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Update on CEAB working groups and task forces

2020.12.03

With the deferral of most CEAB accreditation visits in the 2020/2021 cycle, the CEAB shifted its focus to priority workplan items. This led to the creation of several working groups and a task force with specific mandates and deadlines. This is a summary of where each of these groups are at in their work.

CEAB Task Force on Virtual Visits 

  • Three new programs will receive virtual visits in the 2020/2021 accreditation cycle. As visits are traditionally held-in person, this task force has been struck to: plan the 2020/2021 virtual visits; develop the parameters for a proof-of-concept project to facilitate virtual visits; undertake an analysis of the virtual visits; and, document best practices and lessons learned.
  • Members are drawn from the CEAB executive and the visiting team chairs to the three new programs. The visiting team chairs regularly touch base with the designated officials for these visits to tailor the approach to each visit.
  • The task force has developed a Guide for the Virtual Evaluation of an Engineering Program which provides information to HEIs and visiting team members preparing for their virtual visits.
  • A progress report will be provided to the CEAB at the February 2021 meeting; a final report will be submitted following the June CEAB meeting so that an assessment of the strengths/challenges of virtual visits can be undertaken with the participating HEIs.  

CEAB Working Group on Student Learning Experiences in the Age of COVID 

  • In light of the disruptions created by COVID-19, the CEAB struck this Working Group to study how measures taken by programs to respond to the pandemic challenge are supported by the accreditation criteria.  
  • Working group members include representatives from the CEAB, regulators, and HEIs as nominated by Engineering Deans Canada.
  • The initial report of the working group will be submitted to CEAB for the February 2021 meeting, but it is possible that this group’s mandate will shift or expand based on initial findings. 

CEAB Working Group to Respond to the Engineers Canada “30 by 30” Initiative 

  • The Engineers Canada Board directed the CEAB “to develop appropriate ways within the accreditation process to incorporate the goals of the 30 by 30 initiative.” 
  • Working group members include representatives from the CEAB, regulators, and HEIs as nominated by Engineering Deans Canada. Engineers Canada staff who are leading the organization’s 30 by 30 work are also participating.
  • Various mechanisms are being explored including CEAB operations, criteria, and culture. 
  • Initial recommendations will be made to the CEAB at their February 2021 meeting.
  • Final recommendations will be presented to the Engineers Canada Board.

CEAB Working Group to Review the Policy and Procedures (P&P) Committee Terms of Reference 

  • The Engineers Canada Board requested that the CEAB review the terms of reference of the P&P Committee to consider the composition and representation requirements, the transparency of the process for member selection, and the authority and accountability of the committee. This work is a result of the Engineers Canada Nominations Task Force final report of 2018. 
  • Working group members include representatives from the CEAB and regulators. 
  • An update on the group’s work will be presented to the CEAB at their February 2021 meeting. 

Required Visit Materials Working Group 

  • Initially struck to consider the current CEAB requirements for on-site materials, the group is conducting a holistic review of all documentation submitted by a program to the visiting team (including materials submitted with the Questionnaire, Exhibit 1, and those traditionally provided on-site). This work responds to feedback from HEIs (who note the significant work effort to collect and present the materials) and visiting team members (who require information in order to adequately assess the curriculum content and quality).  
  • Working group members include representatives from the CEAB. Two HEI staff participate as subject-matter experts from programs’ perspective.
  • The group’s final report and recommendations will be considered by the CEAB at their February 2021 meeting.