Vocational Education has built a wonderful bureaucracy in recent decades. We are now auditing our colleges and producing reports more than ever. We’re also producing more diploma and certificate graduates for the education investment.

There’s been a trade off though –shorter courses, poorer facilities and dissatisfied employers.

What needs to be done?

Does Accreditation Impair Innovation in Education?


Many post secondary institutions are finding the bureaucracy involved in dealing with accreditation has become excessive, to the point that it may be decreasing rather than improving the quality of education.

Comments were invited from some industry leaders. See what they have said below.

If you would like to add a comment send it to

Comment from John Mason Principal ACS Distance Education

After 20 years of having courses both accredited and not accredited; we can see that while accreditation controls how bad a college can get; it also controls how good it can get.

By definition, accreditation systems are naturally trying to fit everyone into the same box.

The problem is that when you have an ethical and innovative college that is trying to do a better and more efficient job; the system can become very limiting. It takes money that might otherwise be spent on teaching; and redirects that money into bureaucracy. It stops rapid changes in courses (in a rapidly changing world), and imposes planning and management processes that make it impossible to keep up with the real needs of the world.

How much then is accreditation a measure of what is good? Maybe it is no more than just a measure of what is not bad

I am forever optimistic; but cannot see how we can approach improved learning while we limit the scope of innovation.

Why do we need accreditation systems anyway? Is it because our teachers are so incompetent and unethical that they need bureaucrats to control them. Who then ensures the bureaucrats are competent and ethical though?



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