In 2003, Effat University established its first Quality Assurance Center to be responsible for the initial planning of quality assurance activities at Effat College and to help the institution search for the most suitable accrediting bodies for international institutional accreditation. The process the institution underwent at the time helped it become fully aware of the requirements for acquiring accreditation, specifically in relation to the international requirements set by varied international accrediting bodies to ensure keeping required quality standards in teaching, learning and other related services.
Between 2003 and 2004, the Quality Assurance Center helped in developing Effat College’s Assessment Plan, the Objectives of Baccalaureate Education, the Learning Outcomes of General Education and Majors’ Learning Outcomes, the Curriculum Review Process, Outcomes based on Course Objectives, as well as Evaluation and Assessment Processes. The institution also surveyed its mission statement in preparation for the review of the vision and mission of the college.
Between 2005 and 2006, the institution established the Office of Accreditation which, in addition to continuing work on gathering information for international institutional accreditation, helped in continuing efforts for reviewing the mission statement of the institution by conducting institutional SWOT analyses in all departments. It also began the process of administering student, staff and faculty surveys to contribute to the development of the self-study report to help in preparing for the Strategic Planning Project and national accreditation. The office also helped in conducting several internal awareness workshops on Quality Assurance in Education in coordination with external consultants (e.g. Center for Quality Assurance in International Education, Virginia, USA).
The activities of the Quality Assurance Center, the Quality Assurance Committee as well as the Office of Accreditation were helpful in raising the awareness of Effat faculty and staff concerning quality assurance issues and introducing them to Saudi national accreditation efforts by the National Commission for Accreditation and Academic Assessment (NCAAA). In fact, the institution was part of the early educational colleges and universities that worked with NCAAA before its formal launch.
In November 2006, the Quality Assurance Center, helped the institution to embark on an initial self-evaluation exercise as part of the preparations for acquiring national accreditation. The initial self-evaluation was conducted until June 2007 and resulted in a report that was submitted to the NCAAA. The quality assurance processes explored showed that the institution and programs are adhering closely to those prescribed by the NCAAA. The leadership of the institution continued to build the capacity of the Quality Assurance Unit by offering regular training opportunities in coordination with external consultants (e.g. Center for Quality Assurance in International Education, Virginia, USA). Many training workshops starting from 2005 up to 2010 were conducted to raise the awareness of faculty, staff and labor to quality assurance issues.
In 2009, Effat was granted the status of a university after fulfilling all the requirements needed by the Ministry of Higher Education (presently known as the Ministry of Education) and as a result the structure of the institution developed to reflect its new status. The Quality Assurance Center continued the efforts to review the institution's quality through the effective management of different quality processes and through the preparation for acquiring national accreditation by NCAAA.
The Quality Assurance Unit at Effat University developed in 2011 to become a Deanship of Quality Assurance that includes three sub units; accreditation management unit, quality management unit, and quality assessment and institutional research unit. The Deanship, with the support of a number of qualified staff, leads all quality assurance initiatives, including national and international accreditation, and provides guidance and support to all units in their implementation of quality assurance processes. The Deanship of Quality Assurance has been also instrumental in supporting the institution and all its units in the institutional and program accreditation process.
In June 2012, following a rigorous process of review and response to NCAAA recommendations, the university was granted institutional accreditation and accreditation for four of its programs - Architecture, Computer Science, English and Translation and Psychology. Effat University was one of the first few educational institutions in the Kingdom to be granted accreditation by the NCAAA.
In June 2014, two further programs of Effat University (Information Systems and Electrical and Computer Engineering) received national accreditation.
In the academic year 2014-2015, the 5 programs of the College of Business completed their program accreditation requirements and they are all now accredited nationally up to 2022.
In 2015-2016, Effat University received the distinguished national award of King Abdul Aziz Award for Quality, to be the first private non-profit university to achieve this prestigious award, thus confirming Effat University’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement.