EUR-ACE® Framework Standards and Guidelines
1. General Introduction
(a) The mission of ENAEE is to serve the public and society through the promotion and advancement of engineering education in Europe and abroad. ENAEE aims at building a pan-European framework for the accreditation of engineering education programmes, in order to enhance the quality of engineering graduates, to facilitate the mobility of professional engineers and to promote quality and innovation in engineering education.
To achieve these goals, ENAEE has established a de-centralized system for the standards of accreditation of engineering education degree programmes, leading to pan-European recognition of national accreditation decisions.
Membership of ENAEE is open to all bodies concerned with educational and professional standards in engineering throughout the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and beyond. Such bodies may include accreditation and quality assurance agencies, professional organisations, associations of higher education institutions, employers’ associations, and engineering student bodies and their associations.
(b) ENAEE carries out its mission by evaluating quality assurance and accreditation agencies in the EHEA in respect of their standards and procedures when accrediting engineering degree programmes.
Those agencies which satisfy ENAEE in respect of these matters are authorised by ENAEE to award the EUR-ACE® label to the engineering degree programmes which they accredit.
It should be noted that ENAEE does not accredit engineering degree programmes. Using the standards specified in this document (EAFSG), ENAEE evaluates the policies and procedures implemented by accreditation and quality assurance agencies which have applied for authorisation to award the EUR-ACE® label to the engineering degree programmes which these agencies accredit.
(c) The EAFSG described here represent a revision to the original document (known as EAFS) produced in 2006. While the original standards remain unchanged, changes based on feedback and usage have been made. They constitute the basis upon which authorisation to award the EUR-ACE® label is granted to quality assurance and accreditation agencies. They are intended to be widely applicable and inclusive so that they can be applied to all branches of engineering; and to reflect the diversity of engineering degree programmes in the EHEA, which provides the education necessary for graduates to enter the engineering profession and to have their qualifications recognised throughout the area.
(d) The EAFSG are for the use of established agencies which have well-developed policies and procedures that are continuously under review. They are also aimed at new agencies which may wish to use the information in the EAFSG to assist them as they develop their policies and procedures for the accreditation of engineering degree programmes and apply for authorisation to award the EUR-ACE® label.
(e) The general basis to the EAFSG can be found in the following policies:
The overarching framework of qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA Framework or QF-EHEA) as adopted by the Ministers of Education of the Bologna Process at their meeting in Bergen in May 2005, including the Dublin Descriptors.
The European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF) as developed by the European Commission and signed on 23 April 2008 by the Presidents of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union.
(f) The EAFSG have been formulated to be substantially compliant with the relevant sections of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) as adopted by the Bologna Process ministerial summit in Bergen (Norway) in 2005 and which were revised in 2015.
(g) Throughout the EAFSG, the term “engineering graduate” is used to describe someone who successfully completes an accredited degree programme in engineering. The term “engineer” has been avoided because of the confusion that could arise from its widely different interpretations throughout Europe and worldwide, including specific regulatory meanings in some countries. It is for the appropriate authority in each country to decide if a qualification is sufficient for engineering registration or qualification in that country, or if further education, training or industrial experience is necessary. The EUR-ACE® label will assist such decisions, and particularly those that involve trans-national recognition.
(h) The standards which ENAEE requires of engineering degree programmes which are accredited by agencies are described in Section 2, Standards and Guidelines for Accreditation of Engineering Programmes.
(i) The standards which ENAEE requires of agencies are described in Section 3, Standards and Guidelines for Accreditation Agencies.
(j) The process of authorising an agency to award the EUR-ACE® label is described in the EUR-ACE® Label Authorisation Process.