Dear Mrs. Izmailova, tell us briefly about your professional background before you became the director of the National Acreditation Agency of the Russian Federation.

In 1988, I graduated from Leo Tolstoy Chechen-Ingush State University, Russian language and literature specialty, with the qualification of philologist, teacher of Russian language and literature.

In 1988, I started my didactic activity in the Republic of Ingushetia and I went through all stages from working as a teacher of Russian language and literature to the director of a school in the rural area.

From 2003 to 2008, I served as a director of the correctional boarding school for deaf and hearing impaired children.

In 2008, I was appointed as Minister of Education of the Republic of Ingushetia. In 2012, I moved to St. Petersburg, where I worked as a deputy director at the Institute for Postgraduate Education "Russian State Pedagogical University A. I. Herzen".

In 2011, I defended my PhD thesis on special pedagogy at "Russian State Pedagogical University A. I. Herzen ".

From 2013 to 2015 I worked as deputy director at "Federal Test Center" in Moscow. From September 2015 until now, I am the director of the National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation ("Росаккредагентство").

What is the mission of the National Accreditation Agency and which were the defining moments in its history?

The main purpose of the activities carried out by the Agency, in accordance with its status, is the technical-organizational support, as well as methodological-informational and analytical assistance in state accreditation procedures and facilitating the recognition of learning outcomes in educational institutions in Russia nationally and internationally.

Significant milestones in the history of agency's development:

- In 1995, in the city of Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El Republic, the Russian Federation, it was established the State Research and Information Accreditation Centre of Russia;

-In 2011, the National Accreditation Agency was reorganized into Federal State Budget Agency and its headquarters were moved to Moscow.

-In April 2015, the National Accreditation Agency celebrated its 20th anniversary organizing the International Scientific-Practical Conference.

From June to September 2016, there were signed several cooperation agreements in quality assurance in higher education with agencies from the European Area: Germany, Lithuania, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

Based on what principles does the Agency act?

-Independence and objectivity of evaluation;

-Transparency of the evaluation procedure;

-Assuming consensus in decisions making;

-Availability in cooperation with quality assurance agencies.

You are full members of several European agencies of quality assurance in education. Do you take over entirely the European standards and practices or do you keep your national peculiarities?

In accordance with its statute, the National Accreditation Agency participates in activities that transpose and implement the Bologna Declaration in terms of quality assurance in higher education in order to improve the system of evaluation and quality assurance in higher education in the Russian Federation.

The National Accreditation Agency is a full member of European and international organizations that ensure the quality assurance in higher education, within which it is involved actively.

Since 2001, the Agency has been a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)

Since 2002, it has been part of the Central and Eastern European Newtwork of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA)

Since 2006, it has been a member of the Asia-Pacific Quality Newtwork (APQN)

Since 2006, it has been a member of the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)

Of course we do have our national peculiarities, if we take into account the geographical criterion of our country, the large number of educational institutions and programs to be accredited in order to ensure that they meet quality criteria, including the European Standards and Guideline (ESG). One cannot ignore the fact that we need a government regulation in Russia and that the deployment of institutional and program accreditation in our country is still standardized.

In contrast to ANACIP, the National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation has a greater experience in quality assurance. What advice / recommendations do you have for our agency which is at an early development stage?

- Selection of candidates who want to be external evaluators must be done in a thorough way, based on their professional training and qualities they possess;

- More attention should be given to the preparation procedure/training of evaluators/external experts;

- Continuing to make efforts to obtain full rights in the European education area in the field of quality assurance;

- Do not forget about the particularities of the national education system, the experience gained over the years and keep the best pedagogical practices, as well as try to combine them into an organic way with innovative processes in education worldwide.

- Creating a sustainable/control secured system is impossible without clearly establishing time-limits in terms of accreditation, without objective indicators which make possible the evaluation of the quality management system in education institutions, as well as quality of curricula, quality of teaching staff involved in the implementation of study programs, and conditions for implementing study programs at universities. All together represent the key of success for an agency in charge of quality assurance.

Two representatives of ANACIP, Andrei Chiciuc, President of ANACIP, and Timco Carolina, Secretary General, based on several tests successfully passed, andobtained the status of international evaluators of the National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation. What are the basic requirements that must be met by a person who wants to obtain this status?

ANACIP representatives were granted the status of international evaluators of the National Accreditation Agency of the Russian Federation after passing the qualification examination for compliance with legal qualifying requirements for experts involved in the accreditation process.

The fundamental principles that will serve as a key foundation in their activities as experts are:

• Knowledge of the legislation of the Russian Federation regarding the implementation of the state accreditation process of educational activities;
• Knowledge of state educational standards;
• Knowledge of working with information service, administrative and local regulations on normative acts that regulate the educational relations;
• Examining and evaluating teaching materials in accordance with state educational standards;
• Determining compliance / non-compliance of maintenance and quality of training of students in the educational organization;
• Ability and willingness to work in a team.

At the end of September this year, "Росаккредагентство" Agency signed a cooperation agreement with ANACIP. What does this agreement envisage and what is your personal vision on future collaborations with ANACIP?

Under the agreement with ANACIP,  we intend to develop the following directions:
- Mutual accreditation of experts and their participation in external evaluations of study programs in universities not only nationally, but also internationally;
- Organizing joint events on accreditation and quality assurance in higher education in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova;
- Implementation of joint projects on quality assurance in accordance with European standards and guidelines (ESG) funded by international agencies and networks;
- Elaboration and publication of educational materials, anthologies in the area of education in the Russian Federation.