The national pre-university education system consists of all authorized / accredited school, as state, private and confessional education units.
According to the national law of education, any legal person may establish school units of early education, primary, secondary, high school and post-secondary education.
The religious cults recognized by the state have the right to organize confessional education by establishing and administering their own school units as private education, according to the provisions of the law.
Private and confessional education is organized according to the non-profit principle in pre-university education units, at all levels and forms, according to the legislation in force.
Private educational school units are free, open and autonomous both from an organizational and an economic-financial point of view, based on the private property, guaranteed by the Constitution.
The accreditation process involves two successive stages:
a) the authorization for temporary operation
b) the accreditation.
After obtaining accreditation, the educational provider is subject to the periodic external evaluation process every 5 years, according to the law.
The authorization for temporary operation is the stage in which the school unit / educational institution / interested organization, based on the external evaluation carried out, according to the law, acquires the quality of education provider, by order of the Minister of Education and Research, at the proposal of Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-University Education (ARACIP, in Romanian).
The authorization for temporary operation is granted for each level of education, for each branch, profile and specialization / professional qualification, for each study program, on each language of instruction, on each form of education, on each location, and confers the right to organize the study admission, as well as the organization and development of the educational process.
Education providers, with levels of education / specializations / professional qualifications authorized to operate temporarily, are part of the national education network and have the right to manage teaching, non-teaching and research staff, according to their own development strategy, to participate in national and international programs and to manage school documents in pre-university education, according to the law.
The private and confessional educational units are established by order of the minister of education and research, based on the accreditation of a level of education, under the conditions provided by art. 31 of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 75/2005, approved with amendments by Law no. 87/2006, with subsequent amendments and completions.
The accreditation order establishes the educational unit and grants legal personality of private law and public utility, for private pre-university education units, established on the initiative and with the resources of private legal entities, respectively for denominational pre-university education units, established on the initiative, with the resources and according to the specific requirements of each cult recognized by the state.
The accredited education provider is part of the national education system, with all the rights and obligations conferred by law.
Organizations providing education, with accredited levels of education / specializations / professional qualifications, have the right to organize graduation exams and may issue diplomas and / or other study documents, recognized by the Ministry of Education.
Students in state and private accredited pre-university education enjoy equality in all the rights conferred by the quality of student.
The external evaluation procedures for the authorization, accreditation and periodic external evaluation of the quality of education are carried out by the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-University Education (ARACIP) and ends, as the case, with the issuance of the order of the Minister of Education, at the proposal of ARACIP, respectively of the Certificate regarding the quality level of the education provided by ARACIP, in case of finding the fulfillment of the national quality standards.
In order to make the external evaluation process more flexible, for vocational and technical education, respectively for high school, theoretical and vocational education, starting with 2018, a simplified evaluation procedure has been introduced.
Thus, for the high school level, the technological chain and the vocational education, the external evaluation is performed on types of professional qualifications of the same qualification or lower level, within the same profile, on the language of instruction, form of education and / or location. The type of professional qualifications within the same profile, within the technological sector and within vocational education was established by the Order of the Minister of National Education no. 3122/2019.
Accredited high school state and private pre-university education units may set up new specializations within the profiles already authorized to operate provisionally / accredited within the theoretical and / or vocational branch, without going through the external evaluation procedure in order to obtain the the authorization for temporary operation, based on the procedure regarding the ARACIP agreement, approved by O.MEN no. 3668/2019.
For pre-school education, the authorization for temporary operation is mandatory in the case of newly established providers, as distinct entities, of the nursery type, as well as for newly established groups of children in authorized kindergartens or day centers.
If the pre-school early education is established by an accredited pre-university education unit of kindergarten or day center type, registered in the National Register of accredited preschool education providers kept by ARACIP, then the groups are considered legally authorized to operate provisionally and they are subject only to the evaluation process for accreditation.
The external evaluation activity of the organizations providing education is carried out based on the unique evaluation criteria, indicators and standards at national level, valid both for the state pre-university education and for the private pre-university education.
At present, these evaluation activities are carried out based on the provisions of Government Decision no. 21/2007, but new standards have been proposed and approved.
Thus, by Government Decision no. 994/2020, the new standards for provisional operation authorization and the new standards for accreditation and periodic external evaluation in pre-university education were approved. These new standards are national standards, which apply to state, private and denominational pre-university education and will come into force starting in 2021 - 2022 school year.
The areas and criteria on the basis of which external evaluation activities are carried out are:
A. Institutional capacity, resulting from the internal organization of the available infrastructure, defined by the following criteria:
a) institutional, administrative and managerial structures
b) the material base and the optimization of the use of the material base
c) human resources and the capacity of the institution to attract external human resources to the institution and from abroad, according to the law.
B. The educational effectiveness, which consists in the mobilization of resources in order to obtain the expected learning outcomes, materialized by the following criteria:
a) the content of the study programs
b) learning outcomes
d) the financial activity of the organization.
C. Quality management, which is materialized by the following criteria:
a) strategies and procedures for quality assurance
b) procedures regarding the initiation, monitoring and periodic review of the programs and activities carried out
c) objective and transparent procedures for evaluating learning outcomes, including by students
d) procedures for periodic evaluation of the quality of the teaching staff
e) accessibility of adequate learning resources
f) the systematically updated database, referring to the internal quality assurance
g) the transparency of the information of public interest, including those regarding the study programs and, as the case may be, the certificates, diplomas and qualifications offered
h) the functionality of the quality assurance structures of education, according to the law
i) the accuracy of the reports provided by the current legislation.
The new standards for the authorization for temporary operation and the standards of accreditation and periodic external evaluation in pre-university education, approved by Government Decision no. 994/2020 introduce common requirements and specific requirements, if applicable, for different levels of education and types of educational units. Specific standards have been identified for: high school, vocational and technological education, vocational and post-secondary education, pre-school and pre-school education, special education, special pre-school education - early intervention and special education operating in re-education / penitentiary centers / detention centers.
Based on these new standards, starting with the school year 2021 - 2022, the following areas will be evaluated, in particular:
Participation in education (and, especially, progress) - in general and, specifically, for existing disadvantaged / vulnerable groups and individuals at the level of the school.
Learning outcomes (and, especially, progress) - in general and, specifically, for existing disadvantaged / vulnerable groups and individuals at the level of the educational unit, respectively for talented and / or high-performing (ante) preschoolers and students.
The well-being of (ante) preschoolers and students (and, especially, the progress made).
The capacity of teachers, school managers and the community to improve school participation, learning outcomes and the well-being of children / students.
Communication with the beneficiaries of education, with the staff of the educational institution, with institutions and people from the community and from outside it.
Involvement of all actors, especially beneficiaries of education, in improving the quality of school life.
Education equity, combating discrimination, eliminating school segregation, educational inclusion and promoting interculturality.
The European dimension of education provided.
ARACIP draws up special registers, called the National Register of pre-university education units authorized to operate provisionally, as well as the National Register of accredited pre-university education units.
The organizations providing education can organize and carry out, on the Romanian territory, educational activities corresponding to an educational system from another country, in the following situations:
a) on the basis of an agreement concluded between the authorities and / or similar institutions in Romania and those in the state whose educational system is / is to be adopted
b) if they have accreditation in the respective educational system, being part of it.
These organizations providing education must submit to ARACIP a file containing a series of documents, such as: documents certifying accreditation in the adopted educational system, identification elements, educational offer, staff, students, educational spaces, material basis, sanitary and fire safety conditions, curriculum used, fiscal attestation certificate. The diplomatic mission of that state is required to confirm on the basis of the accreditation presented that the educational establishment complies with the legislation in the field of education in that state and that it issues diplomas identical to those that allow access to higher education in the country of origin.
If they meet these conditions, these education providers are entered in a special Register.
If the mentioned conditions are not met, they have the obligation to submit to the evaluation and accreditation process in the Romanian educational system, in accordance with the law.
In the pre-university education system, educational alternatives can be initiated and organized, with the consent of the Ministry of Education and Research, based on regulations approved by order. The following educational alternatives are recognized in Romania: Freinet, Montessori, curative pedagogy, Jena Plan, Step by Step, Waldorf.
The authorized / accredited alternative pre-university education is integrated in the national education system and carries out its activity based on its own regulations of educational alternatives, endorsed by the National Commission for Educational Alternatives and approved by the Ministry of Education.
The school network of alternative pre-university education includes all state and private alternative education units, groups, classes, structures integrated in state and private school units, accredited or provisionally authorized.
Private alternative pre-university education units are free, open units, have organizational and functional autonomy, in accordance with the provisions of the regulation of each educational alternative, endorsed by the National Commission for Educational Alternatives and approved by the Ministry of Education. They are based on private property, guaranteed by The Romanian Constitution and are organized and operate on the nonprofit principle.
The state and private alternative pre-university education units, as well as the groups / classes / structures integrated in state or private units are subject to the authorization, accreditation and periodic external evaluation procedures, according to the law.
The framework plans and school programs are elaborated, as project, by the representatives of the educational alternatives, are endorsed by the National Commission for Educational Alternatives / Institute of Educational Sciences (I.Ş.E.) / institutions responsible for the elaboration of the national curriculum and are approved by Ministry of Education.
The state provides basic funding for all preschoolers and for all students in alternative pre-primary, primary, secondary, vocational and high school accredited state and private accredited education. The basic financing is made within the limits of the standard cost per student / preschool, according to the methodology developed by the Ministry of Education.
In private alternative pre-university education, the tuition fees are established by the board of each educational unit, in accordance with the law.
For funding, the education provider may carry out other income-generating activities, in accordance with the law and in accordance with the provisions of the statute of associations / foundations / federations / centers / plans that manage educational pluralism.
County councils / local councils may allocate, by their own decisions, funds in order to finance non-governmental organizations of public utility, which organize activity within the private alternative pre-university education units.