The ZIMCHE Act Section 18 (1) and (2) stipulates that the Council shall evaluate the performance of institutions regularly in accordance with the institutional quality assurance standards prescribed by the Minister on the recommendations of the Council. Hence all HEIs in Zimbabwe registered with ZIMCHE have to undergo an evaluation process referred to as Institutional Accreditation.
- ZIMCHE advises the Institution to conduct a self-assessment exercise using the Accreditation instrument developed by ZIMCHE with assistance of experts in HEIs.
- Institution submits the completed accreditation instrument form to ZIMCHE.
- An accreditation visit to the institution is carried out by a ZIMCHE team comprising of members of the ZIMCHE Secretariat (Either the CEO or the Deputy CEO will be the leader of the delegation, members of the Directorate of Registration and Accreditation, and representatives of each of the other Directorates) and selected peer reviewers who are experts in the various disciplines offered by the specific HEI. Some members of Council may participate in the accreditation visit.
- The team is broken down into smaller units, to allow closer attention to each of the eight areas of focus indicated in the accreditation instrument, which are: Establishment of the Institution; Governance Procedures; Physical Structures; Staffing; Student Admission; Student Welfare and Academic Staff Promotion. Each unit must include a peer reviewer preferably one conversant with each the area of focus.
- Once at the HEI the small units, in the company of the relevant personnel for each unit from the HEI, verify the claims made by the institution on each of the areas of focus.
- The small units in the absence of the HEI personnel produce a report.
- The secretariat compiles the Institutional Accreditation report, constantly liaising with the institution to fill in any gaps that may have been missed at the time of the visit.
- The report is presented to the institution for an institutional reaction and commitment to a programme of action to address any areas of concern that may have been noted.
- Subsequent visits are made to verify any claims of addressing the concerns expressed by ZIMCHE.
- An accreditation report is presented to ZIMCHE.
- An accreditation certificate is issued to the institution if it meets the requirements for accreditation.
The accreditation report is published in the media to inform the public.