Academic accreditor

Visits higher education institutions to investigate degree programmes and decide if they meet the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC learning outcomes.

Primary focus:

The IET accredits education programmes and professional development schemes and a mix of academics and industrialists are needed to support these activities.  Criteria for involvement in academic accreditation activity are listed below.

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Participate in a minimum of two accreditation visits a year;
  • Support the visit process; eg approval of extensions, accreditation of new degrees, and approval of action plans;
  • Attend the academic accreditation committee in lieu of the visit panel chair, if required;
  • Adhere to the IET's data protection policy for volunteers.

Period of appointment:

  • Accreditors are expected to serve a minimum of three years in the role;
  • Visit chairs are appointed for three years and then subject to annual renewal.

Appointment method:

Process for appointing and training accreditors:

  • Prospects identified, nominations or applications received;
  • Distribute criteria to applicants and ask for a copy of a CV;
  • Applications sent to programmes group member (or their nominee) with experience in academic or employer accreditation as necessary and two other experienced accreditors;
  • Depending on their number, the applications will be processed individually or in bulk at a programmes group meeting;
  • If successful, new accreditors are invited to attend the next training session and to observe at least one visit;
  • The programmes group will review membership of the team of accreditors at least once a year to consider new applications to join the team and to invite accreditors to retire from the team.

Process for appointing and training visit chairs:

  • The programmes group will review membership of the team of accreditors at least once a year to consider appointing chairs from the team and inviting chairs to stand down. Outgoing chairs will be invited to remain active as an accreditor;
  • Information on activity levels throughout the previous year will be made available to the programmes group;
  • Training sessions for chairs will be offered at least once a year during the accreditation conferences;
  • The appointment will be for three years and then subject to annual renewal.

Person specification

Academic accreditors are expected to have experience in one or more of the following:

  • External examining;
  • Course leader / programme director position or with a leading role in course management or design;
  • Members of institutional validation and/or review committee;
  • Quality assurance agency auditing.

In addition, they will normally be registrants with appropriate knowledge and experience.

In addition visit chairs will:

  • Normally be experienced and active accreditors with leadership capability and a demonstrable interest in, and commitment to, the accreditation process;
  • Be able to lead teams and help them arrive at consensual, fair and unbiased decisions;
  • Take a leading role in pre and post visit accreditation activity including identifying major issues in advance of visits, resolving problems post visit and carrying our assessment activities between visits such as extension requests.

Visit chairs should normally be Fellows of the IET.