Step One: Information and Registration

Make contact with SEDA to register your interest. The SEDA office will note your details and establish the following information:

Is your institution a member of SEDA?

  • If YES, the fees for accreditation are reduced
  • If NO, the full rate accreditation fee will be payable.

(Please note that discretionary discounts may be available).

Does your institution already hold current SEDA accreditation of any programmes?

  • If YES you will need to review the previous institutional recognition as part of your application
  • If NO you will need to obtain institutional recognition as well as programme accreditation.

What Named Awards are most appropriate for the programmes that you are submitting for accreditation?

  • If your programme does not readily fit within one of the existing named awards we suggest that you talk to a member of the PDF committee
  • The SEDA office will ask you to make contact with the relevant named award co-ordinator for a preliminary discussion about your accreditation
  • If you decide to go ahead with accreditation, you will need to complete the
  • The SEDA office will appoint a mentor(s) and accreditor(s)
  • The SEDA office will send you a letter confirming the mentor(s) and accreditor(s) and their contact details, plus the dates of the forthcoming committee meetings at which the accreditation could be ratified, along with an invoice for the fees payable.

Step Two: Preparing for Accreditation

Your mentor will contact you and you start putting together your accreditation documents. These will include:

  • Institutional mapping document
  • Programme mapping document for each programme requiring accreditation
  • Programme handbook
  • Programme outline of activities
  • Appropriate CVs
  • Other material as advised by your mentor.

You work with your mentor to finalise your documentation and the mentor will notify the accreditors and the SEDA Office when you are ready to go for accreditation. Accreditors will normally need to receive documentation four weeks prior to any accreditation event taking place. As a guide, it is possible to complete the accreditation process in approximately three to six months, however it may take longer than this, a lot will depend on how quickly you can prepare the required documentation in the mentoring period in particular.

Step Three: Accreditation

You send your documentation to the accreditors. Accreditors will normally need to receive documentation four weeks prior to any accreditation event taking place. They will read and review it and discuss it with each other, contacting you if clarification is required on any of the material.

The accreditors will plan the accreditation visit, which is normally face to face, although exceptions can be made in certain circumstances, e.g. for an overseas institution. They will agree dates with you, let you know who they want to see, questions to be asked and a timetable.
Accreditation takes place. Primarily the accreditors will be looking to see if the programme meets the criteria for institutional recognition and programme accreditation and any additional requirements (specialist outcomes) specified by the named award. The accreditors will give you verbal feedback on the results of the accreditation which will be:

  1. Accreditation recommended for 1 year plus 4 years, upon receipt of a first year report OR
  2. Accreditation recommended for 1 year plus 4 years upon receipt of a first year report and additional specified conditions OR
  3. Re-submission required.

If the programme cannot be accredited in its present form, the accreditors will offer advice on how it may be developed further in preparation for any subsequent process.

Back-dating of accreditation will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and considered on a case by case basis. For this to be granted, you will need to provide evidence that all outcomes and values have been met in accordance with the named award during this period. Should a back-dating request be granted, any subsequent re-accreditation will be taken from that date.

The accreditors then write a report for formal consideration by the PDF Committee. This will be sent to you electronically to add feedback. The office will let you know when the report will be considered and ratified by the PDF Committee.

Step Four: After Accreditation

Notification of accreditation

The SEDA office will let you have feedback from the committee and will confirm accreditation with recommendations, conditions and dates of institutional recognition and programme accreditation, and dates when further fees will be due. The Office will send you a certificate of recognition for the institution and a certificate of accreditation for the programme.


If you wish to appeal against the decision of the Committee you are advised to read the SEDA-PDF appeals procedure and follow the procedures outlined.

Individual Certificates

After accreditation individual certificates will be issued to those who successfully complete your accreditation programme. You are asked to submit requests for certificates once or twice a year in the form of an official pass list signed by the external examiner or moderator for the programme or the chair of the assessment board. Certificates will be sent to you as programme leader for distribution.

Use of SEDA logo

Institutions recognised by SEDA may use the SEDA logo on programme documentation according to the guidelines which will be notified to you by SEDA.

Becoming a SEDA-PDF Mentor or Accreditor

It is hoped that you will want to become a mentor to leaders of new programmes and an accreditor and reviewer of programmes, for which you will be paid a fee.

Step Five: Reporting and Evaluation

You are required to submit a first year report form for all new programmes .

Step Six: Review

  • Reviews are held every five years. Your institutional recognition will be reviewed each time a programme is reviewed, or a new programme is added, in order to ensure it is always up to date
  • Approximately one year before the review date falls, SEDA will inform you that a review is due and invite you to complete a pre-review report form
  • You may negotiate the review date so that, where appropriate, the SEDA review may be tied in with any internal review of the programme
  • The negotiated date must normally be within six months of the review date. If the review cannot be completed within six months of the review date then the programme will need to be re-accredited and your institution charged accordingly
  • SEDA will appoint a mentor, to guide you through the review process, and a reviewer.

You will be asked to provide an evaluative report on the operation and running of the programme since the last accreditation or review. This will include:

  • An updated institutional mapping document
  • An updated programme mapping document
  • Feedback from participants, reports from external examiners or moderators (you can draw on first year and mid-term reports)
  • A description of any substantial changes
  • Any new programme documentation
  • A list of issues, problems and questions to contribute to the agenda for discussion.

The reviewer(s) will most likely visit the institution for a discussion based on issues raised in the documentation. The emphasis will be on encouraging development of the programme in light of the experience of the whole named award and informing the development of the named award through the experience of the specific programme. The reviewer(s) will write a report on the process which will be submitted to the PDF Committee for ratification.


  • Accreditation of a programme runs until the stated review date
  • If the institution does not require recognition after this date, then the academic year in which the termination date occurs will be used as the reference point for the final cohort of participants entitled to receive individual accreditation certificates
  • SEDA reserves the right to charge for these certificates
  • You will need to provide a list of final cohort participants at the start of the academic year in which termination occurs.