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1 Visit Managers Workshop 24 Feb, 2006 OUTCOMES BASED ACCREDITATION SYSTEM Alan Bradley, Associate Director Accreditation, ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIAN.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Visit Managers Workshop 24 Feb, 2006 OUTCOMES BASED ACCREDITATION SYSTEM Alan Bradley, Associate Director Accreditation, ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIAN."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Visit Managers Workshop 24 Feb, 2006 OUTCOMES BASED ACCREDITATION SYSTEM Alan Bradley, Associate Director Accreditation, ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERING ACCREDITATION CENTRE MELBOURNE

2 2 Engineers Australia as a Professional Body Peak body providing unified representation of engineering professionals in Australia 80,000 members, 10% overseas in 92 countries Established in 1919 Governed by elected Council and National Congress International representation of the profession through bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and international accords/forums

3 3 Engineers Australia - Recognised Occupational Categories – (corresponds with IEM categories) Category Base Qualification Professional Engineer 4-year university based Bachelor of Engineering Engineering Technologist 3-Year university based Bachelor of Technology Engineering Officer 2-Year college based Advanced Diploma in Engineering

4 4 Engineers Australia Competency Based Assessment System Published National Generic Competency Standards STAGE 1 - For judgement on entry to the profession –to work in the engineering profession under guidance and supervision –aligns with education program accreditation system STAGE 2 - For recognising experience and identifying the mature practitioner –to practise in a competent, independent and ethical manner

5 5 Career progression pathways for professional engineers, engineering technologists, engineering officers

6 6 Student GraduateMemberFellow Stage 1 Competency 3+ years of professional formation Peer recognition of major responsibility & contribution Membership Pathway Professional Development

7 7 Career progression pathways for professional engineers, engineering technologists, engineering officers Student GraduateMemberFellow Stage 1 Competency 3+ years of professional formation Peer recognition of major responsibility & contribution Membership Pathway Competency Pathway Professional Formation via a Professional Development Program (PDP) Stage 1: Degree or Diploma Professional Development Stage 3 Leadership and Management Competencies Stage 2: Chartered Status; Registration

8 8 Career progression pathways for professional engineers, engineering technologists, engineering officers Student GraduateMemberFellow Stage 1 Competency 3+ years of professional formation Peer recognition of major responsibility & contribution Membership Pathway Competency Pathway Professional Formation via a Professional Development Program (PDP) Stage 1: Degree or Diploma Professional Development Stage 3 Leadership and Management Competencies Stage 2: Chartered Status; Registration

9 9 Stage 1 Competencies Knowledge base –mathematics, sciences, engineering fundamentals In depth technical competence Engineering techniques and resources –modelling, characterisation, engineering tools, experimental practice Engineering ability –complex problem solving, broad contextual understanding, internationalisation, sustainability systems approach, engineering design, projects, business acumen Professional and personal –communication, information literacy, creativity & innovation, teamwork, leadership, management, lifelong learning, ethics, professional attitude

10 10 Stage 1 - Individual Assessment via Generic Competency Standard Defined areas of practice and career categories Defined Competencies: –Knowledge base –Engineering ability –Professional attributes Self analysis of education training and career episodes through a Competency Demonstration Report (www.engineersaustralia.org.au)

11 11 OR - Alternatively Stage 1 Competency is automatically assumed for a graduate of an accredited engineering education program at the appropriate occupational category

12 12 Engineers Australia as an Accreditation Authority National authority for professional accreditation of engineering education programs in Australia In Higher Ed sector - 35 engineering schools accredited programs 9 engineering schools offer engineering education programs at offshore campuses

13 13 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA ACCREDITATION CONTEXT

14 14 WHY? Accreditation To certify individual academic programs for delivery of STAGE 1 competencies within the National Generic Competency Standards framework Guarantee to students of the professional standing and value of their degree International comparability & graduate mobility Setting standards of best practice Public identification of programs - independently evaluated Statement of requirements & necessary resources for provision of engineering education

15 15 Basis of Accreditation Accorded to individual programs Encourages diversity and innovation Assuring delivery of agreed graduate competencies Requires providers to have in place their own education systems, performance indicators, measures and overall quality strategies Evaluates rather than prescribes curriculum, educational methodology, policies, processes and practices Governed by the Accreditation Board – constituted by EA Council

16 16 Current Accreditation System - Evolution Engineers Australia accountable for accreditation of professional engineering education programs for more than 40 years Substantial revision of approach followed the 1996 Review of Engineering Education New Council policy on accreditation First evaluations Review of process and release of ‘outcomes based’ Accreditation Manual First full cycle completed 2002 Stage 1 Generic Competency Standards released September 2004 Accreditation Management System for Professional Engineer programs released December 2004 Accreditation Management System for Engineering Technologist programs finalised January 2007, ready for Sydney Accord review Accreditation system for Engineering Officer programs developed in 2006 and applied to pilot accreditation project in Victoria

17 17 INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

18 18 3 Educational Accords operate under the International Engineering Agreements Washington Accord for ‘Professional Engineer’ programs - Engineers Australia a foundation signatory in 1989 and currently Chair of the Accord Sydney Accord for ‘Engineering Technologist’ programs – Engineers Australia a foundation ‘transitional’ signatory in 2001 Dublin Accord for ‘Engineering Officer’ programs

19 19 Engineering Education Accords Mutual recognition of accredited programs Recognised ‘substantial equivalence’ of accreditation systems Agreed framework of Graduate Attribute Profiles 6-year monitoring and peer review cycle Encouragement of best practice

20 20 DEVELOPING AN OUTCOMES BASED APPROACH TO ACCREDITATION

21 21 Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards - a key resource Provide the criteria and performance indicators for direct assessment of individuals on a case by case basis Provide a generic framework for education providers - developing a specification of graduate outcomes for a program in a specific discipline and targeting one of the 3 occupational categories Stage 1 Competency Standards are compliant with the Graduate Profile Exemplars set by international agreement (see handouts) Provide a framework for establishing accreditation criteria

22 22 Approaches to Accreditation Fully prescriptive with qualitative assessment Program structure Program content Assessment Operating environment Quality process Direct monitoring of outcomes Assessment of graduate of graduate capabilities against Stage 1 Competency Standard Engineers Australia Approach Accreditation criteria includes inputs, process and content to assess the attainment of outcomes Anticipates a systematic, ‘top-down’ approach to educational design, review and improvement Encourages diversity and innovation

23 23 Characteristics of an Outcomes Based Accreditation Approach In conjunction with external stakeholders maintains a generic statement of required graduate outcomes Builds and maintains evaluation criteria aligned with the generic outcomes statements Recognises the diversity of job roles and career pathways Judges the potential for a program to produce graduates that satisfy a predetermined specification of outcomes Stimulates innovation and diversity in educational design Internationally benchmarks criteria and practices Closes the quality loop on its own processes and practices

24 24 Objectives of the Engineers Australia Accreditation System A consensus within our own engineering community of standards which encourage diversity and assure quality Focuses on delivery of designated outcomes compliant with the Stage 1 Competency Standards Requires providers to have in place their own education systems, performance measures and overall quality strategies Non prescriptive on curriculum, educational methodology, policies Accreditation criteria which evaluates the potential of the operating environment, the educational design and quality systems to deliver the designated outcomes System regulated by the profession, recognised by international accords within the IEA framework Voluntary not compulsory

25 25 Evolution of the Accreditation Criteria Generic Attributes Stage 1 National Generic Competency Standards Criteria for Program Evaluation Operating Environment Rigorous educational design Quality systems Performance indicators

26 26 State of Development - Engineers Australia’s Accreditation System Professional Engineer outcomes-based system established in 1999 and revised in 2004 – adopted December 2005 – currently preparing for ISO certification Engineering Technologist accreditation system now in final form ready for Sydney Accord final review in 2007 Engineering Officer pilot accreditations have been undertaken in Draft accreditation guidelines in place. Submission for provisional admission to Dublin Accord will proceed as next step

27 27 DESIGN OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION PROGRAMS Fostering an Outcomes Based Approach

28 28 Expectations of Education Provider Program specific objectives and graduate capabilities specification, fitting generic standards for graduate outcomes Systematic, ‘top-down’ approach to education design and review Tracking individual course learning outcomes and assessment measures Engagement of the whole teaching team with the ‘big picture’ Input from external and student stakeholders Diversity of learning experiences and assessment processes - including exposure to professional engineering practice

29 29 Program Outcomes Specification Objectives –relate to broad characteristics of a graduate - say 5 years into their career Targeted graduate capabilities and Performance indicators –enabling skills and knowledge –engineering application skills –personal and professional capabilities –technical competence

30 30 Developing the Specification of Program Outcomes Generic Attributes IEM Model Stage 1 National Generic Competency Standards SPECIFICATION OF PROGRAM OUTCOMES Educational objectives Targeted graduate capabilities Technical skills and knowledge Engineering application skills Underpinning skills and knowledge Stakeholder input and benchmarking

31 31 ‘Top-Down’ Educational Design Clear specification of program outcomes Systematic and holistic design and review cycle - mapping and tracking aggregated learning outcomes and assessment elements from individual academic units Quality system - closing the loop on learning activities and assessment measures to ensure delivery of outcomes at program and academic unit level Mapping alternative implementation pathways Grading of learning experiences over duration of program to develop independent learning skills

32 32 ‘Top-Down’ Educational Design (Cont) Appropriate structural balance –underpinning, discipline specialist, experiential, engineering application, personal and professional skills development Cohesive integration and balance of learning modes –laboratory and practical –projects –problem solving –assignments –design tasks –formative assessment –individual and team work –interface to professional engineering practice

33 33 ‘Top-Down’ Educational Design (Cont) Personal and professional skills development –integrated and cohesive approach –addressed by the curriculum as a whole Dissemination to all stakeholders –educational design - objectives, philosophy, targeted outcomes, structure and elements, performance measures

34 34 Outcomes Based Quality Framework Program specific - educational outcomes specification Industry and professional body input Benchmark data Educational design and review process Mapping and tracking aggregation of learning outcomes and assessment Academic Unit Learning outcomes Learning activities Assessment systems Closing the loop on learning outcomes, learning activities and assessment measures Student input & feedback Student Performance trends

35 35 Student Exposure to Professional Engineering Practice Key element of learning – integrated within the educational design Includes: –site visits –work placement experience –case studies –industry projects –problem solving –presentations –adjunct teaching Outcomes mapped and tracked as contributions towards the attainment of graduate outcomes Ideally monitored using student self reflective processes

36 36 Education Provider - Engagement with External Stakeholders Input from industry employers, graduates and alumni ‘Big picture’ role – setting, reviewing and monitoring process for assuring attainment of specific program objectives and graduate outcomes

37 37 Engaging with Students as Stakeholders Disseminating the big picture Engendering a culture of accountability and responsibility for their own learning and development Seeking input as partners to processes of review and Continuous Quality Improvement Engagement through focus groups commissioned reviews, reports and presentations, and representation on review and planning forums Recognising the educational value of engaging students in the quality system

38 38 ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA - Analysis of Current Status

39 39 Current Pressures on Australian Engineering Education Changes in Primary and Secondary education –teachers, curriculum, and popularity of science and maths Diminishing pool of qualified student applicants Diminishing government funding levels Climate of organisational rationalisation - loss of identity – the ‘Engineering School or Faculty’ Industry influences - fluctuations in graduate demand, changing skill needs Market driven, competitive environment International student presence and offshore program management University quality drive – focus on graduate outcomes Engineers Australia – accreditation system influences – outcomes emphasis - encouraging diversity and innovation

40 40 Observed Features and Innovations - Australian Engineering Education Focus on exposing students to professional engineering practice Strength of industry advisory input to educational design, review and improvement Cooperative engineering education approaches, industry sponsored capstone projects Technological enrichment of learning Flexible learning options – distance delivery Integrated learning strategies for development of wide ranging graduate capabilities –problem and project based learning –broad context, complex problem solving –team based activity –student reflective portfolio/journal – self assessment of professional development Commitment to delivering generic capability targets in graduates Some indication of moves towards a Bologna style 3+2 model

41 41 Challenges and Opportunities for Further Improvement Top-down, systematic approach to curriculum improvement and reform Disseminating the ‘big-picture’ to students Mapping and tracking the aggregation of learning outcomes and assessment measures Innovation in assessment processes to close the loop on delivery of learning outcome targets Engagement of the whole teaching team through strong program leadership Engagement of students as stakeholders in the quality cycle Exposure to professional practice as a ubiquitous part of the educational design Meaningful advice from industry and benchmarking

42 42 THANK YOU Alan B Bradley


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