AACSB: Updates to standards – Summer 2019

By 19th August 2019Resource

AACSB: Updates to Standards 2019

AACSB usually publishes updates to its business accreditation standards each summer.  However, it has confirmed that there are no updates for summer 2019.  This is, of course, due to the ongoing review of standards for business accreditation.  This is being undertaken by the Business Accreditation Task Force (BATF).

At ICAM (back in April), the BATF presented an update on the review process and some key points have emerged:

  1. The current review process includes both the standards AND the process of accreditation;
  2. The work of the BATF has resulted in several emerging themes across nine key topic areas (including accreditation processes, AoL, ICs, Faculty Qualifications and others).  For the full list, check out the BATF updates on AACSB’s website.
  3. The new standards are expected to be more principles based (though some baseline rules are likely to be included).
  4. The overall structure seems likely to focus on a) Strategy and Mission and Societal Impact; b) Learner Success;  and c) Thought Leadership.

In terms of the emerging themes, many are as expected – but I did think there was at least one unexpected absence…  In our discussions with clients and readers of our email blog, the issue of collaborative partnerships and the impact on accreditation is often raised.  This appeared to be missing within the emerging themes and nine key topics. It may be that this will be captured within some of the existing themes, but it is a topic that QED has subsequently raised with the BATF and is on their radar.

So, what does it all mean for schools?

  • In the short term, schools should proceed with their continuous improvement strategies in alignment with the current standards (Standards 2013, as updated to Summer 2018).
  • AACSB will issue the first Exposure Draft of the new standards on September 14 2019 (at the Global Accreditation Conference in Texas)  and allow approximately two months for public comment.
  • The second Exposure Draft will be released on February 2 2020 (at the Deans Conference) and will be open for comment for approximately 30 days.
  • The final set of standards will be voted on at ICAM 2020 (end of April) and – if agreed – a transition period will then be put in place (expected to be about two years).


For advice and further details on any of the above, please contact the QED Accreditation Team at info@QEDaccreditation.com.  Direct comments and feedback on the standards should also be emailed directly to the BATF.