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Accreditation Improvement Program

The Accreditation Improvement Program (AIP) is a coordinated effort to improve the delivery of accreditation for engineering programs and of the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey.

The education of world-class engineers requires a world-class accreditation system. To have that, you need systematic training for the people involved, strong lines of communication among stakeholders, a strategy for continual improvement, and a sound technical platform. Achieving these results will allow both institutions and accreditation visitors to put their focus where it should be: on maintaining reputable programs that meet the highest standards.

Accreditation is a demanding task for all involved. Higher education institutions (HEIs) having their programs accredited want information that’s transparent, readily available, and easy to find. Data they enter should be useable for either accreditation or the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey as needed. Likewise, for accreditation visitors, Accreditation Board members, and Engineers Canada staff, accreditation should be a barrier-free process in terms of training and the technical platform. Accrediting a program will always take time, but the AIP will make changes that will increase the value of how that time is spent.

The four program elements

Improving the management of the existing accreditation system and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey requires us to move on four interrelated fronts:

  • Improving our stakeholder communication and consultation process will ensure that the accreditation system is transparent and open to the input of those to whom it matters most.
  • Developing a training program will improve consistency across accreditation visits by providing volunteers and educators the information they need in a timely and repeatable way.
  • Selecting and implementing an improved data management system will ensure that the technical side of accreditation optimizes everyone’s use of time throughout the accreditation cycle. The system will also reduce duplication between entries for accreditation reporting and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded survey.
  • Introducing a process for continual improvement will ensure that the accreditation system stays responsive to the evolving needs of Canada’s engineering profession.

What we envision

The Accreditation Improvement Program is a multi-year undertaking that will roll out as programs come up for accreditation. We envision a system where programs seeking accreditation benefit from streamlined data entry. People will be able to reuse the information they enter for accreditation reporting and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey. They will be provided with straightforward training. There will be inclusive, transparent processes for communication and continual improvement. In this same system, accreditation visitors and Accreditation Board members are empowered to focus their efforts on providing meaningful, rigorous evaluation because they are equipped with a clear picture of how the accreditation process works and have reliable technical tools to support their work. Ultimately, we see a collaborative system that continually improves the rigour and reputation of Canadian engineering education programs and the engineering profession at large.

Program objectives

The Accreditation Improvement Program is intended to deliver:

  • Improved performance of the Accreditation Management Process.
  • Improved performance of the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey Process.
  • Improved stakeholder consultation process associated with Accreditation Management and Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey.
  • Improved user experience(s) associated with accreditation management and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey. This includes both operationally and for those stakeholders directly involved in these processes.
  • Improved technical reliability of accreditation and the Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey.
  • Faster adoption by users when there are changes to the Accreditation Management and Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey Processes.
  • Sustainable methods to ensure operational continual improvement.

Latest AIP news


October 2018

Training

Over the summer, Accreditation Improvement Program staff revised the template that visiting team chairs used to conduct accreditation preparation and visits. The revised presentation has now been rolled for the 2018/2019 visit season, and initial feedback from users is positive. In general, visiting teams report they are now able to prepare more effectively prior to visits, making better use of screen sharing and digital tools for pre-visit meetings than in the past. They also report that they have been better able to discover gaps in documentation and formulate questions for HEI representatives in advance of arriving on site.


October 2018

Communication

Engineering deans and engineering education stakeholders gathered at the University of Calgary campus on October 18 to 20 to discuss ways they can improve collaboration. After some thought-provoking inaugural remarks by the chair and vice-chair, participants heard updates and reports from six groups, including Engineers Canada and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.


October 2018

Data Management System

Engineers Canada is pleased to announce its partnership with ARMATURE in the delivery of a new data management system to support engineering education program accreditation and the annual Enrolment and Degrees Awarded Survey. Our sincerest thanks goes to the System Advisory Committee and other stakeholders for their input and feedback throughout the requirements and selection process. We are looking forward to next steps, and will keep you informed as we progress. 


September 2018

Communication

Having completed revisions to priority accreditation web pages in July, we have conducted a follow-up audit involving evaluations from the Engineers Canada communications and accreditation teams, as well as external volunteers. Measured against the baseline we established in June using the same methodology, the revisions show marked improvements. Out of a maximum possible score of 90, the Accreditation Resources page, which is used regularly by volunteers and HEIs, jumped from 61 to 87.


September 2018

Continual Improvement

On September 15, 2018, the Accreditation Board (CEAB) hosted two workshops: “Toward a greater focus on Graduate Attribute/Continual Improvement process” and “The Definition and Interpretation of “Engineering Design” in the CEAB context.”

For more information

For more information contact Lynn Villeneuve, Manager, Accreditation at lynn.villeneuve@engineerscanada.ca