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HE Bulletin - Spring 2018

Accreditation of engineering courses

Published: 08/05/2018

The development of a new engineering course takes planning, resources and vision. Hiring the right staff, creating the most attractive course possible for students and securing suitable facilities in which to learn is the foundation of a successful offering. Gaining accreditation then offers assurance that a degree programme meets the standards set by the engineering profession.

Undertaking an Engineering Council accredited degree has appeal for many students, as it puts them on a straightforward path to professional registration and gives them assurance that relevant professional engineering institutions have reviewed the course. UK-accredited degrees are also more widely recognised internationally than those that are not accredited.

The Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB) is made up of all the PEIs that are licensed by the Engineering Council to accredit academic programmes for Chartered Engineer and Incorporated Engineer status. The EAB aims to disseminate good practice in accreditation and to encourage consistent accreditation processes and practices; it also provides a single point of contact to facilitate joint accreditation visits. EAB visits are intended for those higher education providers seeking the accreditation of either mixed discipline degrees or a range of engineering courses by a number of PEIs.

Requests for an EAB visit need to be confirmed at least a year in advance of the expected need for course accreditation. The EAB keeps a five-year rolling calendar of prospective visits to facilitate scheduling everyone involved in the process. It is the responsibility of higher education providers to keep track of their own accreditation and not all PEIs will notify providers that their course accreditation is due to expire.

Following a visit, the higher education provider receives a decision letter once all of the institutions have made a decision. Due to the varied times at which PEI committees meet, usually quarterly, this could take several months, especially if any of the institutions require additional information before confirming accreditation and the final decision letter is written.

There is more information concerning the full accreditation process on the Engineering Council website’s EAB page. If you think that an EAB visit would suit your courses, or you would like further information, please email eab@engc.org.uk.

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