APEL.Q Case studiesPhilippines APEL.Q case study in training and world of work

Recognizing life and workplace skills through the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP)


The Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) was established in 1996 through Executive Order 330. ETEEAP is a comprehensive educational assessment program for tertiary-level education that ‘recognizes, accredits and gives equivalencies to knowledge, skills, attitudes and values gained by individuals from relevant work’ (CHED, n.d.). This is seen as an important recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) framework for many Filipinos who have sought employment without beginning or finishing tertiary education but who have acquired competencies in the workplace that correspond to those acquired in a formal college degree. This is also seen as relevant to many Filipinos who have worked and gained competencies abroad as overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

Filipinos, who have at least finished secondary education, may be assessed through the ETEEAP standards provided that they have gained substantial work experience (five years as per guidelines) related to the academic program for which they are seeking an equivalent qualification. Moreover, applicants must be able to satisfy set assessment criteria and show proficiency, capability and thorough knowledge in the field of their academic equivalency. Through deputized higher education institutions (HEI), applicants may be awarded a college diploma, a master’s degree or even a doctoral degree.

CHED deputizes HEIs to be implementers of ETEEAP by accrediting them against the following quality standards: (1) the HEI has to be a Center of Excellence[1] or Center of Development[2] in the programme offered through the ETEEAP; (2) the HEI should enjoy a valid autonomous status; (3) the HEI is accredited at Level II by any accrediting agency recognized by CHED; and (4) the HEI should be in Category A under the CHED-IQuame[3]. If the HEI is interested in accreditation of its alternative programmes or courses, it applies through the CHED regional office and will be evaluated through a series of document appraisals and an evaluation visit which will determine whether the HEI can offer courses under the ETEEAP. Monitoring mechanisms are then set up for quality assurance.

Procedures and processes

The processes of recognition and certification are as follows:

  1. The applicant submits documents (e.g. employment records) to a deputized/accredited HEI. If qualified, the HEI will conduct applicant assessment through written or oral exams, a laboratory demonstration practicum or interview and worksite visits depending on the academic field the applicant is in.
  2. If the competences meet those required in the degree program, the applicant may be automatically awarded the corresponding certificates.
  3. If the competences do not meet those required in the degree program, the applicant may make use of competency enhancement services and programs through participation in formal education courses, additional time and experience on the job or short-term courses and training. If successful, the applicant will be given the corresponding degree thereafter.

The legal basis of ETEEAP stipulates that CHED shall:

  1. certify, after thorough evaluation, the relevant work experience, knowledge and expertise acquired by individuals from non-formal and informal training that could be taken into account towards the award of a corresponding academic degree;
  2. determine the areas in which the applicant needs to undertake supplementary academic studies via formal course work in order to satisfy all degree requirements;
  3. develop, on a continuing basis and with the assistance of consultative panels and other competent authorities, standards, methodologies and criteria for a diversified system of assessing skills, values, knowledge and levels of competencies which should include, but is not limited to instruments such as written examinations, practical work and/or laboratory demonstrations and qualification portfolio assessments;
  4. delegate and/or accredit agencies, organizations and higher education institutions which will conduct equivalency assessments, develop assessment tools, provide supplementary academic courses and/or award degrees within their area of competence or specialization.

Outcomes and ways forward

From 1999-2010, 7,240 Filipinos graduated from the ETEEAP program. As of 2010, 96 accredited and deputized HEIs offer the program across all geographical regions in the Philippines. The portfolio of courses offered through the ETEEAP is also varied and involves bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Some bachelor’s degree courses include BS Computer Science, BS Education, BS Nursing and BS Criminology; master’s degree courses include MA in Business Administration, MA in Religious Education and MA in Developmental Management; and doctoral courses include Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education and Doctor of Organizational Development.


Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation (ETEEAP). Available on CHED website projects and programs (http://www.ched.gov.ph/index.php/projects-programs/programs/expanded-tertiary-education-equivalency-and-accreditation-eteeap (Accessed 21 May 2015).


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