Accountability in Accreditation is a unique Engineers Canada program designed to continually improve the transparency and effectiveness of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) accreditation system.
In recent years, the Board, regulators, and higher education institutions have called for greater transparency from the CEAB. Stakeholders have sometimes remarked that the work of the CEAB is a complicated, unknowable “black box” process, where surprises happen, and autonomous decisions are a regular occurrence. Given this situation, the Engineers Canada Board has called for a robust, evidence-based accreditation system designed to acknowledge and address weaknesses in a data-driven, fact-based manner. They made Accountability in Accreditation a strategic priority in the 2019-2021 Strategic plan, mandating that the CEAB to provide a documented, annual performance measurement process, better communication, documented continual improvement processes, and greater transparency to accreditation stakeholders.
This strategic priority has several intended outcomes:
- The criteria established by the Accreditation Board are data-driven, reflect the requirements of the regulators, and support excellence in engineering education.
- Engineering regulators are provided with annual, data-driven reporting that demonstrates that the accreditation system measures transparency and effectiveness, enabling clarity of conversations around potential improvements and changes.
- Higher education institutions:
- Understand and recognize that the Accreditation Board is taking them through a structured, rigorous, and fair process.
- Feel supported in their efforts to incorporate educational innovation into their programs in a timely manner.
- Report greater knowledge and predictability of accreditation visits and decisions, and satisfaction with the Accreditation Board’s collaborative approach to change.
In response to the strategic priority, the CEAB has struck the Accountability in Accreditation Committee to continually assess the transparency and effectiveness of the CEAB accreditation system. The Accountability in Accreditation Evaluation Strategy engages stakeholders to inform the systematic improvement of the accreditation system. Through annual data collection and reporting, the CEAB will make evidence-informed improvements to the system on an ongoing basis.
Accountability in Accreditation Committee
To address the Board’s call for greater accountability in accreditation, the Accreditation Board (CEAB) struck an Accountability in Accreditation Committee in February 2019. The Committee was tasked with continually assessing the transparency and effectiveness of the CEAB accreditation system. The committee worked collaboratively with accreditation stakeholders to create a documented, annual measurement process, the results of which would be reported each year. The Accountability in Accreditation Evaluation Strategy was approved by the CEAB in June 2020 for immediate implementation.
Accountability in Accreditation Evaluation Strategy
The Accountability in Accreditation Evaluation Strategy is a framework through which the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) can assess and inform the effectiveness, trustworthiness, transparency, and efficiency of the accreditation process.
Annual evaluation results
The Annual evaluation results summary was designed to provide a summary and visual indicator of where the accreditation system is achieving and functioning well, where there are areas for improvement, and what areas at risk requiring immediate action.
Program logic model
A program logic model (PLM) is a graphical depiction of the connections between the activities and desired short-term and long-term outcomes of a program or service.
The evaluation cycle
The cycle for the data collection, analysis, and reporting processes follows an overlapping 16-month timeline that encompasses data collection, analysis, and reporting from all stakeholders.
Feedback is collected from eight stakeholder groups to provide insight into the working of the accreditation system and how it may be improved.