BINDT gets involved with Engineering Council Working Groups to influence the accreditation of apprenticeships…

In this update, I will inform you of what is being talked about by the Engineering Council, the strategic discussions that are taking place and how BINDT hopes to influence professional competence development by being involved in Engineering Council Working Groups.

The UK-SPEC will be reviewed during 2017 and due to the onset of new education and competency development initiatives, such as bespoke degree programmes and Trailblazer Apprenticeships, it has been decided to set up a number of Working Groups, which will eventually feed into the UK-SPEC review process. To understand how the Working Groups fit into the Engineering Council strategy, particularly that of the Registration Standards Committee (RSC), I have provided an extract below:

The Registration Standards Committee (RSC) has oversight of matters concerning the education, training and professional development of professional engineers and technicians. It is responsible for maintaining the standards of competence and commitment, and maintaining the underpinning knowledge and understanding requirements for professional registration. This includes publishing, and keeping under review, the Registration Code of Practice that aligns with the requirements set out in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC), the ICT Technician Standard and the standards for the accreditation of HE programmes and approved apprenticeships. The RSC comprises nominees from professional engineering institutions, including from academia and industry, which ensures that the Engineering Council is kept abreast of developments in education and professional development that relate to professional engineers and technicians. The committee met three times in 2016.

The Working Groups that are being proposed are:
•  Review of the UK-SPEC (to be the fourth addition)
– ICTTech
– AHEP – Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes
– AQAH – Approval of Qualifications and Apprenticeships Handbook
– Registration Code of Practice
– Accreditation of Degrees and Apprenticeships.

Although BINDT is interested in all aspects of Engineering Council registration, it has to prioritise what it gets involved in and therefore it has expressed an interest in the ‘Accreditation of Degrees and Apprenticeships’ and the ‘Registration Code of Practice’. I am particularly interested in the ‘Accreditation of Degrees and Apprenticeships’, as the output of this Working Group could result in apprenticeships that are designed to meet Ofqual levels of academic achievement and the needs of the appropriate industry sector, are supported by the professional body and are registered as exemplifying qualifications via the standard route. There could also be progressive discussions on Engineering Council accreditation of degrees and other academic programmes; if a degree is independently validated by an academic panel and supported by the Professional Body, what is the value of Engineering Council accreditation?

Watch this space…

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