CEAP’s Proposal to Amend CMO 46 on Quality Assurance

[The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines has submitted the following text to CHED Commissioner Cynthia Bautista,  Chair of the CHED Panel on Quality Assurance (QA), as a substitute amendment to CMO 46 s. 2012.  It addresses such contentious issues in the original CMO 46 as the unlevel playing field, problems with outcomes-based education” (OBE/obe), the “professional institute,” academic freedom, accreditation, etc.]

Republic of the Philippines




No. _____

Series of 2013.


Pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 7722, otherwise known as the Higher Education Act of 1994, with the aim to promote and enhance relevant and quality higher education in the country and in furtherance with the ongoing paradigm shift to learning competency based standards in Philippine higher education as enshrined in the provisions of CHED Memorandum Order No. 2, Series of 2011;

Pursuant as well to the Commission en banc Resolution No. 508-2012 dated 26 November 2012 approving CMO 46 s. 2012 and its appended Implementation Guidelines as substantially revised in response to criticisms articulated by stakeholders in zonal consultations and public hearings held within the period of 19 January 2011 to 15 October 2012;

Propelled further by an earnest desire to simplify and streamline the provisions of CMO 46 S. 2012 as approved,  articulate the voluntary character of its implementation, as well as emphasize the need to address the quality of higher education in the Philippines, the Commission on Higher Education, by virtue of a Resolution en banc No. ______________, hereby approves these revisions to CHED Memorandum Order No. 46, S. 2012.




Section 1. Title.  This Memorandum, which revises and repeals Memorandum Order No. 46, S. 2012 shall be entitled, “Policy-Standard Enhancing the Quality of Philippine Higher Education through Quality Assurance.” (n.)

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. It is the policy of the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, as well as establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society. In this regard, the State, exercises reasonable supervision and regulation of all educational institutions while recognizing the complementary roles of private and public institutions.[1]

It is likewise the policy of the State to gear the programs of State-supported institutions of higher learning, taking into account regional and sectoral needs and conditions[2] and shall encourage planning in the development of educational policies and programs in both the private and public institutions without however, compromising the academic freedom enjoyed by all institutions of higher learning.[3] (n.)

Section 3. Legal Basis. In accordance with section 8 of Republic Act 7722 otherwise known as the “Higher Education Act of 1994,” that grants unto the Commission the power to formulate and recommend development plans, policies, priorities and programs on higher education and research (par.a), set minimum standards for programs and institutions of higher learning (par.d), monitor and evaluate the performance of programs and institutions of higher learning for appropriate incentives (par.e) as well as rationalize programs and institutions of higher learning and set standards, policies, and guidelines for the creation of new ones, this revised Memorandum is hereby promulgated in the exercise of such functions. (n.)

Section 4. Coverage. Consistent with legal mandates as well as the provisions of the Constitution, this Memorandum shall apply to all State-supported institutions of higher learning. Private institutions of higher learning, opting to comply with the provisions of this Memorandum, shall likewise be subject to these same provisions and rules as State-supported institutions of higher learning. (n.)

Section 5. Guarantee of Academic Freedom. As explicitly guaranteed in section 13 of RA 7722, nothing in this Memorandum shall be likewise construed as limiting the academic freedom of higher educational institutions. (n.)


Section 6. Definition of Terms. – for purposes of this Memorandum, the following are hereby defined:

  1. Accreditation[4] – a particular form of quality assurance that leads to the formal approval of an institution or program which has been determined by a legitimate body to meet predetermined and agreed upon standards, eventually resulting in an accredited status granted to an institution of higher learning or program by the accrediting body/bodies.
  1. Accreditation bodies[5] – refer to agencies that assess the quality of educational institutions based on a set of criteria, measured through surveys and onsite reviews by experienced accreditors.
  1. Assessment[6] – The process of the systematic gathering, quantifying, and using of information in view of judging the instructional effectiveness and the curricular adequacy of a higher education institution as a whole(institutional assessment) or of its educational programs (program assessment). It implies the evaluation of the core activities of the higher education institution (quantitative and qualitative evidence of educational activities and research outcomes. Assessment is necessary in order to validate a formal accreditation decision, but it does not necessarily lead to an accreditation outcome.
  1. Competencies – refers to the combination of knowledge, complex skills, behavior and attitude that enables an individual to perform a specific task or role.
  1. e.    Evaluation[7]the general process of a systematic and critical analysis leading to judgments and recommendations regarding the quality of a higher educational institution or a program.
  1. f.      HEIs – also known as higher educational institutions or institutions of higher learning. These are institutions providing higher education recognized by the CHED. They are either: Universities, Colleges or Professional Institutions.
  1. Institutional Quality – the quality of the HEI as institutions, as evidenced by the quality of programs of instruction, research and outreach or extension programs, functioning internal quality assurance mechanisms, Institutional Accreditation or Institutional Sustainability Assessment.
  1. Institutional Sustainability Assessment – A quality assurance process that assesses the institutional sustainability of an HEI in the key areas of quality of teaching and learning as supported by governance and management; support for students; relations with the community; and management of resources.
  1. Learning competency-based standards –refer to standards that are based on duly-specified learning competencies for a particular field of study or discipline.
  1. Outcomes[8] – refer to the (a) anticipated or achieved results of programs or the accomplishment of institutional objectives, as demonstrated by a wide range of indicators (such as student knowledge, cognitive skills, and attitudes.) (b) Outcomes are direct results of the instructional program, planned in terms of learner growth in all areas. (cf. par.j) An outcome must be distinguished from an objective, which is a desired result. Note: Generally, each outcome statement should describe one effect of the instructional program, and not accumulate several into one statement. Also, the statements should be clearly detailed and easily understandable by all teaching staff and students in the given area or department.
  1. Student learning outcomes[9] – are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning as well as the specific intellectual and practical skills gained and demonstrated by the successful completion of a unit, course or program.
  1. Learning outcomes-based education – refers to the kind of education where the desired results or “exit outcomes” are first determined, which become the goals for which the strategies, processes, techniques and means are put in place.
  1. Quality- for quality assurance purposes, is the discrete integration of the following elements and functions expected of institutions and programs: (1) the guaranteed achievement of minimal standards and benchmarks; (2) the drive to excellence (3) student learning outcomes determined by the HEI’s vision and mission, and (4) the ability to satisfy the demands of the market and stakeholders.
  1. Quality Assurance – refers to the processes and schemes that have the objective of assessing, monitoring, guaranteeing and maintaining and/or improving quality in higher education institutions and/or programs for the purpose of accountability or improvement.
  1. Internal Quality Assurance – refers to the intra-institutional practice/s used by an HEI to monitor and improve the quality of its processes, both institutional and program-oriented.
  1. External Quality Assurance – concerns the inter- or supra- institutional mechanism/s of reviewing, assessing, maintaining and improving the quality of institutions and/or programs and fall under the responsibility of a competent body having the authority to engage in such activities.
  1. Quality culture – refers to the integration of internal quality assurance procedures into the organizational culture and management systems of the institution, so that its members share a core set of academic quality values and approaches.


The Quality Assurance (QA, for brevity) system or framework, includes two aspects: (1) an Internal Quality Assurance Process and (2) an External Quality Assurance Mechanism. (n.)

Section 7.  The Internal Quality Assurance Process begins with an institution’s assessment of its capacity to 1) translate its vision, mission and goals into desired student learning outcomes; 2) establish the proper learning environment (thru the implementation of teaching-learning systems as well support processes and procedures); 3)review against performance indicators and standards defined in the assessment system; and 4)enhance programs and systems. (ed.)

The maturity of the HEI’s internal QA can be seen in the institutionalization and documentation of systems/processes by the HEI, the extent of implementation of these system processes, and the quality outcomes that contribute to program excellence. (ed.)

Section 8. The External Quality Assurance Mechanism refers to a system by which an HEI subjects itself to evaluation and monitoring by an external QA agency that has autonomous responsibility for its operations and has the appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure that reviewers/assessors are free from conflict of interest.

CHED shall serve as the coordinating body to the recognized external QA agencies (PACU-COA, ACSCU-AA, AACUP, ALCU-COA and PAASCU), pursuant to EO 705-A s. 2008, to facilitate and ensure that there are appropriate standards for evaluation and monitoring of programs and/or institutions for quality assurance purposes.


Section 9. The evaluation and monitoring of programs and institutions shall be two-fold, namely:

a)    A direct assessment of educational inputs and learning outcomes. In this approach, the program outcomes are largely measured against the policies, standards, and guidelines of the discipline.

b)   An evaluation of the quality system of an institution, to determine whether these are sufficiently robust and effective to ensure that all programs are well designed and deliver appropriate outcomes. Such an audit will consider program-level evidence to the extent necessary to ensure that institutional systems are functioning properly. In doing so, it takes into consideration the vision, mission and goals of the HEI.

Section 10.  For Private HEIs opting to comply with the provisions of CMO 46 s. 2012 as herein revised, CHED is guided by the provisions under Executive Order No. 705 s. 2008 and Executive Order 705-A s. 2008 exempting schools accredited by the five existing accrediting agencies (PACU-COA, ACSCU-AA, AACUP, ALCU-COA and PAASCU) from the IQUAME process. In this regard, the Institutional Sustainability Assessment (ISA) process which replaces IQUAME in this CMO shall also not apply to said accredited schools. (n.)



Section 11. HEIs are classified according to the four indicators of quality: (1) the guaranteed achievement of minimal standards and benchmarks; (2) the drive to excellence (3) student learning outcomes determined by the HEI’s vision and mission, and (4) the ability to satisfy the demands of the market and stakeholders.

Section 12. Criteria for Commitment to Excellence and Institutional Quality. In assessing the HEI’s commitment to Excellence, points shall be awarded to the HEI based on the presence of Centers of Excellence and/or Development, program accreditation and international program certification.

In assessing the Institutional Quality of an HEI, points shall be awarded to the HEI based on factors such as functioning internal QA mechanisms, institutional accreditation, program accreditation, institutional certification, the Institutional Sustainability Assessment (when applicable) and international institutional certification.

Section 13.HEI QUALITY Classification. There are three classifications of HEIs according to quality:

  1. Autonomous HEIs (by Evaluation) demonstrate exceptional institutional quality and enhancement through an effective internal QA system, and demonstrate excellent program outcomes through a high portion of accredited programs, the presence of Centers of Excellence and/or Development, institutional accreditation and/or international certification.
  1. Deregulated HEIs (by Evaluation) demonstrate very good institutional quality and enhancement through functioning internal QA systems, and demonstrate very good program outcomes through a good proportion of accredited programs, the presence of Centers of Excellence and/or Development, and/ or international certification.
  1. Regulated HEIs are those institutions which still need to demonstrate good institutional quality and program outcomes.

Section 14. Program Excellence. Program Excellence is manifested through accreditation, Centers of Excellence and Development and international certification.

Section 15. Institutional Quality.  Institutional Quality is manifested through institutional accreditation, institutional quality assessment or other evidences in the areas of governance and management, quality of teaching and learning, quality of professional exposure, research and creative work, support for students, and outreach or extension programs with the community.


Section 16. Procedure – HEIs opting to be classified or typed in accordance with the provisions of this CMO shall submit to the CHED the following:

  1. A letter of request for quality classification
  2. Updated documentation on academic programs, enrolment data, faculty data, learning resources, and support structures, linkages and extension programs.
  3. Most recent certificates of accreditation
  4. Additional documentation required for classification as autonomous or deregulated status.

After which, the Regional Office of the CHED checks for completeness of the HEI’s documentation and validates the data submitted. It shall then forward the documents to the CHED Office of Programs and Standards Quality Management Unit to compute for the total number of points to be awarded for Commitment to Excellence and Institutional Sustainability and Enhancement. The OPS-QMU then submits its findings to the TWG on HEI Classification which shall present its recommendations to the CHED en banc. Upon approval by the CHED en banc, the HEI is informed of its quality classification which shall be effective for five (5) years.

Section 17. Appeals. – Should the HEI disagree with the CHED en banc decision, it can appeal the same to the CHED en banc, supported by ample documentary evidence as would justify a change in the classification. A review committee shall be constituted by the CHED to process appeals and make its recommendation to the CHED en banc through the CHED MANCOM. The decision of the CHED en banc on appeal will be final and executory.

Section 18. Commencement of Quality Classification – The quality classification of HEIs shall commence by July of 2014.


Section 19. Incentives for Compliance – HEIs classified or typed in accordance with the provisions of this CMO are assured of the following incentives:

  1. Benefits appropriate to quality classification such as: For autonomous HEIs, (1) exemption from regular monitoring and evaluation visits by the CHED, (2) exemption from the issuance of Special Orders for their graduates (3) privilege to determine and prescribe curricular programs and revise the same, (4) the privilege to offer new courses/programs in the undergraduate or graduate level without securing authority from the CHED (except for disciplines that are under moratorium) (5) privilege to establish branches or satellite campuses without securing authority from the CHED (6)privilege to offer extension classes and distance education courses and establish affiliation with recognized foreign HEIs in pursuit of international standards of education and (7) authority to grant Honoris Causa to those deserving, per pertinent provisions of existing CHED issuance on conferment of honorary degrees.

For deregulated HEIs, they shall be afforded the same benefits as those HEIs classified as autonomous except those benefits provided in (4), (5) and (6).

  1. The inclusion of the classified HEI and its programs in the CHED list of comparable degrees, in reference to the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Studies, Degrees, Diplomas and Qualifications in Asia and the Pacific, to which the Philippines is a signatory.
  1. Priority in the allocation of government fund assistance for State funded HEIs and qualified private HEIs that have exhibited its commitment to program excellence and institutional sustainability and enhancement.
  1. Such other benefits as may be deemed appropriate and authorized by the CHED in accordance with law and existing rules and regulations.




Transitory Provisions


Section 20. In order for HEIs that have signified their interest to be classified in accordance with the provisions of this CMO, there is a need for them to focus on student learning outcomes standards, develop or enhance the QA monitoring and evaluation based on the new set of policies, standards and guidelines (PSGs) prepared by the Technical Panels. In this regard CHED is extending the status of autonomous and deregulated HEIs and existing Centers of Excellence (COEs) and Centers of Development (CODs)  up to ____________________ (old CMO 46 s. 2016 date: 31 May 2014.)

Section 21. HEIs with pending recommendations for COEs and CODs that have been processed by the Technical Panel are granted the status up to __________________ (old date: 31 May 2014) or until the end of their designation as COE or COD for those designated as such beyond ________________ (old date: 31 May 2014). Similarly, the second batch of COEs and CODs in the humanities, social sciences, and communications that will be processed and granted by _________________ will enjoy the status up to ___________________ (old date: 31 May 2014). After which, a new round of COEs and CODs will be selected by the different Technical Panels based on a new criteria, taking into account the shift to learning competency-based programs standards; the mandate of the COEs and CODs vis-à-vis the development of the disciplinal and multidisciplinary fields in the country.

Section 22. The guidelines for other quality and QA mechanisms shall be the subject of supplementary CMOs. (ed.)


Repealing Clause


Section 23.  Previous CHED Policy-Standard issuances pertaining to the grant of autonomous and deregulated status that are inconsistent with the provisions of this CMO are deemed repealed, revoked, or rescinded after the transitory provisions are implemented.




Section 24. This CMO shall take effect 15 days following completion of publication in an official gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Approved. ____________________________________

[1] Culled from Article XIV, sections 1, 2 and 4 of the 1987 Constitution.

[2] Section 2, RA 7722

[3]Section 2, RA 772 and section 5(2), Article XIV, 1987 Constitution.

[4] Van Damme, Dirk. “Standards and Indicators in Institutional and Programme Accreditation in Higher Education: A conceptual Framework and a Proposal”

[5] Ibid.

[6] P. 29, Quaity Assurance and Accreditation: A Glossary of Basic Terms and Definitions. UNESCO-CEPES.Bucharest 2007.

[7]  P. 56, ibid.

[8]  P.63, ibid.

[9]  P. 64, ibid.

About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
This entry was posted in Official Document and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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