Bhutan Medical and Health Council Secretariat is shifted to Namgaycholing Campus, Chang Gidaphu (previous DAHE office premises)

Higher Education Quality Council

Prior to 2023, the Council functioned as the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Division (QAAD), under the Department of Adult and Higher Education, Ministry of Education. QAAD served as the Secretariat to the Bhutan Accreditation Council, which was the national autonomous body for accreditation, quality assurance and recognition of qualifications.

With the establishment of Bhutan Qualifications and Professionals Certification Authority (BQPCA) on 9 January 2023 as per Section 25 of the Civil Service Reform Act 2022, QAAD was subsumed as one of the councils, namely the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC). The Council has the mandate to ensure provision for pursuit of quality higher education both within Bhutan and abroad with systemic mechanisms in place. Based on the Tertiary Education Policy of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2010, all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Bhutan shall be required to institute and maintain an effective quality assurance system. The quality assurance system shall ensure that the threshold quality standard of the HEIs is maintained. 

The broad mandates of HEQC are as follows:

1. Regulating quality of HEIs and its programmes.

2. Recognizing qualifications from both within and abroad based on the Bhutan Qualifications Framework (BQF).

3. Regulating Education Consultancy and Placement Firms (ECPFs) in Bhutan

4. Providing guidance on accreditation and affiliations with other institutes.

5. Reviewing the Bhutan Qualifications Framework.


Accreditation is one of the most important tools used globally for quality assurance of higher education systems. There are two types of accreditations: institutional accreditation and programme accreditation. Accreditation is based on the Accreditation: Principles, Processes and Standards for the Tertiary Education Institutions in Bhutan 2012. Accreditation aims to assess its own performance, review its planning procedure and identify ways to enhance its educational effectiveness. The accreditation process is based on a thorough and independent evaluation carried out by a team of trained assessors. A Higher Education Institution shall be evaluated against eight standards outlined in the Institutional Accreditation Manual (IAM) 2020. link to the Institutional Accreditation Manual and Rubrics for Institutional Accreditation, and the Accreditation Principles

The accreditation process as outlined in the IAM will assess a HEI based on a set of eight Standards which are formulated through wide stakeholder consultations, research and international best practice. Each Standard has Key Aspects and Indicators that are significant, relevant, measurable and achievable. The eight Standards are:

  1. Governance, Leadership and Management 
  2. Curriculum Design and Review
  3. Teaching Learning and Assessment
  4. Human Resources and Services
  5. Research, Publications and Linkages
  6. Infrastructure and Learning Resources
  7. Student Services
  8. Internal Quality Assurance and Enhancement System

The grading is based on the marks obtained out of 1000 as follows:

Range of Total Weighted Average ScoreGradePerformance DescriptorValidity
851-1000A+Excellent5 years
751-850AVery Good4 years
501-750BGood3 years
376-500CSatisfactory2 years
375 and belowDUnsatisfactory/Not AccreditedNot Accredited

The Council conducted pilot accreditation in 2015 with help of two experts from Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). The Council embarked on real accreditation in 2016 and by the end of 2022, the first cycle of accreditation was completed for all eligible HEIs in Bhutan. The Council began the 2nd cycle accreditation from 2021-2022. 

The details of the accreditation status and their validity are as follows:

S/NoInstitutionsDate of Site VisitGradeValidity of CertificateAccreditor’s Report
1. Gaeddu College of Business Studies www.gcbs.edu.bt23 – 26 May 2016A (Very Good)28.06.2022➢ View report
2. Royal Thimphu College www.rtc.bt1 – 4 June 2016A+(Excellent)28.06.2023➢ View report
3.Arura Academy of Health Sciences www.arura.edu.bt21-24 October 2019C (Satisfactory)15.12.2022 ➢ View report
4. Faculty of Nursing and Public Health www.fnph.edu.bt12 – 15 June 2017B (Good)27.06.2022➢ View report
5. Faculty of Traditional Medicine www.ftm.edu.bt5 – 8 June 2017B (Good)27.06.2022➢ View report
6. Paro College of Education www.pce.edu.bt22 – 25 May 2017B (Good)27.06.2022➢ View report
7. Samtse College of Education www.sce.edu.bt15 – 18 May 2017A (Very Good)27.06.2023➢ View report
8. College of Science and Technology www.cst.edu.bt6-9 November 2017A (Very Good)07.01.2024➢ View report
9. Jigme Namgyel Engineering College www.jnec.edu.bt13-16 November 2017A(Very Good)07.01.2024➢ View report
10. Sherubtse College www.sherubtse.edu.bt20-23 November 2017A (Very Good)07.01.2024➢ View report
11. College of Natural Resources www.cnr.edu.bt19-22 March 2018A (Very Good)09.05.2024➢ View report
12. College of Language and Culture Studies www.clcs.edu.bt26-29 March 2018A (Very Good)09.05.2024➢ View report
13. Royal Institute of Management www.rim.edu.bt2-5 April 2018A (Very Good)09.05.2024➢ View report
14Faculty of Postgraduate Medicinehttp://fopgm.edu.bt/10-14th May, 2021B (Good)01/06/2024➢ View report

Details of Second Cycle of Accreditation

S/NoInstitutionsDate of Site VisitGradeValidity of CertificateAccreditor’s Report
1Gedu College of Business Studies25-29 April 2022B (Good)28.06.2025 ➢ View report
2Faculty of Traditional Medicines25-29 April 2022A (VeryGood)27.06.2026 ➢ View report
3Faculty of Nursing and Public Health3-7 May 2022A  (VeryGood)27.06.2026 ➢ View report
4Paro College of Education3-7 May 2022A  (VeryGood)27.06.2026 ➢ View report



The Bhutan Qualifications Framework (BQF) empowers the Council to provide recognition of qualifications services. The Guidelines for Recognition of Qualifications not only ensure transparency, professionalism and objectivity in the decision making process but also institute a duly documented system for recognition and/or validation of qualifications.

View or download Bhutan Qualifications Framework 2023 & Guidelines for Recognition of Qualifications 2021



To ensure quality and protection of student interests, the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC) and the Bhutan Qualifications and Professionals Certification Authority (BQPCA) oversee and regulate the services provided by ECPFs. Education Consultancy and Placement Firms (ECPFs) in Bhutan play a crucial role in assisting students aspiring to pursue higher studies abroad. It is mandated to guide and support students in making informed decisions about the choice of programs and institutions outside Bhutan. They are responsible for placing students in recognized institutions abroad, based on factors such as aptitude, economic considerations, and client preferences. ECPFs are responsible for processing student admissions to various programs (minimum of diploma level) in recognized institutions.

Overall, ECPFs play a vital role in facilitating the dreams of Bhutanese students to study abroad by providing valuable guidance and support throughout the process, ensuring they have access to quality education in recognized institutions around the world.

List of ECPFs registered with BQPCA , 2023.

ECPF guideline