In Australia, professional accreditation of entry to practice engineering programs is the responsibility of Engineers Australia, and is normally carried out every five years.
Accreditation ensures academic institutions consistently meet national and international benchmarks. Engineering graduates of accredited programs are assured membership with Engineers Australia in the relevant membership grade and occupational category.
The USA, United Kingdom, Hong Kong (SAR), New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Turkey are co-signatories to international agreements which provide greater international mobility through mutual recognition of accredited programs.
The Washington Accord, the Sydney Accord and the Dublin Accord recognise the substantial equivalence of accreditation systems and accredited programs across international boundaries at the Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist and Engineering Associate levels respectively. The link to International Engineering Alliance (IEA) can be found at www.ieagreements.org.
The list of Engineers Australia accredited programs at the level of Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist and Engineering Associate is available below.
The dates quoted in the listings are student intake dates. So for a currently accredited program, study must have commenced during or after the quoted intake year. For a previously accredited program (defined as no longer offered by the provider), study must have commenced within the inclusive range of years quoted.
View the list of accredited programs (opens in a new tab)
The Accreditation Process
The primary objectives of the accreditation process are the maintenance of internationally benchmarked standards, the promotion and dissemination of best practice and encouraging innovation and diversity in engineering education
Assessment of any particular academic program for accreditation is based on the following criteria:
- the teaching and learning environment
- the structure and content of the program
- the quality assurance framework
A generic framework for developing specific education outcomes for programs is provided in the generic attributes requirement of the Engineers Australia Accreditation Policy, and more specifically in the Stage 1 Competency Standards. The generic attributes recognise the broad nature of professional engineering practice in today's world.
The accreditation process does not prescribe detailed program objectives or content, but requires engineering education providers to have in place their own mechanisms for validating outcomes and continually improving quality.
Accreditation does, however, judge the appropriateness of educational objectives and targeted graduate capabilities, the integrity of the educational design and review processes and the means employed to deliver and monitor outcomes.
The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards
The Stage 1 Competency Standards were revised over the period 2009-2011 and approved by the Council of Engineers Australia in February 2011. A further minor revision was approved by Council in February 2013.
The Stage 1 Competency Standards define the competencies required to commence practice in each of the occupational categories of Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist and Engineering Associate (Technician). These standards also provide the reference for the assessment of entry to practice for those with a qualification not accredited within Australia or recognised by the relevant international accord.
- Introduction and background to the Stage 1 Competency Standards
- Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer
- Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Engineering Technologist
- Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Engineering Associate
The Accreditation Management System
Engineers Australia has developed two documented accreditation management systems setting out policy, criteria and guidelines for the accreditation of engineering education programs at the level of:
- Professional Engineer
- Engineering Technologist
- Engineering Associate (Competency Based)
- Engineering Associates (Curriculum Based)
The accreditation management system’s defining documents are intended as a resource for engineering education providers in the processes of planning, educational design, program review and continuous quality improvement. They are also intended to provide explicit guidance for the development of submission documentation in preparation for an accreditation visit.
Introduction to the 2019 Accreditation Management System
The Engineers Australia Accreditation Management System (AMS) is currently being streamlined, updated and refreshed in appearance, with the purpose of improving its usability and effectiveness for all users. The new AMS will become effective from 1 January 2019, so that accreditation reviews scheduled for 2019 will need to be managed in accordance with the 2019 AMS.
The number of documents in the 2019 AMS has been substantially reduced, but the net changes to the standards and procedures are minimal. For example, the accreditation criteria have been recast and reduced in number, but the effect of the changes Is such that programs accredited to the current criteria will be compliant with the new criteria.
The 2019 AMS will be made available in several stages, starting with three core documents in December 2017. These documents are:
- Accreditation Principles
- Accreditation Standard – Higher Education
- Accreditation Standard – VET Competency Programs
Four supporting manuals will be provided as a pair of manuals for Higher Education programs and a corresponding pair for VET competency-based programs. Each pair will comprise a manual providing expectations for application of the accreditation criteria, and a manual outlining the accreditation procedures.
- Accreditation Criteria User Guide - Higher Education
- Procedures Manual - Higher Education
- Accreditation Criteria User Guide - VET
An Engineering Handbook will be provided in the future. This Handbook will provide contextual information on the profession of engineering that is offered as a resource to assist with engineering education matters, including but not limited to, accreditation.
For enquiries on the 2019 AMS, please contact the Australian Engineering Accreditation Centre.
Accreditation involves an evaluation of undergraduate engineering education programs offered by universities and other educational providers and a judgment against designated criteria set down in accordance with the Engineers Australia accreditation policy. Consideration of engineering programs for accreditation is at the request of the specific educational institution and is not obligatory.
An accredited engineering education program is judged as providing satisfactory preparation for graduates to enter the profession in the appropriate career category and to gain admission to Engineers Australia in the grade of graduate Professional Engineer, Graduate Engineering Technologist or Graduate Engineering Associate.
Graduates of currently accredited programs are deemed to satisfy the Stage 1 National Generic Competency Standards defined by Engineers Australia for those commencing a professional career of engineering practice.
Benefits of Program Accreditation
By providing an internationally benchmarked standard for judgement of undergraduate engineering education programs, the accreditation process publicly assures the competence of graduates and provides a guarantee of standing that is independent of the education provider.
This benchmarked reference is vital for educational providers, potential students, graduates and employers. Accreditation is also a critical component of certification to governments, industry and licensing bodies.
Accreditation provides a basis for international comparability and reciprocal recognition, facilitating the mobility of engineering graduates.
For more information please contact Member Services on 1300 653 113 or email us today.