Dublin Accord

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Applying to Become a Signatory

  1. During the period of Provisional status, it shall be open to all signatories to visit the applicant at their own cost, but this is neither a requirement nor part of the review process.
  2. As stated in Section 2.2 of the Rules and Procedures, when the applicant requests, the Committee will assign three signatories as Reviewers to examine and report on the applicant system and to recommend to the signatories, when they are satisfied that the Requirements for becoming a signatory are met.
  3. The Reviewers will evaluate the systems of the applicant in a similar fashion to that stipulated as Procedure A for the conduct of a periodic review visit of an existing signatory.
  4. However, in addition to the criteria set out in that Procedure, the Reviewers must consider whether
    1. the accreditation/recognition system is well established (normally with at least one program having gone through a full accreditation/recognition cycle and being re-evaluated) and
    2. a substantial proportion of its programmes offered have been evaluated under the system as described.
    3. organisations holding provisional status may seek guidance from their mentors (if any) and the committee as to how soon during their granted period of provisional status they might apply for review.
  5. The Reviewers must ensure that they observe visits to a representative cross-section of institutions, and also observe the accreditation/recognition process for a range of decisions.
  6. The expected characteristics of an accreditation/recognition system and criteria for accreditation/recognition, including the attributes expected of engineering graduates, are set earlier in Section C. If an applicant’s system appears on paper to be substantially equivalent to those of the relevant Accord, tests of the system in operation might then be:
    1. Is the accreditation/recognition system similar in methods and means of delivery to the systems of other signatories? Performance indicators/key attributes:
      • Has a clear definition of academic quality in the context of its mission
      • Is non-governmental
      • Accredits/recognises programs at institutions that have legal authority to confer higher educational degrees/qualifications
      • Has official, written policies and procedures that are available to the institutions and to the public
      • Has a process that includes a self-evaluation by the institution and the program seeking accreditation/recognition
      • Has an on-site review by a visiting team comprised of peers
      • Demonstrates independence from any parent organization or entity in its policy-setting and decision-making process
      • Publishes or makes available to the public a list of accredited/recognised programs
      • Requires a periodic review of accredited/recognised programs
    2. Is there a clearly defined and published scope of activity for the organisation? Performance indicators/key attributes (Resulting from IEM Washington (updated Wed 15th Aug 2007) Rules & Procedures 49):
      • What degree programs/qualifications are recognized (undergraduate, graduate,)?
      • Are there geographic bounds?
      • What disciplines are recognized (engineering, engineering technology, computing, etc.)?
    3. Does the organisation demonstrate the use of appropriate and fair procedures in decision making? Performance indicators/key attributes:
      • Is the organisation subject to interference from professional organisations, societies, special interest groups or government?
      • Within the accrediting/recognising organization, is there a separation of those who establish accreditation/recognition policy and those who make accreditation/recognition decisions?
      • Has written standards, criteria, policies and procedures for the evaluation of programs.
        1. Are these publicly available?
        2. Is there a process for public comment or review?
      • Accreditation visits are conducted in accordance with the documentation
      • Applies standards and criteria in a consistent and fair manner from institution to institution, program to program and year to year.
      • Provides a written report to the institution that clearly distinguishes between actions required for accreditation/recognition and actions recommended for academic program improvement.
      • Visit reports provide sufficient detail for the Accreditation/Recognition Board (or equivalent) to make informed decisions whether or not to accredit particular programs, or to impose conditions
      • The Board demonstrates a capacity to make difficult decisions in a way likely to be beneficial to the engineering community in the longer term
      • Has a process for appealing adverse accreditation/recognition decisions
      • Has a clear conflict of interest policy for all involved in the accreditation/recognition process including visiting teams, accreditation/recognition decision-makers and policy-makers
      • Are the procedures capable of addressing unusual circumstances in a perceptive way, and is this illustrated in practice?
    4. Does the organisation have the capacity to conduct accreditation/recognition activities on an ongoing basis? Performance indicators/key attributes:
      • Has sufficient staff and financial resources to implement and sustain an effective accrediting/recognising process
        1. How is the organisation financed?
        2. What is the outlook for financial viability?
      • Has an effective process for the recruitment, selection, training & evaluation of program evaluators/visitors
        1. How are evaluators selected?
        2. Are there written training materials?
        3. What is process for evaluation?
        4. Does the visiting team pool include engineering practitioners as well academicians
      • Conducts periodic self-review to improve its standards, criteria, policies and procedures.
    5. Does the operating documentation focus attention on the fundamental criteria for accreditation/recognition? Performance indicators/key attributes (Resulting from IEM Washington (updated Wed 15th Aug 2007) Rules & Procedures 50):
      • The required graduate attributes are documented in a way that is clearly evident to the educational provider concerned, and the required attributes are substantially equivalent to the Accord exemplar
      • The criteria translate into procedures that evaluate in depth the outcomes of each program and how they are assured
    6. Ultimately, as an overarching test, is the outcome standard, as evaluated by existing signatories during live observation and interaction, consistent with that represented by relevant Accord?