To provide this information to the regulators, the Board of Engineers Canada requested that the Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board (CEQB) undertake a feasibility study on methods of academic assessment for non-CEAB applicants. This work was strongly linked to one of Engineers Canada’s 10 core purposes: providing services and tools that enable the assessment of engineering qualifications.
"The Feasibility Study on Alternative Methods of Academic Assessment for non-CEAB Graduates has been a one-of-a-kind collaborative process that will have value and positive impact for various stakeholders,” says Amy Hsiao, CEQB Atlantic Provinces Representative and chair of the task force that produced the feasibility study. “The study presents relevant considerations for regulators in making licensure decisions and encourages further collaboration and coordination amongst provincial and territorial regulators. It focuses on a range of current topics and effective approaches, from small- to large-scale, that in the end, serves to promote the inclusion of diversity of future engineers, enhance public safety, foster labour mobility, and support operational efficiency.”
The feasibility study was developed through an environmental scan of 12 engineering and non-engineering national organizations, one-to-one interviews whose participants included Quebec’s fairness commissioner, a series of three national workshops, a summit of three top Canadian psychometricians, and a targeted literature review.
The study is divided into four parts: research methodology; findings related to the literature review and environmental scan; an analysis of existing assessment systems for non-CEAB applicants; and a discussion of future options for multi-jurisdictional collaboration and coordination in the assessment of academic credentials.
One notable innovation in the development of this study was that the CEQB held an in-person summit for regulators to discuss the study’s preliminary findings, as well as a virtual summit to gather reflections from the CEAB. Regulators considered how they could implement changes to systems for assessment of academics at both the jurisdictional and national levels.
The workshops covered several topics related to the assessment of non-CEAB applicants. These included: the risks the regulators are seeking to manage when assessing non-CEAB applicants, the nature and implications of the differing assessment systems already in place among regulators, and the potential utility and practicality of a regulator-sponsored practice exam. The virtual discussion with the CEAB focused on that committee’s expertise, discussing how to test non-technical attributes, how to assess applicants in new or emerging disciplines, and future potential collaboration projects.
Comments from the summits focused on a variety of considerations, including assessing for the right attributes, fairness in the assessment of applicants with diverse profiles, and issues around establishing consistency and even harmonization across jurisdictions.
The collaborative nature of the in-person and virtual workshops provided valuable discussions and resulted in a thorough report for engineering regulators to consult when assessing non-CEAB applicants. The feasibility study will also help to advance the work of the Futures of Engineering Accreditation project. While the project is developing an academic requirement, how that requirement is assessed is yet to be determined. By providing an overview of the available methods, the CEQB feasibility study sets a foundation for the implementation of that academic requirement standard.
“My deepest acknowledgment to the task force team, and stakeholders from across the spectrum of engineering in Canada, whose insight, expertise, open and frank dialogue contributed to this study," Hsiao added.
While the study is only available to Engineers Canada members, questions concerning the study and its findings can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.