Accreditation - A Trademark of Excellence for Pharmacy Institutes

Virendra S Ligade, D. Sreedhar, Manthan, Ajay Pise, N. Udupa

Abstract: The profession of pharmacy has transformed and evolved as a multi-disciplinary, multifaceted profitable sector. The pharmaceutical professionals will play a crucial role in contributing to our national economy. There will be never-ending demand of pharmacy professionals not only in the country but also across the globe. Foreseeing this demand the government and the universities have taken special steps to uplift the profession of Pharmacy. The regulatory authorities for pharmacy colleges are namely, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the respective University to which the college is affiliated to. In order to have uniformity in course contents, requisite standards of education, technical faculty, facilities and infrastructure at international levels, colleges are going for accreditation and certifications from internationally approved regulating agencies. There are about 450 diploma institutions with 19,000 students, 300-degree colleges with 14,000 students and 180 postgraduate colleges with 1,700 students. In order to withstand the competition there is a need to take measures to improve the quality of pharmacy education. Quality has become a critical factor in this competitive era for attracting students and faculty. To produce quality graduates institutions need to undergo whole process of quality.1 One of the important techniques of quality improvement for technical institutes is to undergo accreditation by the NBA (National Board of Accreditation). NBA was constituted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), as an autonomous body, under Section 10(u) of the AICTE Act, 1987.2 Accreditation is carried out in India for Universities/Colleges of general education by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and their procedure is somewhat different.3 It is pertinent to understand the process of such accreditation, which is being viewed as benchmark in quality assurance in higher education.

The process started, with the vision of making quality the defining element of professional education in India through a combination of self and external quality evaluation, promotion and initiatives. The NBA has been striving to evolve a mechanism to adjudge the quality of education imparted in institutions of higher learning. The institutions that have been accredited are moving towards ISO certification, where students are considered as customers, faculty as promoters and institutions as service providers.

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