tribunal for
misconduct or illegal activity if he thinks it expedient so to
do.

7. If any vacancy occurs in the membership of the
Appeals Tribunal such vacancy shall be filled by the
appointment of another member.

8. The names of all members of the Appeals
Tribunal as first constituted and every change in the
membership thereof shall be published in the Gazette.


Constitution of
Tribunal.

Power of one
member to sit
alone.

Tenure of office.

Acting
appointment of
chairman.

Resignation.

Revocation of
appointment.

Filling of
vacancies.

Publication of
membership.

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