Which are the different accreditations of business schools?

07 Apr 2020


What is the best way to choose among the wide portfolio of the largest business schools available at the international level but also at the national level? Which are the best recognized business schools? While the criteria and selectivity of the candidates to the top schools differs from one student to another, the accreditations of a school can help you make up your mind. So, what are these accreditations? What do they say about the schools they accredit?


Government recognition

At the domestic level, the finest French schools and the most popular diplomas are generally recognized by the State, especially those that are accessible at a baccalaureate level, i.e. in the higher education sector. There are a number of types of recognition granted by the State, particularly in France: they may relate to the diploma you are seeking, a specialisation of it, or to management schools, higher education schools or business schools in France.


The State' s recognition of the school

The recognition of a school by the French State implies that the school must offer at least one course from the school with a graduating class. It will then be recognized by the State following various surveys based on different criteria: academic excellence, teaching staff, financial balance, administration, management, equipment, premises, pedagogical content, etc. The particularity of this recognition is that in addition to providing subsidies to the school, it allows it to welcome scholarship students.


The visa, the degrees certified by the State

The Visa is an increasingly popular method of recognition. The international and professional scope of the program (a diploma approved by the State is very well known among companies) demonstrates the quality of the program's content and outlets, as well as its professional insertion. This status is given by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research for a period of 6 years. Our school has a  Grande École Program State-approved and recognized, with five years of higher education.


Registered in the RNCP

The National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP) awards the diplomas it evaluates a certification that justifies professional insertion after graduation and its relevance to the current job market. Nowadays, whether it is a university, a management school or even a business school, all are in a position to offer training courses certified by the RNCP.


The Master's degree (rank)

This degree is one of the four degrees recognized at European level and is delivered by the Commission d'évaluation des formations et diplômes de gestion (CEFDG) if it is awarded by a higher business school after the diploma has obtained the official state visa.

After obtaining a Master's degree, the student has 300 ECTS credits which allow him/her to move on to the next level: the doctorate (bac+8 level).

At IPAG Business School, our Grande École Program holds a Master's degree (rank) and is state-approved, guaranteeing you a certain pedagogical quality, as well as the possibility of continuing your studies with a doctorate.


International Business School Accreditations

On the international level, they are the organizations most likely to provide certification or accreditation to international schools. These organizations have rigorous methods of investigation, which gives their accreditations a certain credibility due to their selectivity. Joining a business school  can sometimes be the subject of many questions for the students and graduates, and with good reason. In addition to consulting, for example, the various business school rankings, international accreditations are a good way for you to evaluate your future school.



The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) label is an accreditation issued by the European Foundation for Management System (EFMD), an independent Belgian organization which is based in Brussels. It can confer its label to schools but also to universities throughout the world, particularly in the fields of international business and management. This label is valid for 5 years and is based on several criteria: the context, governance and strategy of the school, the school's programs, the school's students, the faculty, the school's research, continuing education, the school's impact on its environment, the school's resources, the school's internationalization and the school's partnerships.



The Association of Masters of Business Administration (AMBA) is a UK based organization originally responsible for accrediting international programs such as MBA, MBM and DBA. It can also provide Grande Ecole program certification to the most prestigious business schools if they already have AMBA accreditation for one of their MBAs. This first accreditation involves several stages and can be issued for 1, 3 or 5 years depending on several criteria: the school's strategy and missions, program components and content, faculty, students, admission process, etc.



Similarly, to the EQUIS label, the EFMD Program Accreditation System (EPAS) is awarded, as its name indicates, by the EFMD organization. This accreditation is offered for 3 to 5 years depending on the school's strategy, resources, faculty, program objectives, student recruitment, international, market opportunities, etc.



The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), of US provenance, recognized in the United States, accredits graduate schools for 5 years according to their mission, research activities, financial resources, admissions system (by competitive or non-competitive entrance exam), students, faculty, programs.

Conclusion, regardless of whether you are looking for a post-baccalaureate education, are in a preparatory class, or even if you have already attended a business school, integrating the program of your choice and attending the grandes écoles require first of all making a choice: the school that best suits you, meeting as many of your criteria as possible (schooling, program content, rankings, honors, etc.). Accreditations, through their rigorous investigations of the institutions they credit, can help you target the school(s) that meet your needs and ambitions