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Glossary

Accreditation

A process of peer review of a degree programme against published learning outcomes. This usually involves a visit from a team of professional engineers nominated by professional engineering institutions to the degree awarding body.

APEC: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

An agreement in place between a number of APEC countries for the purposes of recognising substantial equivalence of professional competence in engineering. For more information visit the APEC website.

Bologna Process

A non-statutory inter-governmental agreement, creating a coherent and cohesive European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and a Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (FQ-EHEA) comprising first, second and third cycle degrees. The EHEA is a means of promoting mutual recognition of qualifications, demonstrating transparency of systems and easing the mobility of staff and students across higher education in Europe.

The UK has verified that its national frameworks for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and in Scotland are compatible with the FQ-EHEA: Bachelors and Bachelors (Hons) degrees as first cycle, the Integrated MEng and Masters degree as second cycle. www.ehea.info/Uploads/QF/FHEQSelfCert.pdf

Chartered Engineer (CEng)

One of the professional titles that is available to individuals who meet the required standard of competence and commitment. For more information visit our Chartered Engineer webpage

Competence

The ability to carry out a task to an effective standard.  Its achievement requires the right level of knowledge, understanding and skill, as well as a professional attitude. It is part of the requirement (along with commitment) that must be demonstrated in order for an individual to be admitted to the Engineering Council’s Register at the relevant level.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The systematic acquisition of knowledge and skills, and the development of personal qualities, to maintain and enhance professional competence. All members of professional engineering institutions have an obligation to undertake CPD, and to support the learning of others. For more information visit our CPD webpage.

Dublin Accord

An international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting and approving engineering education qualifications and programmes. The Dublin Accord recognises the substantial equivalence of qualifications and programmes, approved or accredited for Engineering Technician (EngTech) registration, to the IEA Graduate Attributes. For more information visit the Dublin Accord website.

 

Educational Institution

Most UK Higher Education courses are taught by universities, but many are also taught at colleges and other specialist institutions. Some ‘private providers’ are entering the market, and the term ‘Higher Education provider’ is now also used. There are around 160 universities and colleges in the UK that are permitted to award degrees.

Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB)

Made up of all the professional engineering institutions that are licensed by the Engineering Council to accredit academic programmes for both Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer status. The Engineering Council provides the secretariat for EAB. www.engab.org.uk

Engineering Council

The UK regulatory body for the engineering profession that sets and maintains internationally recognised standards of professional competence and ethics, and holds the UK register of professional engineers and technicians.

Engineering Technician (EngTech)

One of the professional titles that is available to individuals who meet the required standard of competence and commitment. For more information visit our Engineering Technician webpage

EUR-ACE®

European quality label for engineering degree programmes at Bachelors and Masters level.  The Engineering Council is authorised to award the EUR-ACE® label.

Exemplifying qualification

An educational or vocational qualification that demonstrates the knowledge, understanding and skills to meet or partly meet the requirement for registration in a particular category. Other qualifications may be permitted if they achieve (or exceed) the same level.

FEANI

The European Federation of National Engineering Associations of which the Engineering Council is the UK partner. For more information visit the FEANI website.

Graduate Attribute

Graduate attributes form a set of individually assessable outcomes that are the components indicative of the graduate’s potential to acquire competence to practise at the appropriate level.  The graduate attributes are exemplars of the attributes expected of graduates from an accredited programme. Graduate attributes are clear, succinct statements of the expected capability, qualified if necessary by a range indication appropriate to the type of programme.

Higher Education

In the UK, this refers to education that is post-school and defined in the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) as being at a level between 4 and 8. It includes: 
Certificate of Higher Education; Diploma of Higher Education; Bachelors degrees; Masters degrees; and doctoral degrees.

Incorporated Engineer (IEng)

One of the professional titles that is available to individuals who meet the required standard of competence and commitment. For more information visit our Incorporated Engineer webpage.

International Engineering Alliance (IEA)

Partnership of international organisations and responsible for the governance of the international accords such as the Dublin, Sydney and Washington Accords

Key Information Set (KIS)

Publically available standard sets of information about undergraduate degrees which are designed to meet the needs of prospective students. www.hefce.ac.uk https://unistats.direct.gov.uk

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)

Qualifications developed and accredited according to criteria set out nationally, and that are achieved through assessment and training. In Scotland, they are known as Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ). To achieve an NVQ, candidates must prove that they have the ability (competence) to carry out their job to the required standard. NVQs are based on National Occupational Standards that describe the ‘competences’ expected in any given job role.

Output Standard

The overall standard that a degree programme, which comprises a level of qualification and a set of associated learning outcomes, must meet in order to secure accredited status.

Professional Affiliate

An incorporated body/engineering institution that is closely associated with, but not licensed by, the Engineering Council. It may enter into an agreement with a professional engineering institution to process its members for registration. For a list of Professional Affiliates visit our related webpage.

Professional development

The process by which an individual gains professional competence. It may take place through formal and informal learning, and workplace training and experience.

Professional engineering institution

A membership organisation which is licensed by the Engineering Council to assess candidates for professional registration. Some institutions also have a licence to accredit degree programmes and/or company training schemes. A full list of the licensed institutions can be found on our professional engineering institutions webpage.

Professional registration

The process whereby an individual is admitted to the Engineering Council’s Register as an Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer, Chartered Engineer or Information and Communications Technology Technician based on the individual demonstrating, via a peer review process by a licensed professional engineering institution, that he/she has met the profession’s standards of commitment and competence. Award of the EngTech, IEng, CEng or ICTTech title permits the use of the relevant post-nominal.

Professional review

A peer assessment process to decide whether an individual has met the requirements for registration. It is a holistic assessment of the applicant’s competence and commitment against the relevant sections of UK-SPEC. For candidates seeking IEng or CEng registration, this will include a professional review interview (PRI). Some professional engineering institutions include an interview for EngTech candidates.

Professional review interview (PRI)

Part of the professional review process undertaken by registrant peers who are trained and competent to do so. It is mandatory for IEng and CEng candidates. For EngTech candidates, the interview is at the discretion of the institution.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

Safeguards standards and drives improvement in the quality of UK higher education across all subjects. The QAA works closely with the Engineering Council and professional engineering institutions to support the Engineering disciplines. For more information visit the QAA website.

QCF

Qualifications and Credit Framework. For Higher Education reference points visit the QAA website.

Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng)

The UK’s national academy for engineering that works to advance and promote excellence in engineering. RAEng provides analysis and policy support relating to business and education, invests in the UK’s research base to underpin innovation, and works to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. Visit the Royal Academy’s website for more information.

Royal Charter

A formal document issued by the monarch granting rights and powers to an individual or an organisation.

SCQF

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. For Higher Education reference points visit the SCQF website.

Sydney Accord

An international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting and approving engineering education qualifications and programmes. The Sydney Accord recognises the substantial equivalence of programmes, accredited for the purpose of Engineering Technologist (Incorporated Engineer, IEng) registration, to the IEA Graduate Attributes. For more information visit the Sydney Accord website.

UK-SPEC: The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence

The UK standard that sets out the competence and commitment requirements for registration with the Engineering Council as an Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer or Chartered Engineer. For more information visit our UK-SPEC webpage.

Washington Accord

An international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes, recognising the substantial equivalence of such programmes to the IEA Graduate Attributes for entry to the practice of engineering. In the UK this is a programme accredited for the purpose of Chartered Engineer registration. For more information visit the Washington Accord website.

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