Following the recent development of quality assurance systems, namely those in the European space, the Portuguese state has decided to create the "Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior" (Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - A3ES), by Decree-Law no. 369/2007, of 5th November, with the purpose of promoting and ensuring the quality of higher education.
The Agency is a private law foundation, established for an indeterminate period of time, with legal status and recognised as being of public utility. The Agency is independent in its decisions which must take into account the guidelines prescribed by the State.
The assessment and accreditation regime to be developed by the Agency is defined in Law no. 38/2007, of 16th August.