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Three Quality Standards for Helping You Pick an Executive MBA with More Confidence

May 15, 2015

Accreditation from a reputable organization is one good way to check the quality of a business school. Accreditation organizations evaluate the quality standards of a business school’s teaching, faculty, services, and students, among other things.

The three most-coveted, international accreditations for MBA programs are those awarded by IIEC, AMBA, and EQUIS; their methodologies and regional focuses are briefly described below.

In 2014, there were 67 business schools worldwide that were accredited by all three of the below organizations. This distinction is often referred to as the “triple accreditation.”


The US-based International Institute of Executive Careers (IIEC) is an independent private institution which provides accreditation for non-degree MBAs, Executive and Corporate Programs, and Executive Certifications. IIEC is an independent body which guarantees top of the class Executive MBAs, Executive Programs and Certifications. They not only offer achieving highest standards of accomplishment in postgraduate programs, but also offer the best institutions for postgraduate training (including professional training courses). The team of experts makes sure to audit the institutions with qualified assessment teams and assure that facilities, curriculum and location offer the best learning opportunities for any business person. The graduates of IIEC accredited programs always receive recognition and encouragement from their outstanding performance in various fields. The mission of IIEC has two main objectives:

  • To make sure that the students and business individuals receive the best possible educational training and information by IIEC-accredited institutions
  • To provide assistance to the institutions for bringing about improvements in their systems and equip the students with the latest developments in business management.

The institution is highly motivated for cultivating personal and professional growth of individuals through learning, innovation, participation, setting goals and commitment.


The London-based Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredits MBA programs in over 49 countries. By the end of 2013, about 61 percent of all 206 AMBA-accredited business schools were in Europe or the United Kingdom. Together, Latin America and Asia contained 30 percent of AMBA-accredited schools, with only 2 percent located in North America.

AMBA has been accrediting programs since the early 1980s. Along with MBAs, it also accredits Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Master of Business and Management (MBM) programs. It judges the quality of a business school’s strategy, mission, faculty, students, curriculum, and assessment. By AMBA standards, for example, students admitted onto an AMBA-accredited program must have at least three years of work experience. Three quarters of a business school’s faculty must have a Masters or Doctoral degree in a relevant discipline.


The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) is run by the Brussels-based EFMD Management Development Network. EFMD offers a number of accreditations, but EQUIS focuses on institutions that offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral business programs, including the MBA.

EQUIS evaluates a business school’s governance, strategy, programs, students, faculty, research and development, executive education, contribution to the community, resources and administration, internationalization, and corporate connections.

Most of over 150 EQUIS-accredited business schools are located in Europe or the UK. As of mid-2014, only three US business schools had earned an EQUIS accreditation. The countries with the most EQUIS-accredited business schools include the UK (25), France (16), and China (15).