Best Practice in Engineering Programme Accreditation

A document on Best Practice in Engineering Programme Accreditation was jointly adopted and published in July 2015 by the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE) and the Washington, Sydney and Dublin Accords, the constituent educational agreements within the International Engineering Alliance (IEA).

ENAEE and the IEA Accords are committed to best practice in the accreditation of engineering programmes and have given effect to this commitment through the joint development of this document. It serves both ENAEE and IEA in their ongoing operations, and is of interest to bodies either forming new agencies or developing accreditation systems to the level required by either EUR-ACE® or the IEA Accords.

A best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and reflection, reliably leads to a desired result, superior to those achieved with other means. Acknowledged best practice therefore provides a benchmark for an accreditation system in evaluating programmes.

The Best Practice in Engineering Programme Accreditation document contains elements that are both specific to accreditation of engineering programmes and those that are generally applicable in programme accreditation. It is not concerned with institutional review/audit for quality assurance.

The best practice identified is consistent with the applicable sections of the good practice guidelines published by INQAAHE and the European Standards and Guidelines of ENQA as applicable to programme accreditation. Best practice in both the IEA Accord Rules and Procedures and the EUR-ACE® Framework Standards and Guidelines are reflected in its compilation.

The document is intended for use as follows: • Bodies setting up as accreditation agencies, or operating or improving engineering education accreditation systems will be guided by these elements. • Bodies facilitating recognition of accredited engineering programmes, such as ENAEE and the IEA Accords, which develop and are guided by best practice in defining, operating and improving policy, processes and accreditation criteria.

The document does not impact directly on education providers but rather helps to shape the accreditation system that each provider experiences:

• The best practice described assumes particular relationships between the programme providers and the accrediting agency.

• The provider designs and executes a programme to satisfy a stated purpose.

• Execution involves resourcing and conducting a teaching and learning process, including assessment of students.

This is a significant achievement as it represents the agreement and common understanding of best practice in engineering accreditation by the 26 countries/accreditation agencies involved in the two organisations worldwide. The elements of best practice in the document are those that have been found to ensure best functioning of accreditation systems. Such peer review accreditation systems are in turn major contributors to the development of high quality engineering education.

Best Practice in Accreditation (IEA-ENAEE), April 2015