Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which a facility's or institution's services and operations are examined by a third-party accrediting agency to determine if applicable standards are met. Quality assurance, or QA for short refers to planned and systematic production processes that provide confidence in a product's suitability for its intended purpose Should the facility meet the accrediting agency's standards, the facility receives accredited status from the accrediting agency.
In most countries in the world, the function of accreditation for educational institutions is conducted by a government ministry of education. In the United States, however, educational accreditation is performed by private nonprofit membership associations. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A non-profit organization ( abbreviated "NPO" also "not-for-profit" is a legally constituted Organization whose objective is to support or engage
When discussing accreditation in the United States, it is important that the concept of accreditation not be confused with the authority to operate. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The authority to operate a school in the U. S. is granted by each of the states individually. The U. S. is a federal republic, and the federal government possesses only specific limited powers with all others reserved to the states (pursuant to the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution). The Tenth Amendment ( Amendment X) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, Therefore, the authority of the U.S. Department of Education does not extend to authorizing schools to operate, to enroll students, or to award degrees. The United States Department of Education (also referred to as ED, for Education Department is a Cabinet -level department of the United States In addition, the U. S. Department of Education is not responsible for accreditation of institutions. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees accrediting agencies for institutions of higher education and provides guidelines as well as resources and relevant data. Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA is a United States organization of degree -granting colleges and universities Higher education is Education that is provided by universities, vocational universities, Community colleges Liberal arts colleges 
In the United States the accreditation of schools has long been established as a peer review process coordinated by accreditation commissions and the members. Peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work research or Ideas to the scrutiny of others who are The federal government began to take a limited role in accreditation in 1952 with reauthorization of the GI Bill for Korean War veterans. Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The GI Bill (officially titled Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 PL346 58 Statutes at Large 284 provided for college or vocational education for returning The Korean War refers to a period of military conflict between North Korean and South Korean regimes with major hostilities lasting from June 25 1950 until the A veteran (from Latin vetus, meaning "old" is a person who has or is working in the armed forces The original GI Bill legislation had stimulated establishment of new colleges and universities, including some of dubious quality, creating a perceived need for a federal quality review process for higher education institutions. Instead, the 1952 legislation designated the existing peer review process as the basis for measuring institutional quality; GI Bill eligibility was limited to students enrolled at accredited institutions included on a list of federally recognized accredited institutions published by the U. S. Commissioner of Education. 
Over time federal recognition criteria became more elaborate and the government assumed an increasing role in the process, but the process still relies on private accreditation organizations. As the U. S. Department of Education officially states , it does not accredit schools. Instead, accreditation commissions are formed, funded, and operated by their members to create an academic community that is self-regulating.
With the advent of the U. S. Department of Education and under the terms of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, the U.S. Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. The Higher Education Act of 1965 (Pub L No 89-329 (the "HSA" was legislation signed into United States law on November 8, 1965 as part of The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. The US Department of Education does not directly accredit educational institutions and/or programs The federal government makes no distinction between accreditation bodies, giving all equal standing. There is no similar federal government list of recognized accreditation agencies for primary and secondary schools. There is wide variation among the individual states in the requirements applied to non-public primary and secondary schools. 
There are six regional accreditors. Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to the process by which one of several accrediting bodies each serving one of six defined geographic Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to the process by which one of several accrediting bodies each serving one of six defined geographic They accredit (and therefore include among their membership) nearly all elementary schools, junior high schools, middle schools, high schools, and public and private institutions of higher education that are academic in nature. See also Primary education An elementary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of Compulsory education known as elementary Middle school or Junior High School serves as a "bridge" between the Elementary School and the High School Middle school or Junior High School serves as a "bridge" between the Elementary School and the High School High school is the name used in some parts of the world (in particular Scotland, North America and Australia) to describe an institution Higher education is Education that is provided by universities, vocational universities, Community colleges Liberal arts colleges
There are 52 recognized national accrediting bodies. Accreditation is a certification of the academic quality of an institution of higher learning  The national accreditors get their name from their common policy of accrediting schools nationwide or even worldwide. Requirements for accreditation vary from each national accreditor according to the specialty. In general terms, the national accreditors accredit post-secondary programs that are vocational, technical and career in nature. Some of these programs offer degrees and some only certificates.
Five of these bodies are listed by the Department of Education as general in nature and national in scope. These are 
Of the specialized and professional accreditors, the more visible include the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, the American Bar Association (whose accreditation is a prerequisite to sitting for the bar exam in the vast majority of states, with the most notable exception being California), the Association of American Medical Colleges for medical schools, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for business schools, the American Veterinary Medical Association for schools of veterinary medicine, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for engineering schools. The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC is a non-profit Educational accreditation agency in the United States specializing in the accreditation of Distance education The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ( ACICS) is a non-profit Education Corporation recognized by the United States The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology ( ACCSCT) is an organization in the United States providing Accreditation to non-university The American Dental Association (ADA is an American Professional association established in 1859 and has more than 152000 members The American Bar Association ( ABA) founded August 21 1878 is a voluntary Bar association of Lawyers and law students which is not specific California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. The Association of American Medical Colleges ( AAMC) is a Non-profit organization based in Washington DC and established in 1876. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB was founded in 1916 to accredit schools of business worldwide while the first accreditations took The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA founded in 1863 is a not-for-profit association representing more than 76000 U Veterinary medicine the application of medical, diagnostic, and therapeutic principles to companion, domestic, exotic, wildlife
Religious schools may seek regional accreditation or a secular national accreditation, or they have the option of four different specialized agencies, which include
These groups specialize in accrediting theological and religious schools including seminaries and graduate schools of theology, as well as broader-scope universities that teach from a religious viewpoint and may require students and/or faculty to subscribe to a Statement of Faith. A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is a specialized and often live-in Higher education institution for the purpose of instructing students
The remainder of the accrediting organizations are formed by groups of professional, vocational, or trade schools whose programs are industry/profession specific and at times can require technical oversight not provided by the broader accrediting organizations (i. e. the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education). Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE is a non-profit accreditation agency recognized by Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department
Regionally accredited schools are predominantly academically oriented, non-profit institutions.  Nationally accredited schools are predominantly for-profit and offer vocational, career or technical programs.  Every college has the right to set standards and refuse to accept transfer credits. Transfer credit, credit transfer or advanced standing is the term used by Colleges and Universities for the procedure of granting credit However, if a student has gone to a nationally accredited school it may be particularly difficult to transfer credits (or even credit for a degree earned) if he or she then applies to a regionally accredited college. Some regionally accredited colleges have general policies against accepting any credits from nationally accredited schools, others are reluctant to because regional schools feel that national schools academic standards are lower than their own or they are unfamiliar with the particular school. The student who is planning to transfer to a regionally accredited school after studying at a nationally accredited one should ensure that they will be able to transfer the credits before attending the nationally accredited school. College transfer is the movement of students from one Higher education institution to another and the process by which Academic credits are accepted or not accepted  There have been lawsuits regarding nationally accredited schools who led prospective students to believe that the would have no problem transferring their credits to regionally accredited schools, most notably Florida Metropolitan University and Crown College, Tacoma, Washington. Everest University, formerly Florida Metropolitan University is a system of For-profit universities with most of their campuses located in the state of Florida in Crown College was a small for-profit, predominantly online College located in Tacoma, Washington.  The U.S. Department of Education has stated, however, that its criteria for recognition of accreditors "do not differentiate between types of accrediting agencies, so the recognition granted to all types of accrediting agencies — regional, institutional, specialized, and programmatic — is identical. The United States Department of Education (also referred to as ED, for Education Department is a Cabinet -level department of the United States " However the same letter states that "the specific scope of recognition varies according to the type of agency recognized. "
Despite the widely recognized benefits and accountability of accreditation, some institutions choose, for various reasons, not to participate in an accreditation process. According to the United States Department of Education, it is possible for postsecondary educational institutions and programs to elect not to seek accreditation but nevertheless provide a quality postsecondary education.  Yet, other unaccredited schools simply award degrees and diploma without merit for a price.
Some religious schools claim that accreditation could interfere with their mission or philosophy even though organizations do exist specifically to accredit religious institutions without compromising their doctrinal statements.  Some states, such as California, allow exemption from accreditation for religious schools. Thus, occasionally diploma mills operate as religious universities to avoid laws against diploma mills. A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards Academic degrees and Diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without  Meanwhile, institutions such as Strassford University, claim "none of the recognized regional accrediting organizations accept as members institutions that are not dedicated to traditional education," and thus, Strassford does not "desire" traditional accreditation. Not to be confused with University Consulting Inc, another Diploma mill group University Degree Program (UDP is an unaccredited  The Strassford University is listed by the Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization as part of a diploma mill operation. Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization is a unit of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission that authorizes schools to offer Academic degrees in the U A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards Academic degrees and Diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without  Furthermore, other schools simply do not have the means or organizational structure to meet accreditation standards and others have had their accreditation status revoked after failing to meet minimum requirements.
An ongoing problem within higher education accreditation is the existence of diploma mills and accreditation mills. A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards Academic degrees and Diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without Accreditation mill refers to an Educational accreditation organization with low standards and without recognition from government and mainstream Academia. These organizations exist to grant apparent degrees without course work to give a willing buyer a degree for money. Sometimes both the buyer and seller know this or a potential student is not aware of the fraud. In some cases a diploma mills and/or its "accreditor" is unrecognized and exists only at a post office box or website owned by the proprietor of the school. This is a list of entities that have been identified as accreditors of Higher education institutions but that lack necessary legal authority or government recognition to provide such A post office box (often abbreviated PO Box or PO Box) is a uniquely-addressable lockable box located on the premises of a Post office station A web page or webpage is a resource of information that is suitable for the World Wide Web and can be accessed through a Web browser.
The use of unaccredited degree titles is legally restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions.  Jurisdictions that have restricted or made illegal the use of credentials from unaccredited schools include Oregon , Michigan, Maine, North DakotaNew Jersey, Washington, Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Michigan ( is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. The State of Maine ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean North Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States of America. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. The State of Indiana ( was the 19th US state admitted into the union Texas ( is a state geographically located in the South Central United States and is also known as the Lone Star State. . Many other states are also considering restrictions on unaccredited degree use in order to help prevent fraud. 
In the United States, unaccredited degrees may not be acceptable for financial aid, civil service or other employment. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Student financial aid refers to funding intended to help students pay education expenses including Tuition and fees Room and board, books and supplies etc See also Bureaucrat The term civil service has two distinct meanings Branch of governmental service in which individuals are hired on the basis Criminal penalties sometimes apply should such a degree be presented in lieu of one from an accredited school. The use of such degrees are restricted in Oregon, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, Nevada and Washington where improper usage can result in misdemeanor charges punishable by fines. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The State of Indiana ( was the 19th US state admitted into the union The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. North Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States of America. Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. For instance, the state of Washington passed a bill in March 2006 "prohibiting false or misleading college degrees. "  The state senate "unanimously amended and approved a bill that would make issuing or using a false degree a class C felony, a crime of fraud that could warrant five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In Common law legal systems a felony is a serious Crime, often contrasted with a Misdemeanor. "  Oregon has a procedure in which unaccredited schools can apply for authorization from the state, which maintains a list of approved and exempt unaccredited schools which are permitted there. An Oregonian wishing to use an unaccredited degree not approved by the state must make it clear that the school is not accredited. 
Some state laws allow authorities to shut down large illegal operations of unaccredited schools or diploma mills. A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards Academic degrees and Diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without In November 2005, a group of operators in Seattle was caught running several diploma mills. The group was indicted after a Secret Service investigation. 
In much of the world, institutions of higher education are authorized to operate by the government, typically through a Ministry of Education (MOE). The MOE is responsible for ensuring the institutions meet government standards, so in a sense the government serves as an accreditation body, too. For example, in Australia, higher education providers generally need approval of the federal or state governments (or a non-government body to whom this power has been delegated), or an Act of Parliament, depending on the nature of the institution.
In Canada most universities are operated by the provincial governments for their respective provinces. There is no institutional accreditation in Canada so membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada along with the provincial charter is considered de facto accreditation. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC is an organisation that groups Canada's universities 
An accreditation system has been introduced while introducing a bachelor/master schema for higher education in Germany. Within the so-called Bologna process a foundation was set up by the education ministers of the states of Germany to offer a central, unified accreditation process. The purpose of the Bologna process (or Bologna accords is to create the European higher education area by making Academic degree standards and quality assurance standards Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular
Accreditation is compulsory for all universities in India except those created through an act of Parliament. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Without accreditation, "It is emphasized that these fake institutions have no legal entity to call themselves as University/Vishwvidyalaya and to award ‘degrees’ which are not treated as valid for academic/employment purposes. ". The University Grants Commission Act 1956 explains,
"the right of conferring or granting degrees shall be exercised only by a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, or a State Act, or an Institution deemed to be University or an institution specially empowered by an Act of the Parliament to confer or grant degrees. Thus, any institution which has not been created by an enactment of Parliament or a State Legislature or has not been granted the status of a Deemed-to-be-University, is not entitled to award a degree. " 
Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission. The University Grants Commission of India is a Union government body that provides funds for government-recognised universities and Colleges It
Legitimate higher education qualifications in Ireland are placed on, or formally aligned, with the National Framework of Qualifications. This framework was established by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland in accordance with the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act (1999). The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland or NQAI ( Údarás Náisiúnta Cáilíochtaí na hÉireann in Irish) was set up under the Qualifications It is illegal under the Universities Act (1997) for any body offering higher education services to use the term "university" without the permission of the Minister for Education and Science. It is likewise illegal under the Institutes of Technologies Acts (1992-2006) to use the term "institute of technology" or "regional technology college" without permission.
The Council for Higher Education is, by a 1958 law (Hebrew), the only institution qualified to accredit universities and colleges in Israel. The Council for higher Education in Israel (Hebrew המועצה להשכלה גבוהה was established in 1958 as the superior body which inspects the functioning of Universities and The council acts as a reviewer of the activity of the academic centers in Israel and sets terms and requirements for every degree given.
Accreditation was done by the the Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (English: National Accreditation Board), a statutory body created through an act of Parliament, for certificates, diplomas and degree courses provided by private higher educational institutions (defined as institutions providing tertiary or post-secondary education) until 2007 when the body was replaced with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (Agensi Kelayakan Malaysia or the MQA is a statutory body in Malaysia set up under the Malaysian Qualifications Act 2007 The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (Agensi Kelayakan Malaysia or the MQA is a statutory body in Malaysia set up under the Malaysian Qualifications Act 2007 English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Higher education is Education that is provided by universities, vocational universities, Community colleges Liberal arts colleges The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (Agensi Kelayakan Malaysia or the MQA is a statutory body in Malaysia set up under the Malaysian Qualifications Act 2007
Prior to the enactment of the legislations that provided for the establishment of these bodies, no specific framework for accreditation existed and institutions only required a valid registration status from the Ministry of Education of Malaysia. The Ministry of Education of Malaysia is a government ministry responsible for Malaysian educational matters.
The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is a binational organization formed by treaty in 2003 to independently ensure the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders by assessing and accrediting programs. The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands Flanders (Vlaanderen Flandre Flandern is a geographical region located in parts of present day Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those NVAO (in Dutch: Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie is the Educational accreditation organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders. A Treaty is an agreement under International law entered into by actors in international law namely States and International organizations. As a result of separate legislation in the two jurisdictions, accreditation policies and procedures differ between the two countries. 
The Portuguese Agência de Acreditação (state-managed Accreditation Agency) for higher education is, since 2007, responsible for the publication of the national ranking of higher education institutions and degrees. Higher education in Portugal is divided into two main subsystems University and Polytechnic education Within the Bologna process a state agency was set up by the Portuguese Government to offer central and regulated accreditation. The purpose of the Bologna process (or Bologna accords is to create the European higher education area by making Academic degree standards and quality assurance standards The Government is one of the four sovereignty organs of the Portuguese Republic. Previously, Portugal had used a system of professional accreditation and degree recognition by sector, with a number of associations, Unions and Professional Orders (Ordens Profissionais): the Ordem dos Médicos (for medical doctors), the Ordem dos Engenheiros (for engineers), and the Ordem dos Advogados (for lawyers). A physician, medical practitioner or medical doctor who practices Medicine, and is concerned with maintaining or restoring human Health The Ordem dos Engenheiros (OE - Order of Engineers is the regulatory and licensing body for the Engineer profession in Portugal. An engineer is a person professionally engaged in a field of Engineering. The Portuguese Bar Association ( Ordem dos Advogados) is the public association to which all attorneys-at-law belong in Portugal, founded in 1926 A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law as an attorney, Counsel or Solicitor; a person The Sindicato dos Engenheiros Técnicos (for technical engineers), was created as the professional association of technical engineers, who were not full chartered engineers, having as mandatory qualification a simple short-cycle 3-year bachelor degree (bacharelato) awarded by the Portuguese polytechnical institutes and now discontinued since the mid-2000s. Technical engineer is a professional title created in several countries for professionals that were awarded a short-cycle 2- to 4-year undergraduate degree ( Associate degree Institute of technology, and polytechnic, are designations employed in a wide range of learning institutions awarding different types of degrees and operating often at variable The Associação de Técnicos de Contas (for accounting technicians), the Câmara de Revisores Oficiais de Contas (for financial auditors), and the Sindicato dos Enfermeiros (for nurses) are examples of organizations which were oriented towards professions that at least until the 1990s did not demand to its associates any sort of academic degree. An accounting technician is a professional who keeps Financial accounts for all types of Business. A financial audit, or more accurately an audit of financial statements, is the examination by an independent third party of the financial statements of a company A nurse is responsible—along with other Health care Professionals —for the treatment safety and recovery of acutely or chronically A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of Higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing Some organizations (starting as Associations or Unions) were upgraded later into Ordens like, for example, the Ordem dos Farmacêuticos (for pharmacists), the Ordem dos Arquitectos (for architects), the Ordem dos Biólogos (for biologists), the Ordem dos Economistas (for economists), the Ordem dos Enfermeiros (for nurses), and the Ordem dos Revisores Oficiais de Contas (for financial auditors). Pharmacists are Health professionals who practice the art and science of Pharmacy. An architect is a licensed individual who leads a design team in the Planning and Design of buildings and participates in oversight of Building Construction A biologist is a Scientist devoted to and producing results in Biology through the study of Organisms Typically biologists study organisms and their relationship An economist is an expert in the Social science of Economics. A nurse is responsible—along with other Health care Professionals —for the treatment safety and recovery of acutely or chronically A financial audit, or more accurately an audit of financial statements, is the examination by an independent third party of the financial statements of a company In addition, the state through the ministry for higher education, has usually been the central highest accreditation entity, and thus it is illegal to award degrees without government approval. For many years, there were state-accredited institutions, both public and private, awarding unaccredited degrees by the Ordens. This dubious situation changed in the mid-2000s with the deep reorganization imposed by the Bologna process implementation in Portugal, the creation of the new central state-managed Accreditation Agency and the foundation of many regulated new Ordens covering dozens of professions until then unregulated by this type of professional organization. The purpose of the Bologna process (or Bologna accords is to create the European higher education area by making Academic degree standards and quality assurance standards In 1999, over 15,000 students enrolled in Portuguese higher learning institutions and newly graduates in the fields of engineering and architecture, were enrolled or were awarded a degree in a non-accredited course. Those students and graduates with no official recognition were not admitted to any Ordem and were unable to develop professional activity in their presumed field of expertise (e. g. architect; chemical, electrical, or civil/structural engineer; lawyer; accountant; and financial auditor, among other professionals). At the same time, only one accredited engineering course was offered by a private university, and over 90% of the accredited courses with recognition in the fields of engineering, architecture, and law were exclusively provided by state-run universities.  In 2007, the compulsory closing of some problematic and unreliable private higher education institutions (like the defunct Independente University and the Moderna University) which in general had been accredited by the state during the boom of private teaching of the 1990s, but usually without providing any accredited degrees in accordance with the requirements of the main Ordens was seen as a remedy of last resort in order to prevent a further loss of credibility among some sectors within the non-public university higher education. Independente University (in Portuguese Universidade Independente or UnI for short was a Private university, headquartered in Moderna University ( Universidade Moderna) was a Portuguese Private university headquartered in Lisbon, with departments in Setúbal 
In Russia accreditation/ national recognition is directly overseen by the Education Ministry of Russia.  Since 1981, Russia has followed the UNESCO international regulations to ensure Russian institutions and international institutions meet high quality standards. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16 It is illegal for a school to operate without government approval.
It is illegal to falsely claim a degree in South Korea if it does not meet accredited approval. For example, in March of 2006 prosecutors in Seoul "broken up a crime ring selling bogus music diplomas from Russia, which helped many land university jobs and seats in orchestras. " People who falsely used these degrees were criminally charged.
In the UK it is illegal to offer a qualification that is or might seem to be UK degree unless the awarding body is recognised by the Secretary of State, a Royal Charter or Act of Parliament to grant degrees.  Prosecutions under the Education Reform Act are rare, as many unaccredited awarding bodies are based outside UK jurisdiction. This is a list of entities that have been identified as accreditors of Higher education institutions but that lack necessary legal authority or government recognition to provide such It is also worth noting in this context that the Business Names Act 1985 made it an offence for any business in the UK to use the word "university" in its name without the formal approval of the Privy Council. Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. 
Private higher (HE) and further education (FE) institutions (here distinguished from the qualifications that they offer) are unregulated, but may choose to become accredited by various non-regulatory bodies such as the British Accreditation Council or the British Council and Accreditation Service for International Colleges in order to demonstrate third-party assessment of the quality of education they offer. The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education is an accreditation agency recongised by the British Government for international students entering The British Council is a Public Body of the United Kingdom Government which specialises in educational and development opportunities The Universities Funding Council, and Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council established in the UK under the 1988 Education Reform Act have responsibility for the public funding of the FE and HE sector.
Prosecutions under legislation other than the Education Reform Act 1988 do occur. In 2004 Thames Valley College in London was prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act for offering degrees from the 'University of North America', a limited liability company set up by themselves in the US with no academic staff and no premises other than a mail forwarding service. The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which prevents manufacturers, retailers or Service industry A limited liability company (abbreviated LLC or LLC) in the law of the vast majority of the United States is a legal form of business Company