August 17, 1992 – DO 93, s. 1992 – Revised Policies on Voluntary Accreditation and Deregulation Amended by DO 32, s. 2006 – Revised Policies on Voluntary Accreditation for Elementary and Secondary Private Schools in Aid of Quality and Excellence for Basic Education

August 17, 1992
DO 93, s. 1992
Revised Policies on Voluntary Accreditation and Deregulation

To: Bureau Directors
Regional Directors
School Superintendents
Presidents, State Colleges and Universities
Heads of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities

  1. Statement of Policy
    1. It is the policy of the Department to encourage and assist education institutions which desire to improve their educational standards over and above the minimum required for recognition.
    2. In furtherance of this policy, the Department encourages the establishment of voluntary, non-governmental accreditation systems, to assist the Department in the exercise of its regulatory functions. The Department will promote a policy environment which supports the non-governmental and voluntary character and protects the integrity of the accreditation process.
    3. The Department recognizes and authorizes the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), as the umbrella agency that would certify, pursuant to the Federations’ own standards, the accredited status of programs and thus be entitled to the grant of progressive deregulated status and other benefits. FAAP standards shall be superior to the minimum standards of the Department.
    4. The Department recognizes and commends the pioneering work of the accrediting agencies now federated under the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), including the Association of Christian Schools and Colleges Accrediting Agency (ACSC-AAI), the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACU-COA).
    5. These revised policies on voluntary accreditation and progressive deregulation pertain to secondary and four-year tertiary level programs only.
      1. In the meantime that there is limited accreditation for the secondary level, the following equivalencies to secondary accreditation will be permitted:
        1. When at least three of the basic programs of an educational institution at the tertiary level are accredited with Level II status, the benefits of accreditation will be similarly extended to the secondary level program of comparable level, for as long as the tertiary accreditation status is current.
        2. Where there is proven outstanding NCEE performance over a given period of time, the benefits of accreditation may likewise be enjoyed, for not more than five years. For this purpose, the Department will make available the ranked list of NCEE performance of such high schools.
      2. For educational institutions with at least three tertiary-level programs with Level II accreditation, other tertiary undergraduate programs for which no accreditation programs exist for time being will be entitled to equivalent level accreditation benefits as well.
  2. Eligibility Requirements for the Grant of Benefits and Incentives
    1. The recognition of individual accrediting agencies or groups of accrediting agencies extended by the Department is an eligibility requirement solely for the grant of deregulated status and other benefits from the government. In order to avail of said benefits, accredited institutions and programs must be affiliated with duly recognized accrediting agencies under FAAP. Recognition shall not in any way diminish or run counter to the private and voluntary character of accrediting agencies.
    2. The Department may, however, in connection with the grant of deregulated status and other benefits, formulate, with the FAAP, additional guidelines to insure commonality in processes and standards among accrediting agencies and avoid the proliferation of accrediting agencies seeking Department recognition.
    3. Any accrediting agencies seeking affiliation with FAAP and subsequently DECS recognition shall fulfill the following conditions:
      1. It must be a non-governmental body duly incorporated under the classification of special corporation under Title III of the Corporation Code of the Philippines;
      2. It must demonstrate independence for making judgments relative to accreditation status, policies, procedures and criteria, and possess the capability and competence to conduct accreditation activities;
      3. Its policies, evaluative criteria, standards and procedures must conform with generally accepted accrediting principles as set forth by FAAP;
      4. It must make public its accrediting scope, evaluative criteria and procedures, including the academic and professional qualifications of the individual members of its governing and technical bodies.
      5. It must submit its minimum academic standards for review, as endorsed by FAAP, to DECS to ascertain that these standards exceed the minimum requirements.
  3. Benefits
    1. The scheme for progressive deregulation of qualified educational institutions/programs established pursuant to Part III, Rule IV, Section 2b of the Implementing Rules of Batas Pambansa Blg. 232 and to Resolution No. 66 of the Regular Session of the Batasang Pambansa, otherwise known as the National Development Plan, 1983-1984 passed on January 19, 1982 shall be enhanced.
    2. For purposes of progressive deregulation and the grant of other benefits, educational programs are classified into three levels. The levels and the minimum requirements prescribed for each are:
      1. Level I. Applicant Status, refers to institutions/programs which have at least undergone a preliminary survey visit and are certified by FAAP as being capable of acquiring accredited status within one or two years. No specials benefits are provided for this Level.
      2. Level II, or Accredited Status, refers to institutions/programs which have at least been granted an initial accredited status by any of the member agencies of the FAAP, and whose status is certified by the latter. For purposes of this Order, the term “accredited” shall refer to at least Level II.
      3. Level III, or Reaccredited Status, refers to institutions/programs which have been reaccredited and which have met the additional criteria or guidelines set by FAAP for this level.
        The list of these schools/programs shall be certified and submitted by FAAP to DECS, which will then issue certificated of deregulated status level to the schools.
        The accrediting agencies under FAAP are not precluded from stipulating their own minimum standards which may be higher than the common minimum mentioned in Section 1.c. above, or from providing additional accreditation Levels beyond Level III for their own purposes, or from coverage of other curricular levels such as elementary and graduate education for accreditation purposes. They are in fact encouraged to do so, in the interest of quality education.
    3. The benefits for accredited schools/programs are:
      1. Accredited Status
        1. Partial administrative deregulation, including the authority to graduate students from accredited secondary and tertiary programs without prior DECS approval and without need for Special Orders, the authority to grant overload in meritorious cases among others.
        2. Partial curricular autonomy, including the authority to revise the curricula without DECS approval provided that minimal DECS requirements and guidelines are complied with and the revised curriculum submitted to DECS. However, such waivers shall be without prejudice to specific subject requirements as may be expressly stipulated by professional regulatory boards.
      2. Re-Accredited Status
        1. Full administrative deregulation, with the submission of reports limited essentially to the reports of promotion of students and lists of graduates.
        2. Curricular deregulation, including the authority to offer new degree courses allied to existing Level III courses without need for prior approval of the curriculum or grant of permit/recognition by DECS.
  4. Effectivity
    1. The provisions of this Order shall take effect with the school year 1993-94.
    2. This Order when in effect repeals the following:
      Bureau of Private Schools Circular No. 10m s, 1967; Circular No. 2, s. 1968; Memorandum No. 87, s. 1967; Memorandum No. 42, s. 1968; the provisions of MECS Order No. 36, s. 1984l Rules IV Section 3, 5 and 6a of the Rules and Regulations for the Implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 232. DECS Order No. 32, s. 1987; DECS Order No. 38, s. 1988; DECS Order No. 54, s. 1991; provided that benefits to accredited programs previously granted under prior DECS Orders and still current at the time of this Order shall continue to be maintained, without prejudice to such benefits being extended to non-accredited educational institutions subsequently. Other existing DECS issuances contrary to or inconsistent with this Order are also hereby rescinded.

References: BPrS Circulars: (Nos. 10, s. 1967 and 2, s. 1968)
BPrS Memorandums: (Nos. 87, s. 1967 and 42, s. 1968)
MECS Order No. 36, s. 1984
DECS Order No. 32, s. 1987
DECS Order: No. 36, s. 1988
DECS Order No. 54, s. 1991
Allotment: 1-2-3-4—(M.O. 1-87)

To be indicated in the Perpetual Index under the following subjects: