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home > SQUARE: A Quality Assurance System for the ENIC-NARIC networks
SQUARE: A Quality Assurance System for the ENIC-NARIC networks

The quality assurance system for the networks is developed to assist centres to systematically review whether they comply with the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the good practice agreed upon by the ENIC-NARIC networks. In doing so it aims to streamline recognition practices.

The review is a voluntary exercise, and consists of a Self-Evaluation against a set of Standards & Guidelines, which can be followed by a Peer Review. These are all three combined in a Protocol, and are complemented by a Typology.

Self evaluation & Standards and Guidelines

The self-evaluation is developed to enable ENIC-NARICs centres to critically reflect to which extent they comply with good practice, and to improve where necessary and to enhance where possible.

For the review, a set of standards has been developed, based on the LRC and other good practice developed in the ENIC-NARIC networks such as the EAR manuals. These standards are accompanied by guidelines to assist in the review. Centres are only expected to review those standards that apply to their centre.

Peer Review

The peer review can enhance and add value to an ENIC-NARIC’s self-evaluation by introducing an external and international perspective. The peer review consists of a site visit by a team of 2 members from an ENIC-NARIC and a third national expert, reviewing a centre on the basis of its self evaluation. The review results in a report with recommendations for the centre under review.

In total 14 centres have undertaken the self-evaluation and peer review, as part of two projects: the System of Quality Assurance for the Recognition Networks’ (SQUARE, 2014-2016) and its predecessor ‘The Evaluation and Assessment of the Role of NARICs’ (EARN, 2012 -2014). Feedback from centres included:

"We are happy having contributed to this SQUARE exercise, on voluntary basis, time-consuming, but still very illuminative, both professionally and personally interesting”;

“I think this was an invaluable opportunity to learn from another centre – in some ways similar to ours – and to reflect on our own operations and ways of doing our work. We learned as much from reviewing the [X NARIC] as we did being reviewed”;

“The protocol you put in place seemed at first very formal and detailed, however when both working on our self-evaluation and also looking into the [X-NARIC] self-evaluation and planning the site visit we have found it very useful and practical to use. The standards are relevant both with regards to LRC and to our own further development according to [our] strategy”;

Typology: increased visibility

Together with the Quality Assurance system, a typology has been developed to increase transparency regarding the roles and tasks of ENIC and NARIC centres. Making more visible what it is the national ENIC and NARIC centres do, and showing both the differences and the commonalities between them, can facilitate cooperation and exchange within the networks. In addition, it can support the accessibility of the centres for external stakeholders, such as higher education institutions, (international) students or employers.

NB: Are you an ENIC-NARIC and interested to undertake a peer review? Contact us. As part of the IMPACT project (2016-2018) new funding is available to undertake a peer review.

Contact details NARIC Netherlands:


Kortenaerkade 11

2518 AX

The Hague

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)70 - 426 02 60

For more information contact Ms Jenneke Lokhoff (