Section 23 of the HS-QSG requires an FH wanting to operate in Austria to undergo an AQ Austria-coordinated accreditation. The initial accreditation procedure includes the institution itself as well as the degree programmes submitted at that time.
The accreditation notification confirms the legal status of an FH for a six-year period.
Institutional accreditation of an FH is initially granted for a limited period not exceeding six years. The FH must apply for extension of institutional accreditation (re-accreditation) and prove that the institution meets the prerequisites and that they will continue to be met for the six years to come. Extension includes all accredited degree programmes at the time of application. In contrast to initial accreditation, AQ Austria can grant extension of accreditation with conditions.
After an FH has extended its accreditation once, they no longer require institutional accreditation. Following a continuous accreditation period of twelve years, an FH must undergo periodic audits according to section 22 HS-QSG.
According to section 23 HS-QSG, an FH planning to offer new FH degree programmes requires accreditation. In general, programme accreditations are granted for an unlimited period. Continuing education courses do not require accreditation (section 9 FHStG).