ACPUA Certification Programme 2030: ALCAEUS



The program ALCAEUS arises from the participation of ACPUA in the Project Making connections between the Institutional Evaluation and the Sustainable Development Goals. During the 2017/2018 academic year, the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) awarded one of its two Capacity building projects for the joint development of this project with the Agència de Qualitat de l´ensenyament superior d'Andorra (AQUA) as Coordinator. The project, which lasted one year (May 2018-2019), involved the main stakeholders in higher education and sustainability in Andorra and Aragon.

The main objective of Making connections between the Institutional Evaluation and the Sustainable Development Goals was to align quality assurance in higher education with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and to empower stakeholders in our university systems. Through participatory processes of joint reflection and diagnostic analysis, a Proposal for Indicators for the integration of SDG in institutional evaluation was developed and published in 2019.

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Making connections, as international program developed in two very specific territories (Aragon and Andorra), has promoted the commitment with the SDG of the external quality assurance in higher education in Spain.

As a relevant example of this proactive attitude, the ACPUA presented to the Spanish Network of University Quality Agencies (REACU) a memorandum entitled: Inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Valladolid, 26/02/2019).

Subsequently, the ACPUA organized an International Meeting in Canfranc-Estación (Huesca) in order to coordinate the Spanish agencies and make them aware of the bases of ALCAEUS program. The meeting was entitled The 2030 Agenda: Embarking QA Agencies and HEIs in this collective journey.

What is ALCEUS?

ALCAEUS is an INTERNATIONAL evaluation protocol that measures the degree of commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2030 certification of centers and/or universities granted by the ALCAEUS program has as its main objective to give visibility to the effort that the institutions are making in the fulfillment of the SDG set in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations Organization. The process involves the delivery of a seal of quality that establishes four levels of certification based on the score obtained in the evaluation.


Who is ALCAEUS aimed at?

ALCAEUS is a voluntary programme for national and international faculties, schools, centers and research institutes with a certificate of implementation of their Internal Quality Assurance System (ACPUA PACE-SGIC programme, ANECA AUDIT, ISO 9001:2015, EFQM model, others...)


How to request

The only request is to send an application to the ACPUA together with a self-report (full information in the ALCAEUS framework document). The program is open all year round. No prior call is required.


How much it costs?

The evaluation of the ALCAEUS programme is free of charge for centers and universities of the Aragon University System (except travel and subsistence costs of the expert visit panel). For the rest of the centers and universities the cost will be subject to the ACPUA’s current price and tariff document and will be fixed by agreement or contract.


Required documentation

The assessment shall be based on the following documents:

  • Certificate of Internal Quality Assurance System
  • Documentation of the Internal Quality Assurance System
  • Evidence collected in the protocol for each of the evaluation criteria
  • Self-assessment report


Who will value?

A panel of experts on Agenda 2030/sustainability will be appointed, including at least one academic/researcher, an expert on international sustainability, an external stakeholder and a representative of the student or researcher in training.

The ACPUA Subcommittee on Center Evaluation (SEC) will be the evaluation body responsible for the ALCAEUS programme.


Period of validity of the certificate

Currently, the certification is valid for 6 years, renewable for successive periods of the same duration.


ESG Compilance Part 2


ALCAEUS is to be launched during the 2020/2021 academic year on a pilot basis. The first evaluation may be submitted on a voluntary basis by institutions with institutional accreditation. Both the pilot programme and the results obtained will be presented at two ACPUA seminars.

Prior to the launch of this pilot program, ACPUA will organize two seminars to train evaluators (in Spanish and English).