Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago

Link to law: http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/Laws2/Alphabetical_List/lawspdfs/39.06.pdf

Accredition Council
ACCReDITATION COuNCIL OF TRINIDAD AND

TOBAGO ACT

ChAPTeR 39:06

Current Authorised Pages
Pages Authorised
(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–8 ..
9–16 ..
17–19 ..

Act

16 of 2004

Amended by

16 of 2007

10 of 2008

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

L.R.O. UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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Note on Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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Accreditation Council of

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ChAPTeR 39:06

ACCReDITATION COuNCIL OF TRINIDAD AND

TOBAGO ACT

ArrAngemenT of SeCTionS

SeCTION

PART I

PReLIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. interpretation.

PART II

eSTABLIShMeNT OF The ACCReDITATION COuNCIL

OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

3. establishment and incorporation.

4. Constitution.

5. Appointment and tenure of members.

6. remuneration of members.

7. Seal.

8. functions.

9. Powers.

10. Directions by minister.

11. Appeals.

12. meetings and committees Schedule.

13. executive Director.

14. Secretary.

15. Transfer on secondment from and to the service of the Council.

PART III

FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

16. funds and resources.

17. Application of funds.

18. Use of surplus funds.

19. Power to borrow.

20. exemption from taxes, duties, etc.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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21. Accounting.

22. Audit of accounts.

PART IV

GeNeRAL

23. Protection of members.

24. registers of institutions and programmes registered or accredited.

25. offences.

26. Prohibitions.

27. Power to make regulations.

28. review of activities.

29. Transitional provisions.

30. Provisional registration.

SCheDuLe.

ArrAngemenT of SeCTionS—Continued

SeCTION

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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Accreditation Council of

L.R.O.

ChAPTeR 39:06

ACCReDITATION COuNCIL OF TRINIDAD AND

TOBAGO ACT

An Act to provide for the establishment of an Accreditation

Council of Trinidad and Tobago and for related matters.

[9Th JUly 2004]

PART I

PReLIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Accreditation Council of

Trinidad and Tobago Act.

2. in this Act unless the context otherwise requires—

“accredit” means to evaluate and determine whether a registered

institution, its programmes or awards meet established

standards and “accreditation” shall be construed accordingly;

“accredited status” means that a registered institution, its

programmes or awards meet established standards of quality;

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

of competence or achievement;

“community college” means a post secondary or tertiary

institution that offers a variety of programmes primarily at

the sub-baccalaureate level geared to meet the needs of the

community in which it exists;

“Council” means the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and

Tobago established by 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;

“credit” means a unit of academic measurement of

educational value;

16 of 2004.

Commencement.
[137/2004].

Short title.

interpretation.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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“equivalence” means an assessment of the comparative
educational value of varying levels of competence and
achievement;

“executive Director” means the executive Director of the
Council appointed pursuant to section 13;

“institution” means an organisation with a structure that
provides for the administration, governance, delivery and
certification of a range of educational programmes
leading to the granting of awards;

“minister” means the minister to whom responsibility for tertiary
education is assigned and “ministry” shall be construed
accordingly;

“post secondary” means all education and training programmes
which are not at tertiary level but which are offered to
secondary school leavers to meet their vocational or
continuing education needs;

“programme” means an approved curriculum composed of a
series of courses leading to certification such as a certificate,
diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s
degree or doctoral degree;

“recognise” means to evaluate and approve the quality of foreign
awards;

“register” means to confer legal authority to operate a post
secondary or tertiary level institution in accordance with
established standards and criteria;

“register” means the register of post secondary and tertiary
institutions and programmes registered or accredited in
Trinidad and Tobago kept pursuant to section 24;

“technical college” or “polytechnic” or “technical institute”
means a post secondary institution that offers programmes
that prepare graduates for technical occupations and grants
sub-baccalaureate awards in applied disciplines;

“technical university” means a tertiary institution that has as its
major emphasis the preparation of graduates for
technological occupations through the award of
baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate awards and also
conducts research of an applied nature;

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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“tertiary college” means a tertiary institution that offers a range

of programmes and grants awards mainly at the sub-

baccalaureate level;

“tertiary education” means the teaching and learning process that

occurs following successful completion of secondary

schooling or its equivalent and leads to the award of sub-

baccalaureate awards, baccalaureate and post graduate

degrees;

“university” means a tertiary institution that offers programmes

leading to awards at the baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate

levels and is characterised as well by a commitment to

research that maintains, advances, disseminates and assists

the application of knowledge.

PART II

eSTABLIShMeNT OF The ACCReDITATION COuNCIL

OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

3. (1) There is established for the purposes of this Act a body

to be known as the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago.

(2) The Council shall be a body corporate.

4. (1) The Council shall comprise not less than ten nor more

than thirteen members appointed by the President as follows:

(a) two or three persons nominated by tertiary

institutions or institutions involved in technical

or vocational education or training, including a

nominee of the association most representative

of tertiary education institutions in Trinidad and

Tobago;

(b) two persons with expertise in accreditation and

quality assurance at the tertiary level;

(c) one or two persons nominated by professional

associations involved in the discipline

of education;

establishment
and
incorporation.

Constitution.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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(d) one person nominated by the ministry;

(e) one person nominated by the organisations most
representative of employers and one person
nominated by the organisations most
representative of trade unions;

(f) two representatives of the general public; and

(g) the executive Director, who shall be an ex officio
member of the Council.

(2) The President may appoint as Chairman and Deputy
Chairman any two members of the Council, excluding the
executive Director.

5. (1) Subject to subsection (3), the appointment of every
member of the Council shall be made by instrument in writing for
a period being not more than three years.

(2) every member shall be eligible for reappointment.

(3) A member may at any time resign his office by
instrument in writing addressed to the Chairman who shall
forthwith cause it to be forwarded to the minister to be submitted
to the President.

(4) The resignation of a member shall take effect from
the date of receipt of the instrument in writing by the Chairman.

(5) no act or proceeding of the Council may be questioned
on account of, or invalidated by, any vacancy in the membership of
the Council or by any defect in the appointment of a member.

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

6. The Council shall pay to the members of the Council,
other than the executive Director, such remuneration and
allowances as the minister may approve.

7. The Council shall have an official Seal which shall be
authenticated by the signatures of the Chairman or Deputy
Chairman or any other member of the Council authorised to act in
that behalf and the Seal shall be officially and judicially noticed.

Appointment
and tenure of
members.

remuneration
of members.

Seal.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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8. (1) notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the
Council shall be the principal body in Trinidad and Tobago for
conducting and advising on the accreditation and recognition of
post secondary and tertiary educational and training institutions,
programmes and awards, whether local or foreign, and for the
promotion of the quality and standards of post secondary and
tertiary education and training in Trinidad and Tobago.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing
the functions of the Council shall be—

(a) to maintain a list of accredited post secondary
and tertiary institutions operating in Trinidad
and Tobago and a list of accredited programmes
and awards offered in Trinidad and Tobago;

(b) to accredit post secondary and tertiary institutions
operating in Trinidad and Tobago and the
programmes and awards of such institutions;

(c) to register post secondary institutions, foreign
and local, which offer programmes in Trinidad
and Tobago;

(d) to recognise accredited programmes and awards
of foreign institutions operating in Trinidad and
Tobago;

(e) to advise on the recognition of foreign
programmes and awards and the recognition of
post secondary and tertiary institutions
operating in Trinidad and Tobago;

(f) to determine the equivalency of programmes
and awards;

(g) to develop and advise on a unified credit-based
system for the post secondary and tertiary
education sector;

(h) to establish relationships including joint

accreditation exercises with regional and

international accrediting and quality assurance

bodies and to keep under review their systems of

accreditation, procedures and practices;

functions.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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(i) to provide authoritative advice on accreditation

and related matters, including the conferment on

institutions of such titles as “university”,

“tertiary college”, “technical institute”,

“polytechnic”, “community college”, “technical

college” and “technical university”;

(j) to seek to raise the quality of post secondary and

tertiary education delivered in Trinidad and

Tobago to the standards set by the Council;

(k) to disseminate good practices in the tertiary

education and training sector by conducting

research and training;

(l) to provide the public with information about the

quality and recognition of programmes and

institutions in order to protect the public interest;

(m) to provide for the advancement in Trinidad and

Tobago of education and training;

(n) to ensure that the quality of all post secondary

and tertiary education delivered in Trinidad and

Tobago meets the standards set by the Council;

(o) to ensure that the appropriate standards set by

the Council are being maintained and improved;

(p) to protect the interests of students and other

stakeholders;

(q) to undertake audits, reviews and evaluations

independently, or in co-operation with other

bodies as the Council may consider necessary;

(r) to establish the standards, requirements and

regulations with which registered institutions

must comply in order to have their programmes

accredited and re-accredited or to have their

awards recognised by the Council;

(s) to advise the minister on the authorisation to be

granted to post secondary and tertiary

institutions seeking to operate or to continue to

operate in Trinidad and Tobago;

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Accreditation Council of

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(t) to advise the minister on the criteria for
registration of post secondary and tertiary
institutions seeking to operate or to continue to
operate in Trinidad and Tobago;

(u) to withdraw or cancel approval, recognition or
title granted to or conferred on any institution or
provider for good and sufficient cause, after
evaluation by the Council;

(v) to facilitate the free movement of skills and
knowledge within the Caribbean Community;

(w) to perform such other related functions as the
minister may from time to time assign to the
Council; and

(x) to do or cause to be done such other things as the
Council considers expedient or necessary for the
performance of its functions under this Act.

(3) Subject to subsection (2), in order to qualify for
institutional or programme accreditation all post secondary
institutions shall register with the ministry in accordance with
any regulations or rules made under this Act.

9. (1) Subject to this Act the Council has the power to do
all things necessary or convenient for or in connection with the
performance of its functions.

(2) notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing, the
powers of the Council are—

(a) to acquire, hold, sell or otherwise dispose of any
property;

(b) to accept gifts or donations whether or not
subject to any trust;

(c) to enter into or co-ordinate appropriate
arrangements with countries, bodies or persons,
public or private, for the promotion or
dissemination of materials and information
relating to the registration, accreditation and
recognition of institutions, programmes and
awards; and

Powers.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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(d) to enter into or co-ordinate appropriate
arrangements with such other competent
authorities, public or private, responsible for the
accreditation of institutions or the recognition of
accredited programmes and awards.

10. (1) The minister may, after consultation with the
Chairman of the Council, give to the Council, in writing, such
policy directions as appear to the minister to be necessary in the
public interest.

(2) The Council shall provide the minister with such
facilities as would enable him to verify information furnished in
pursuance of this section.

11. (1) Subject to subsection (2) the decision of the Council
shall be final in any dispute regarding assessments conducted by
any other body, whether local or foreign, on the accreditation or
recognition of any institution, programme or award.

(2) in any other case a person directly affected by a
decision of the Council may appeal the decision to the Appeals
Committee on the following grounds:

(a) that the Council failed to comply with the
procedures laid down in this Act or any
regulations or rules made under this Act and
that the failure amounted to a significant breach
of such procedures;

(b) that the decision of the Council is based on
information that is substantially incorrect or is
of insufficient weight to support the decision; or

(c) that the decision of the Council is arbitrary or
unreasonable, or inconsistent with or unsupported
by the policies of the Council.

(3) for the purposes of this section there is established
an Appeals Committee which shall be comprised of three persons
appointed by the President.

(4) hearings before the Appeals Committee shall be

conducted in such manner and in accordance with such rules as

may be prescribed.

Directions by
minister.

Appeals.

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(5) The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.

(6) The Appeals Committee with the approval of the
minister may make rules prescribing the matters required by this
section to be prescribed.

12. The provisions of the Schedule shall have effect with
respect to the meetings and operation of the committees of the
Council.

13. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the President shall appoint
on such terms and conditions as the minister may approve a
suitably qualified person as executive Director.

(2) The executive Director shall be appointed for a term
not exceeding five years and shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(3) The executive Director shall be paid such
remuneration, including allowances, as the Council may with the
approval of the minister determine.

14. (1) The Council shall appoint a Secretary and such other
staff as the Council may deem necessary.

(2) The Secretary and staff of the Council shall be paid
such remuneration including allowances and be appointed on
such other terms and conditions as the Council may determine,
except that salaries in excess of one hundred and twenty thousand
dollars per annum shall be subject to the approval of the minister.

(3) The minister may by order increase the limit stated
in subsection (2).

15. (1) Any officer in the public service or the teaching
service or any person in the employ of any public body or
authority or any private body may, with the approval of the
appropriate Service Commission or authority or body and with the
consent of the officer or other employed person, be transferred on
secondment to the service of the Council and any person
employed in the service of the Council may, with the consent of
the Council, be transferred on secondment to the Public Service or
Teaching Service or to the service of any public or private body.

meetings and
committees
Schedule.

executive
Director.

Secretary.

Transfer on
secondment
from and to the
service of the
Council.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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(2) Where any such transfer on secondment is effected
the Council shall make, with the appropriate authority or body,
such arrangements as may be necessary to preserve the rights of
the officer or other employed person to superannuation benefits
for which the officer or other employed person would have been
eligible had that officer or other employed person remained in the
service from which the transfer on secondment was effected.

(3) except where the Council decides otherwise, a
period of transfer on secondment shall not exceed five years.

PART III

FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

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

(a) such amounts 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; and

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

17. The funds of the Council shall be applied in defraying the
following expenditure:

(a) the remuneration, fees and allowances of
members of the Council and members of
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;

funds and
resources.

Application of
funds.

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Accreditation Council of

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

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

18. The Council may accumulate reserves and such reserves
and all other funds of the Council not immediately required to be
spent in meeting the obligations of the Council or the discharge
of any of its functions may be invested, from time to time, in such
securities as the Council may with the approval of the minister
with responsibility for finance deem fit.

19. The Council may, for the purpose of discharging its
functions under this Act, borrow such sums of money as are
approved by the minister.

20. The Council shall be exempt from stamp duties,
corporation taxes, customs duties, purchase taxes, value added
taxes, motor vehicle taxes and all other taxes, charges, levies and
imports, on its income or profit or on assets, which it acquires for
its own use in carrying out its functions under this Act.

21. The Council may by resolution make rules for the proper
control of the systems of accounting of the Council and for its
finances.

22. (1) The accounts of the Council shall be audited
annually by the Auditor general or by an auditor authorised by
the Auditor general.

(2) The Council shall, within six months of the end of
each financial year, submit to the minister an annual report
dealing with the activities of the Council and containing such
financial statements and such other information relating to the
operations and policies of the Council as the minister may require.

(3) The minister shall cause a copy of the audited

accounts prepared in accordance with subsection (1) and a copy

of the annual report submitted under subsection (2) to be laid

before Parliament within three months of receipt by him.

Use of surplus
funds.

Power to
borrow.

exemption from
taxes, duties,
etc.

Accounting.

Audit of
accounts.

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PART IV

GeNeRAL

23. (1) no proceedings shall be instituted personally against a
member of the Council in respect of any act done bona fide in pursuance
of the execution of the functions of that member under this Act.

(2) Where a member of the Council is exempt from
liability by reason only of subsection (1), the Council is liable to
the extent that the Council would be if the member were a servant
or agent of the Council.

24. There shall be kept in the ministry in such manner as
may be prescribed separate registers of all post secondary and
tertiary institutions registered or accredited in Trinidad and
Tobago and all of their accredited programmes and awards.

25. (1) it shall be an offence for any member or any officer
or other employee of the Council to—

(a) communicate or reveal any information or
matter connected with or related to the functions
of the Council to any unauthorised person or
body in accordance with such regulations as
may be made under this Act; or

(b) obtain, reproduce or retain possession of any
information or matter referred to in
paragraph (a) which that member or officer
or other employee is not authorised to
reproduce or retain in his or her possession.

(2) A person who commits an offence under
subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten
thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of two years.

26. (1) no institution shall carry on the business of post

secondary or tertiary education or use any of the words

“university”, “college”, “tertiary college”, “polytechnic”,

“community college”, “technical college”, “technical institute”

or “technical university” in its name unless registered under this

Act and any regulations or rules made under this Act.

Protection of
members.

registers of
institutions and
programmes
registered or
accredited.

offences.

Prohibitions.

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Accreditation Council of

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(2) A registered institution shall not—

(a) alter its accredited programmes without prior
approval of the Council; or

(b) misrepresent to the public the recognition
gained by it for its programmes or awards.

(3) An institution in breach of subsections (1) and (2)
shall be informed in writing of the nature of the breach and shall
be requested to comply within a stipulated time period.

(4) if the institution fails to comply within the stipulated
time, the minister may remove the name of the institution from
the register and cause that information to be published in the
Gazette and in at least two daily newspapers circulating in
Trinidad and Tobago on at least two consecutive occasions.

(5) An institution which fails to comply with subsection
(1) or (2) is guilty of an offence and in addition to any other
penalty imposed by this section is liable on summary conviction
to a fine of twenty thousand dollars and to a further fine of five
hundred dollars for each day that such offence is continued after
written notice of the offence has been given by the Council.

27. (1) The Council may, with the approval of the minister,
make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of
this Act.

(2) regulations made under this section shall be laid as
soon as practicable before both houses of Parliament and shall be
subject to affirmative resolution.

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

(2) A review pursuant to subsection (1) shall be
undertaken in collaboration with regional accrediting bodies
established for the Caribbean Community and with other
recognised competent authorities.

Power to make
regulations.

review of
activities.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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(3) A report on the results of each review shall be
submitted to the minister and shall be laid in Parliament within
three months of receipt by him.

29. (1) institutions lawfully performing their functions in
Trinidad and Tobago at the commencement of this Act shall, for
the period of five years thereafter, be deemed to be authorised to
continue to perform such functions, provided that no such
institution shall advertise or offer to the public any new courses
or programmes without the prior approval of the Council.

(2) An institution deemed to be authorised under
subsection (1), to continue to perform its functions within the
period specified, shall cease to do so thereafter, unless it is
registered in accordance with this Act.

30. (1) notwithstanding section 8(2)(c), the Council may
provisionally register a post secondary or tertiary institution
which does not fulfil the requirements for registration, for a
period not exceeding one year, if the Council believes that the
post secondary or tertiary institution will be able to fulfil the
relevant requirements within a reasonable period.

(2) The Council may extend the period referred to in
subsection (1) for a further period not exceeding one year.

SCheDuLe

1. (1) The Chairman shall preside at meetings of the Council and, in
the absence of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman shall preside.

(2) in the absence of both of them from any meeting, the other
members present shall elect one of their number, not being the executive
Director, to preside at the meeting.

(3) The quorum of the Council shall be one-half of the membership
thereof and one or two additional members in order to attain an uneven number.

(4) minutes in proper form of each meeting of the Council shall be
kept by the Secretary and shall be confirmed by the person presiding at the
next meeting and a copy of the confirmed minutes shall be transmitted to the
minister within seven days of such confirmation.

Transitional
provisions.
[16 of 2007
10 of 2008].

Provisional
registration.
[10 of 2008].

Section 12.

meetings.

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Accreditation Council of

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2. (1) The Council may appoint such number of committees as the
Council may deem fit and may delegate any of its functions to such committees.

(2) membership of a committee may include persons who are not
members of the Council.

3. A member of the Council or a committee of the Council who is in
any manner, whether 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.

Appointment
and delegation
to committees.

Declaration of
interest.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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