Engineers Australia considers engineering education programs offered by Australian universities and vocational education institutions for accreditation.
The accreditation processes are governed by the Accreditation Board, which makes decisions on accreditation based on the recommendations of an appointed evaluation panel.
The Accreditation Board approves the composition of accreditation panels. Generally panels comprise approximately 50% senior engineering academics and 50% senior practising engineers/engineering managers from industry.
The Board will assign one of the panel members to fulfil the role of Chair. The panel will also include an Accreditation Visit Manager assigned by Engineers Australia as a resource to the other panel members.
Panel members are selected according to their background and expertise.
Accreditation visits require the panel to consider a range of program offerings in various engineering disciplines and individual panel members will individually provide the technical expertise to cover the specific fields of practice under consideration.
Educational institutions must complete a substantial self-review of their performance against the Engineers Australia published accreditation criteria.
This self-review is documented in a comprehensive printed submission document and follows a systematic template. Some of the more detailed evidence and substantiation will usually be attached as appendices provided in soft copy.
Panel members are asked to review the documentation and to present their initial impressions and findings to a teleconference meeting of panel members which is usually held some 5 weeks prior to the accreditation visit.
The purpose of this teleconference is to collect initial views, to compile a list of key issues that the panel has initially identified for further follow up during the visit and identify any key items of additional information or data that the panel requests from the education provider ahead of the visit.
A further role for panel members during the accreditation visit is to examine key displayed information which includes dossiers for each academic unit/subject making up the program and QA documents underpinning the operations of the provider.
Unit/subject dossiers include all documented teaching materials and examples of assessed student work, including major design and project reports and capstone theses.
The panel will decide on its recommendations on accreditation for each individual program. It will also identify any commendations that it might wish to make in its report and also will compile a list of specific recommendations for on-going improvement that can be directed to the Engineering Faculty/School.
Once these decisions are made, the panel will convey its recommendations to the Accreditation Board.
Raj Sreenevasan, IICA Fellow and IICA WA Division committee member, has been accepted as a panel member to assist with the review of the Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial computer systems) and Bachelor of Engineering (Instrumentation and Control) courses offered by Murdoch University.
Dr Julia Lamborn will be the Chair and Professor Mike Brisk is the Visit Manager.
This initiative is in line with the IICA intentions to influence community and education in respect to I C & A.
[Raj Sreenevasan is Principal Instrument Engineer at Proteus EPCM Engineers and is based in Perth.]