After the Lisbon Summit in 2010, the implementation of a Global Approach in Education and Training required a new orientation in the training arena of NATO. Two years later, the Chicago Summit adopted the Connected Forces Initiative, which paved the way for a more professional and systematic approach. Based on European standards for Higher Education and carefully adapted to NATO needs, the NATO Quality Assurance Programme for Education and Training was launched.
The concept of NATO Quality Assurance is founded on the NATO Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluation Policy and is described in detail in the Bi-Strategic Command Education and Individual Training Directive 075-007. Quality Assurance for NATO Education and Training is designed to ensure the highest possible degree of quality for all learners, while providing autonomy and flexibility to the Education and Training Facilities. The vehicle for the realization of NATO Quality Assurance is the Institutional Accreditation process, which is managed, monitored and executed by Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Trainer on behalf of Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.
Institutional Accreditation requires an Education and Training Facility to design and implement an effective internal Quality Management System and to demonstrate its contribution to NATO. Through Institutional Accreditation the mission of the Education and Training Facility and its relevance to NATO are validated. Moreover, the Education and Training Facility ensures that its programmes, modules, and courses meet pre-defined academic quality standards and seeks to implement best practices to further enhance the quality of the Education and Training provided, as part of a continuous improvement process.
Those eligible for Institutional Accreditation include any NATO Education and Training Facility, NATO accredited Centres of Excellence, NATO recognized Partnership Training and Education Centres, as well as National or Multinational Training Institutions supporting NATO education and training requirements.
For supporting the institutions engaged or interested in the Quality Assurance Programme, the Quality Assurance webpage on the NATO Transnet portal provides the necessary resources and references.
Moreover, a dedicated training opportunity, the NATO Quality Assurance Course, is made available at NATO School twice a year, while the Quality Assurance Team of Experts in the Joint Force Trainer Division, Joint Education Training and Exercise Plans and Policy Branch provides support and advice upon request.