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. As part of this program, the CEAB struck the Accountability in Accreditation Committee, which 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.

In the first step towards achieving these goals, the CEAB’s Accountability in Accreditation committee released its first report. This very first report is informed by feedback that was collected from regulators, general visitors, program visitors, visiting team chairs and vice-chairs, Engineers Canada staff, deans, designated officials or program accreditation leads that received CEAB decisions in 2020 or hosted visits in the 2020/2021 accreditation cycle, as well as student leadership at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that were visited in 2020/2021.

"Engineers Canada’s 2019-2021 strategic priority “Accountability in Accreditation” asked the Accreditation Board to work on breaking down perceptions that accreditation was a complicated ‘black box’ by developing a documented and annual performance measurement process, better communication methods, and a documented continual improvement process, all leading to greater transparency,” says Tim Joseph, Engineers Canada Board appointee to the CEAB. “This first report of the Accountability in Accreditation Committee is the first step in achieving this goal. The publication of the 2021 report of the Accountability in Accreditation Committee marks an important milestone in Engineers Canada’s 2019-2021 strategic plan.”

In its report, the Accountability in Accreditation Committee makes several recommendations to the CEAB, the Policies and Procedures Committee, and the CEAB Secretariat regarding communication and training needs, messaging for accreditation system stakeholders to clarify intents and purposes, and workflow and scheduling of CEAB products and processes. In addition to these specific issues, the Accountability in Accreditation Committee recommends continued monitoring for the majority of measures, a necessity given the disruptions to the larger engineering education community caused by COVID-19 throughout the first year’s data collection cycle.

“The Accountability in Accreditation Committee appreciates the time and effort that stakeholders put into both helping the CEAB develop the parameters and metrics of this report, and for contributing their impressions on the transparency and effectiveness of the accreditation system in our first reporting cycle. We’re confident that the data collected in 2020/2021 (though limited due to COVID) reflects the strengths and opportunities for improvement that exist in CEAB accreditation,” says Ray Gosine, Chair of Accountability in Accreditation Committee.

Pierre Lafleur, the Chair of CEAB also thanks the members of the Accountability in Accreditation Committee and all accreditation stakeholders, for their participation in this report’s data collection cycle.  “I am sure that the results will lead to improvements in how we undertake our work that will benefit the regulators, programs, students, and our volunteers,” he says.