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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. A degree may be accredited by one or more of the engineering institutions licensed to do so, particularly where it spans several engineering disciplines.
Accredited engineering degrees offer students, their parents and advisors, and employers an important mark of assurance that the programme meets the high standards set by the engineering profession. The value of degree accreditation is explained here.
Engineering employers and academics are involved in setting the standards, reviewing degrees and deciding whether to award accredited degree status. Therefore, 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 to support their application for eventual professional registration.
Programmes that are awarded accredited status are listed on the Engineering Council's accredited courses database. Most accredited degrees are Bachelors, Honours or MEng. Some Foundation degrees and Engineering Doctorates are also accredited. An increasing number of MScs are being put forward for accreditation. Other non-degree programmes, including apprenticeships and employer training schemes may be approved rather than accredited.
Accreditation is not a barrier to innovation in delivery. Degrees can be accredited for full time, part time or distance learning delivery, with or without elements of work based learning, which may or may not take the form of sandwich placements.
An important development has been the Quality Assurance Agency’s adoption of the engineering profession’s standards in the AHEP as its Engineering Subject Benchmark Statement.
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