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Approval of Qualifications and Apprenticeship Programmes

The Engineering Council encourages the provision of high quality and industry relevant programmes, leading to professional registration. It licenses professional engineering institutions to recognise (approve or accredit) programmes, including qualifications and apprenticeships, that meet the required standards. This is done through an independent peer review process.

For full details of the ways in which non-degree qualifications and apprenticeships may be recognised by the Engineering Council, please see The Approval and Accreditation of Qualifications and Apprenticeships (AAQA).

Our 'COVID-19: Interruption to approved programme delivery and assessment' statement is available below (under Useful Documents).

Approved qualifications or apprenticeship programmes meet some or all of the requirements for professional registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech), ICT Technician (ICTTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Such qualifications and apprenticeship programmes are approved for up to five years.

What is the focus of the approval process?

The focus is on outcomes rather than inputs and learning outcomes are set out in the Approval and Accreditation of Qualifications and Apprenticeships (AAQA). Focusing on outcomes means that a range of diverse and innovative provision can be approved, whilst still meeting the requirements for knowledge, understanding and skills that tomorrow’s engineers and technicians will need.

The approval process looks at the overall design, coverage and assessment strategy and seeks evidence that satisfactory quality assurance arrangements are in place.  This is central to ensuring that qualifications and apprenticeships meet the needs of individuals, their employers and society.

For further details of what professional engineering institutions look at when approving qualifications, see the AAQA.​

Why is approval important?

Approval is a mark of assurance that the standards set by the engineering profession are met. It provides clear and transparent evidence to government, funders, aspiring technicians and engineers, and others of real engagement with the engineering profession.

Why approval is important to education and apprenticeship providers:

  • It offers a structured way to assess, evaluate and improve the quality of their provision
  • It provides the opportunity for ongoing communication between providers and the profession
  • The qualification or apprenticeship programme will count towards professional registration, attracting prospective students and employers
  • Approval is accepted as a rigorous process by several international accords, allowing international recognition of approved qualifications.

Why approval is important to individuals:

  • By choosing an ‘approved’ qualification or apprenticeship, individuals are on a structured pathway to professional registration as an EngTech, ICTTech or IEng
  • Having completed an approved qualification or apprenticeship, application for registration is more straightforward
  • The benefits of registration to an individual are set out here.

Which programmes and qualifications are eligible for approval?

Qualifications or apprenticeships may focus on education (i.e. the underpinning knowledge and understanding) or the development of competence to meet the requirements for professional registration as EngTech, ICTTech or IEng, or on both education and competence. 

The level of output required for approval
To be approved, a technician related qualification or apprenticeship must meet or exceed one or more of the following:

For IEng, to meet the requirements in full, the level of underpinning knowledge and understanding is higher (level 6 RQF or level 9 in Scotland).

Where to find the list of approved qualifications and apprenticeships

These are listed on the Engineering Council’s public searchable Recognised course search.

Providers might also display the Engineering Council Approved Qualification or Approved Apprenticeship logo.  So when looking for an approved qualification or apprenticeship do look out for this.

Information for Awarding Organisations

Learn about the process that education providers must go through to have their programmes and education frameworks approved

… (Read more)

Information for apprenticeship standard setting bodies

Learn about the process that standard setting bodies must go through to have their apprenticeship frameworks approved

… (Read more)

Information for FE providers & employers

Imparting industry relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours to your students, apprentices or employees through high quality provision is crucial to ensuring your reputation and success

… (Read more)

Information for Students, Apprentices and Graduates

Whether you are an engineering apprentice, studying engineering at college or university, or recently graduated, professional registration will be an important future step on your career ladder

… (Read more)

Information for FE Students

Are you at college studying for a further education qualification in engineering? Or looking for a college course?

… (Read more)

Information for Apprentices

Are you thinking about applying for an apprenticeship in engineering? Are you an engineering apprentice working and studying to develop the skills you need to kick-start your career?

… (Read more)

Useful Documents

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