The Purpose of the IEA To increase the benefits of authoritative engineering education and competence standards through promoting globally their wider recognition and adoption.
What is engineering? Engineering is an art supported by science and thus professional competence is not determined solely by education but requires a period of post graduate experiential learning to develop competence and judgment to a professional level through a process of professional mentoring.
What is a profession? A profession is an occupational group which specialises in the performance of such highly developed skills for the meeting of complex human needs that the right use of them is achieved only under the discipline of an ethic developed and enforced by peers and by mastery of a broader contextual knowledge of the human being, society, the natural world, and historical trends" (Reeck 1982)
Engineering Competency An agreed educational base - Accord recognised degree, or equivalent, plus Experience after graduation to develop both professional and personal maturity. For the IEA a minimum of seven years including two years responsible experience and Meeting an agreed competence typically measured by evaluation against 13 elements http://www.ieagreements.com
Attributes Element Differentiating Characteristic … for Washington Accord Graduate … for Sydney Accord Graduate 1. Engineering Knowledge Breadth and depth of education and type of knowledge, both theoretical and practical Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering fundamentals and an engineering specialization to the solution of complex engineering problems Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering fundamentals and an engineering specialization to defined and applied engineering procedures, processes, systems or methodologies. 2. Problem Analysis Complexity of analysis Identify, formulate, research literature and analyse complex engineering problems reaching substantiated conclusions using first principles of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering sciences. Identify, formulate, research literature and analyse broadly-defined engineering problems reaching substantiated conclusions using analytical tools appropriate to their discipline or area of specialisation.
Range or Complexity of Problems 1.Range of conflicting requirements- WA -wide ranging or conflicting. SA- more defined 2.Depth of analysis required- WA - abstract thinking, requires originality. SA -uses well proven analysis 3.Depth of knowledge required- WA -in depth, fundamentals based, first principles approach. SA – application of developed technology. 4.Familiarity of issues- WA -infrequently encountered issues. SA - more familiar problems 5.Extent of applicable codes- WA beyond scope of codes of practice. SA - May be partly outside codes 6.Extent of stakeholder involvement and level of conflicting requirements - WA -diverse groups. SA – several groups 7.Consequences - WA -significant in a range of contexts, SA -local significance 8.Interdependence – WA -high level problems, many sub parts. SA -less interdependence
Range of Engineering Activities 1.Range of resources – diverse resources 2.Level of interactions- resolution of significant problems arising from interactions between wide-ranging or conflicting technical, engineering or other issues, 3.Innovation - creative use of engineering principles and research-based knowledge in novel ways. 4.Consequences to society and the environment - significant consequences in a range of contexts, characterized by difficulty of prediction and mitigation 5.Familiarity - Can extend beyond previous experiences by applying principles-based approaches
Features of the IEA Approach Outcome focussed Not all elements are of equal weighting Much engineering by technologists and technicians Self discipline and self regulation by peers Some aspects of accreditation are outside the elements eg robustness or security of outcomes, staffing, facilities, finance etc
Evaluation in practice Accords evaluate national accreditation systems of members every six years Observation by international teams Concurrent evaluation of adjacent accord programmes in an institution is possible
Experience to date Easier differentiation between classes of engineer Evaluation of national systems rather than individuals Somewhat uneven understanding of the differences between classes of engineer Evaluation of professional competence more challenging Mobility benefits universal but variable The elemental outcomes based approach can assist programme development
Conclusions Contribution to improved understanding of required outcomes of engineering education Has assisted development of national educational and accreditation systems Further development work is needed to achieve a more universal understanding of categories of engineer and bench marking against common standards
A way forward? The complete person Description A Common Description B