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Self-assessment, Periodic Evaluation, Accreditation

The Higher Education Quality Assurance system has been introduced in Italy by Law n. 240/2010 and Legislative Decree n.19/2012. Following this legislation, ANVUR has developed its own assessment criteria, methodologies and procedures to fulfil its tasks, in strict adherence to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

The Italian Higher Education Quality Assurance system is called AVA (Autovalutazione, Valutazione periodica, Accreditamento – Self-assessment, Periodic Evaluation, Accreditation) and is operational since 2013. AVA has been developed in order to pursue three main aims:

  • To assure that the higher education institutions operating in Italy uniformly provide an appropriate quality of their services;
  • To support the exercise by the Universities of responsible and reliable autonomy in the use of public resources and in collective and individual behavior related to education, research and knowledge and technological transfer activities;
  • To improve the quality of education and research.

AVA sets standards for the self-assessment by programmes and institutions, concerning their internal procedures and the outcomes of their activities, and for the external assessment of the quality assurance systems. External evaluation is based on peer review, is carried out by experts appointed by ANVUR through on-site visits and document analysis. It addresses the following activities:

  • Accreditation of new Universities and programmes
  • Periodic accreditation of Universities and their programmes

In each University the Quality Assurance (QA) key actors are the following: the Nucleo di Valutazione (Independent Evaluation Unit – NdV), the Commissioni paritetiche docenti-studenti (Joint Teaching-Student Committees – CPDS), the Presidio di Qualità (Unit responsible for the internal QA system – PQA).


Complaints and appeals – Accreditation of new programmes and periodic assessment of accredited Universities and their programmes.