Accreditation of courses
Accreditation is the process of reviewing an engineering degree programme to judge whether or not it meets the defined standards set by the Engineering Council.
Accredited engineering degrees offer students, their parents and advisors, and employers, a mark of assurance that the degree programme meets the standards defined and set by the engineering profession.
Engineering employers as well as academics are involved in the setting of standards, in reviewing degrees and in the decision-making process about whether to confer accredited degree status. In this way, employers have a strong voice in deciding that an accredited degree programme provides a student with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills that will set them in good stead for eventual professional registration.
Those programmes that do are awarded accredited status and are listed on the Engineering Council's accredited courses database. Other non-degree programmes may be approved.
Approval of qualifications and programmes
Some qualifications and programmes are 'approved' by professional engineering institutions rather than accredited. These are primarily vocational qualifications, for instance NVQs, or programmes such as Apprenticeships, that are approved for the purposes of EngTech, ICTTech, IEng or CEng registration.
The approval process looks at the overall design, coverage and assessment strategy and seeks evidence that satisfactory quality assurance arrangements are in place.
Qualifications and Apprenticeships that are approved for the purpose of technician registration (EngTech or ICTTech) must meet the output standards and learning outcomes defined by the Engineering Council. These are set out in the ‘Approval of Qualifications and Apprenticeships Handbook’ (AQAH) and may be interpreted by professional engineering institutions for their own sector or discipline.
AQAH was first published in early 2015 following wide consultation with the profession, and will be kept under review. It is rooted in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) and the ICTTech Standard, and sets out the underpinning knowledge and understanding required for the award of these titles.
Approval status is not applied to degree programmes.
Approval is for a period of up to five years.
Further details including the process and evidence required are set out in AQAH.
Professional engineering institutions that approve qualifications and Apprenticeships are expected to undertake approval in line with AQAH by 1 March 2017 at the latest.