Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking

Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking is an independent evaluation process which fully assesses an academic qualification so that it can be reliably compared with others in the UK education system or with others worldwide.

This page explains its benefits and outcomes to providers and awarding bodies, and there is a short summary of the process itself.

You can also look at our Qualification Benchmarking PDF e-brochure.

If you would like to apply or receive further information, please contact the Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking team at [email protected]. An Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking handbook can be shared.

Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking makes it easier for stakeholders in international education to understand how the academic standing of particular qualifications compares with more widely known national and international qualifications.

This becomes more important with the growing number and diversity of educational institutions and qualifications.

Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking uses an independent and objective evaluation process, improving international understanding of the academic level of a qualification, and boosting confidence in it.

  • It supports the international recognition and portability of qualifications
  • It improves the international reputation of qualifications in an increasingly competitive landscape
  • It encourages international co-operation between education providers – for example, through articulation arrangements
  • It informs qualification development with expert recommendations on programme design, assessment, and underpinning quality assurance.

An Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking exercise successfully resulting in comparability entitles providers to:

  • Display the Ecctis Benchmark Certificate for their benchmarked qualification(s), confirming Ecctis’ findings on comparability to the appropriate education system reference points
  • Have their benchmarked qualification(s) included on the Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking Register of benchmarked qualifications
  • Have their Qualification Benchmarking outcomes shared with our global community of international credential evaluators, government ministries and authorities, and educational institutions, to inform their recognition decisions.

Providers of benchmarked qualifications will receive the following deliverables:

  • A Benchmarking Report: a confidential evaluation report setting out the key findings, including suggestions for development where appropriate, and detailing the comparability of the qualification in the context of the education system selected as benchmark
  • An Executive Summary: a publishable short document outlining the key findings and the comparable level of the qualification – useful for your own dissemination and promotion.

Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking comparability findings are normally subject to a 5-year validity period. In specific circumstances the validity period may be of shorter duration.

The Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking process comprises 5 key stages:

  1. Proposal definition
  2. This initial exploratory stage serves to agree the scope of the qualification benchmarking exercise, for example the number of qualifications to be benchmarked and the number of reference points / education systems to be used as benchmarks.

  3. Information submission
  4. Once the scope of the exercise has been agreed, providers will be briefed about the information and qualification materials they will be required to submit to inform the benchmarking exercise.

  5. Desk-based analysis
  6. When the qualification benchmarking exercise formally commences, the benchmarking team will begin reviewing and evaluating the qualification. Additional information may be requested at this stage.

  7. Follow-up meetings
  8. The desk-based analysis is typically followed up by meetings with key stakeholders involved in the development and delivery of the qualification. These serve to clarify any questions arising from the desk-based analysis and to triangulate evidence. These might take place remotely or in person, as part of a review visit.

  9. Benchmarking Report
  10. On conclusion of the Ecctis Qualification Benchmarking exercise, the Benchmarking Report will be finalised, including the comparability outcomes, and suggestions or recommendations for further development.

The Ecctis Register of Benchmarked Qualifications aims to increase awareness and international visibility of benchmarked qualifications. The Register is a useful support to qualification recognition both in the UK and internationally.


The Register provides key information on Ecctis’ Benchmarked Qualifications including:

  • Institution
  • Qualification title
  • Benchmarked level
  • Validity period
  • A link to the benchmarking executive summary report

If you are thinking of applying, or would like further information, please contact the Qualification Benchmarking team at [email protected]