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Principles & values

The AERES is committed to implementing an evaluation policy based on three principles: independence, transparency and impartiality. It also intends to carry out its missions in accordance with key values, specified in its evaluation charter.

The Agency’s founding principles

Independence: Its status as an independent administrative authority guarantees that the AERES can carry out its missions without having to bow to any pressure or subordination from governmental authorities, evaluated parties or any other stakeholder. This independence particularly allows French or foreign experts to set a clear, fair definition of institutions’ strengths and weaknesses in compliance with the Agency’s ethical rules, particularly as regards a conflict of interests.

Transparency: The AERES acts in complete transparency, pursuant to the national and European objectives of research and higher education. All of its activities, from the method taken right through to the Agency’s internal organisation and ethical rules, are publicly available. All of the evaluation reports it produces are published in full on its website, together with comments made by the evaluated institutions.

Impartiality: The AERES designs and conducts its evaluations in complete independence and fairness. It sets up expert committees based on collective responsibility, complementary skills and multidisciplinarity and an impartial evaluation. The institution evaluated and the Agency keep each other mutually informed of any situation that might risk affecting the objectiveness of the evaluation.

Key values for the quality of the evaluation

Respect of people and institutions: The AERES ensures that the participants in the evaluation process respect the people they come across as well as the specific features and independence of the institutions being evaluated. Likewise, experts abide by a strict confidentiality rule, outside of expert committee meetings, on the information and matters they learn during the evaluation tasks. Reports are submitted to the institutions evaluated for making any comments that are then published together with the report. Every year, it reports on the practice of its missions to the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, which passes this information on to Parliament.

Efficiency: The AERES develops its staff and experts’ skills and ensures that all of the procedures developed are consistent. Periodic evaluation, in keeping with the contractual calendar, assesses the development of institutions’ strategies. The Agency publishes thematic or regional summaries on its evaluations on a regular basis.

Professionalism: The Agency has developed methods and procedures adapted to its missions. It conducts satisfaction surveys with its stakeholders at regular intervals.