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HE Bulletin - Autumn 2022

Policy on risk-based accreditation

Published: 07/11/2022

Magnifying glass, looking at a series of engineering iconsThe Engineering Council has introduced a ‘risk-based approach to accreditation’ for all accreditation visits taking place after 1 January 2023. This applies to the accreditation of programmes by PEIs against the Approval and Accreditation of Qualifications and Apprenticeships (AAQA) or Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP).

The risk-based approach allows for some accreditation activity to be completed through a virtual or hybrid visit, at the discretion of the accrediting professional engineering institution (PEI). However, PEIs must decide whether a visit will be in-person, virtual or hybrid at least six weeks in advance of a visit and confirm that to all participants.

Providers of accredited programmes are required to inform PEIs of any major changes that might affect the delivery of the specified programme outcomes. This may include changes to delivery or assessment (for example as in-person teaching and assessment returns after the pandemic, or in response to strike action). Where an accredited programme has undergone a major change in between the normal cycle of accreditation visits, a visit is required to confirm continuation of accreditation. Providers must also inform PEIs of any changes to titles of accredited programmes so that records, including those on the Engineering Council Course Search database, can be updated.

The Engineering Council does not prescribe the mode of learning delivery or assessment, but some practices introduced in an emergency (such as during lockdown) may not be accepted by PEIs in the longer term.

More information on the risk-based accreditation policy is available on our website and HEIs are advised to contact their accrediting PEI for more information on what visit format to expect.