Accreditation is a process in which the certification of competency or credibility is presented. It is also the act of granting credit or recognition (especially with respect to educational institutions) that maintains suitable standards.
Accreditation is perceived as a decision of quality standard and evaluation of an educational institution and its courses (higher education institution) by external agencies – often known as Accreditation Bodies. In this revised vocational education system in India, institutions of higher education, and their courses are accredited by these ‘Accreditation Bodies’.
Accreditation, as a mark of quality is not awarded forever but as a best practice; it must be reviewed and renewed in a continuous cycle with an average time span of about two to three years. This time span may change based on the policies of the accreditation body and the level of maturity of the educational sector.
However, in relation to conformity assessment, ISO has defined accreditation as Third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks (source ISO 17000) as applicable to conformity assessment.
Here is the report on Quality Assurance Parameters for Certification, Affiliation, Accreditation: