WG3 Quality Enhancement, Accreditation and Benchmarking

This working group (WG) focused on further developing the existing European-level and subject-specific approach to quality assurance in higher music education and exploring the use of benchmarking as a quality enhancement tool for higher music education institutions.


  • Establishment of an external evaluation body for higher music education (HME) institutions and programmes- The WG developed an action plan for 2014 proposing steps towards the establishment of a European-level quality assurance agency for the sector. MusiQuE – Music Quality Enhancement was created in October 2014 and offers accreditation, quality enhancement and advisory services to assist higher music education institutions in their own enhancement of quality. Three partner organisations are involved in MusiQuE: the AEC, the European Music Schools Union (EMU) and Pearle*-Live Performance Europe.
More information about MusiQuE can be found at www.musique-qe.eu.
  • Guide – Learning from each other: Sharing good practice through benchmarking – The WG produced step-by-step guidelines, including case studies, aimed at promoting the use of benchmarking as a quality enhancement tool and to assist those who are planning a benchmarking project within a higher music education setting.
Guide on benchmarking- Learning from each other: English
Guide on benchmarking- Learning from each other: French
 Guide on benchmarking- Learning from each other: German
  • 2 Workshops for peer-reviewers – The group has prepared and delivered two workshops to train peer-reviewers.
More information about the two workshops can be found here.
  • Standards for reviews in HME – Three new sets of standards for the review of HME institutions and programmes have been developed: Standards for Institutional Review, Standards for Programme Review and Standards for Joint Programmes Review. These standards will be used after the project period has ended by the new review body MusiQuE.
The sets of Standards for Reviews in HME can be found here.
  • 12 Institutional and Programme Review visits organised – 2 programme reviews in Moscow (February 2012) took place in cooperation with the National Centre for Public Accreditation NCPA, 2 quality enhancement reviews in Brisbane (April 2012) and Reykjavik (May 2012) and an accreditation review in The Hague (June 2012). A review of a joint programme was organised for the first time in Tallinn (September 2013), followed by an accreditation procedure at the Yerevan Conservatoire in cooperation with the Armenian national quality assurance agency ANQA (September 2013) and 3 quality enhancement reviews in Lyon (November 2013), Barcelona (September 2014) and Prague (November 2014).
    Finally, once the body MusiQuE was in place, a joint evaluation procedure was organised with the evaluation agency of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium) AEQES in Brussels (October 2014), Mons (November 2014) and Namur (December 2014).

Contribution of the 3rd country partner

The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) was chosen as project partner in view of its expertise in accreditation of higher music education programmes in the US. The NASM Chief Executive contributed to providing a substantial amount of information about how the NASM model functions.

Members of the ‘Polifonia’ WG on Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Benchmarking