Accreditation is essentially a peer review process and applies to individual engineering degree programmes. An engineering degree that is accredited is a marketable advantage for the university. It will be more attractive to potential students intending to become Incorporated or Chartered Engineers than a degree that is not accredited. A logo 'Engineering Council accredited degree' is available under Useful Links on the right hand side of this page. Statements for use when preparing your Key Information Set are available under Useful Documents.
Accredited degrees meet the Engineering Council's required output standards and provide some of the knowledge, understanding, skills and values that together contribute to the development of an engineer's competence. Importantly, the Engineering Council's standards have been adopted by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency as the subject benchmark statement for engineering. They are published in a handbook, the Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes.
Universities must apply for their degrees to be accredited by one of the professional engineering institutions. Accreditation is carried out by the individual institutions under licence from the Engineering Council. A degree may be accredited by more than one engineering institution, particularly where it spans several engineering disciplines. Whether or not to make a charge for accreditation visits to universities is a matter for licensed institutions to decide upon individually, in accordance with their business plans.
Most accredited degrees are bachelors, honours or MEng. MScs are now accredited rather than approved. Professional engineering institutions will also consider requests to accredit Foundation degrees. The period of accreditation is typically five years, counted from the first-year student intake date.
The Engineering Council's guidance note on academic accreditation includes frequently asked questions
The engineering profession has been praised for its accreditation process. It seeks to limit the administrative burden on universities and is similar amongst the professional engineering institutions. Universities also have the option of a joint accreditation visit involving several professional engineering bodies. This is appropriate where there is sufficient commonality amongst the programmes being put forward. Joint visits are organised by the Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB). The Secretariat is provided by the Engineering Council and full details of the process and requirements are available at www.engab.org.uk.
Universities new to accreditation are advised to contact either the EAB Secretariat or the relevant professional engineering institution for advice as soon as possible and before completing any submission documentation.