The Accreditation Improvement Program (AIP) is a coordinated effort to improve the delivery of accreditation for engineering programs and of the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey.
The education of world-class engineers requires a world-class accreditation system. To have that, you need systematic training for the people involved, strong lines of communication among stakeholders, a strategy for continual improvement, and a sound technical platform. Achieving these results will allow both institutions and accreditation visitors to put their focus where it should be: on maintaining reputable programs that meet the highest standards.
Accreditation is a demanding task for all involved. Higher education institutions (HEIs) having their programs accredited want information that’s transparent, readily available, and easy to find. Data they enter should be useable for either accreditation or the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey as needed. Likewise, for accreditation visitors, Accreditation Board members, and Engineers Canada staff, accreditation should be a barrier-free process in terms of training and the technical platform. Accrediting a program will always take time, but the AIP will make changes that will increase the value of how that time is spent.
The four program elements
Improving the management of the existing accreditation system and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey requires us to move on four interrelated fronts:
- Improving our stakeholder communication and consultation process will ensure that the accreditation system is transparent and open to the input of those to whom it matters most.
- Developing a training program will improve consistency across accreditation visits by providing volunteers and educators the information they need in a timely and repeatable way.
- Selecting and implementing an improved data management system will ensure that the technical side of accreditation optimizes everyone’s use of time throughout the accreditation cycle. The system will also reduce duplication between entries for accreditation reporting and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded survey.
- Introducing a process for continual improvement will ensure that the accreditation system stays responsive to the evolving needs of Canada’s engineering profession.
What we envision
The Accreditation Improvement Program is a multi-year undertaking that will roll out as programs come up for accreditation. We envision a system where programs seeking accreditation benefit from streamlined data entry. People will be able to reuse the information they enter for accreditation reporting and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey. They will be provided with straightforward training. There will be inclusive, transparent processes for communication and continual improvement. In this same system, accreditation visitors and Accreditation Board members are empowered to focus their efforts on providing meaningful, rigorous evaluation because they are equipped with a clear picture of how the accreditation process works and have reliable technical tools to support their work. Ultimately, we see a collaborative system that continually improves the rigour and reputation of Canadian engineering education programs and the engineering profession at large.
The Accreditation Improvement Program is intended to deliver:
- Improved performance of the Accreditation Management Process.
- Improved performance of the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey Process.
- Improved stakeholder consultation process associated with Accreditation Management and Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey.
- Improved user experience(s) associated with accreditation management and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey. This includes both operationally and for those stakeholders directly involved in these processes.
- Improved technical reliability of accreditation and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey.
- Faster adoption by users when there are changes to the Accreditation Management and Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey Processes.
- Sustainable methods to ensure operational continual improvement.