To secure quality in the Swiss higher education area, the Higher Education Act calls for regular assessment of the quality of teaching, research and services at all higher education institutions. Accreditation is a prerequisite for an institution to be termed a “university”, a “University of Applied Sciences and Arts" or a “university of teacher education”. Accreditation is also necessary for an institution to receive federal or inter-cantonal funding. Voluntary accreditation of programmes is also possible. The Swiss Conference of Higher Education Institutions has defined the ordinance that set out all requirements for an accreditation, including the procedural rules and the quality standards which must be upheld. The procedures are based on common criteria and are conducted in conformity with international standards.