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Accreditation renewal activities gaining momentum

2017.10.18

Through the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, one of Engineers Canada’s core functions is the accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs in Canada. A strong, relevant accreditation system provides quality assurance, fosters continual improvement of engineering education and promotes the mobility of graduates.

Engineers Canada is committed to ensuring accreditation meets the needs of regulators, engineering education programs, and students. And while we continue to deliver the day-to-day process of accrediting engineering education programs, we’ve launched two initiatives that will help ensure continued relevance.

The AU Task Force is a group established by the Accreditation Board to examine how the current curriculum measurement methodology (use of “Accreditation Units”) can be adapted effectively as education approaches evolve. This task force includes representation from the Accreditation Board, National Council of the Deans of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the engineering regulators. Together, this group has established an aggressive work-plan to tackle this critical issue.

Independent of the work of the AU Task Force, staff at Engineers Canada have launched the Accreditation Improvement Program. This Program is focused on four elements of operational improvements to accreditation:

  • sourcing and implementing online accreditation technology
  • enriching our consultation and communication with stakeholders
  • enhancing training
  • putting in place continual improvement processes that can adapt to changes in criteria or other shifts in the landscape of accreditation

Anyone interested in receiving updates on the progress that the program is making is encouraged to sign up for updates on Engineers Canada’s website.

Taken together, these two ambitious projects have the potential to advance accreditation of engineering education programs in Canada by ensuring accreditation criteria continue to reflect developments in the delivery of engineering education and that the accreditation process can be delivered effectively and efficiently. The AU Task Force has developed a survey for HEIs to identify non-classroom program delivery methods currently in use or being contemplated. In addition, they are seeking exemplars of different learning methodologies. They are also exploring the development of a “learning unit” definition or a refined AU definition.

Meanwhile, the Accreditation Improvement Program has been actively consulting with stakeholders to determine requirements for a Request for Proposal (RFP) to select a software vendor to implement an online system for accreditation and the enrolment and degrees awarded survey. An advisory committee for the system has been struck, and met on October 18. Their input was vital in further refining the RFP in preparation for a release later this fall. Activities to advance training are also underway, which will be led by a newly hired Accreditation Specialist. As these improvements progress we are committed to ensuring stakeholders are fully informed, consulted and prepared for these changes.