Engineering Council: Accreditation of HE Programmes (AHEP) review – opportunity to contribute

During 2013, the Engineering Council is undertaking the periodic five year review of several key documents including The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP). We consulted initially on this AHEP review earlier this year and received a high level of responses.

Since the first consultation closed in June, a small Steering Group comprising members of the profession has given careful consideration to all the feedback and would now like to hear your views on some proposed revisions.
The majority of responses were very positive and indicated that AHEP is working well and, with one exception, there were no suggestions for major revisions. The exception referred to was the need to provide clearer distinctions between the four levels of qualification: Bachelors/Foundation Degrees for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and for Chartered Engineer (CEng), the Bachelors(Honours), the Integrated Masters MEng and other Masters degrees.  Attention has focused on clarifying these distinctions by producing a holistic set of output standards for each of the four types of degree and making clear the opportunities for progression. This has provided the basis for the Steering Group’s work, with the aim of not changing the overall output standard. The original wording has been retained as far as possible, though in several instances existing phrases have had to be replicated or rearranged in order to make the four sets of outcomes independent of
one another.
Further changes that have been made include:
Removing the degree descriptors from introductory section and merging the text with that at the start of each degree’s learning outcomes.
  • Removing the distinction between General and Specific Learning Outcomes, to give a single set of learning outcomes for each degree.
  • Some strengthening of topics identified in the reviews, such as risk management and ethics, which has resulted in small changes (e.g. one or two words in each case)
  • Strengthening of the references to intellectual property and statistics, which were suggested in the consultation responses
  • Increased use of the terms in the interpretation rubric, to clarify levels of learning: ‘understanding’, ‘knowledge’, ‘know-how’, ‘skills’, ‘awareness’, ‘complex’.
The revisions are presented as follows:
  1. the introductory sections which have been revised, aiming to clarify and reduce duplication with other sections and documents;
  2. the preamble describing each type of degree;
  3. the learning outcomes for each degree type, in particular to provide each degree type with a holistic set of learning outcomes which are not referenced to another degree type and which clarify the progression between levels. Please note that the learning outcomes are presented in tabular format purely for the purposes of this consultation. Feedback suggests this format makes it easier to review progression, the BEng-MEng changes etc. However, the final AHEP document will be set out, as it is now, but with the holistic set of standards for each title, and the sequence of material will be changed.  In case it helps, this is presented as both a ‘tracked’ and a ‘clean’ version.
We are aware that the revision of this document may have a bearing on the Engineering Subject Benchmark statement, maintained by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).  QAA and the Engineering Council are working together to ensure that the relationship between these two documents is taken into account. Once the AHEP review is complete, QAA will be working with the HE sector to explore the implications for the benchmark statement of any changes.
All the documents and proposed revisions may be accessed via the Engineering Council website–skills/accreditation/information-for-universities scrolling down to:

“Accreditation of HE Programmes (AHEP) review – Consultation about proposed revisions”

and you are invited to make your comments via this short online survey, which should take no more than 15 minutes once you have read the documents.  Link to the survey here:

The deadline for responses is Tuesday 7 January 2014. 
If you have any queries or require further information, please contact Deborah Seddon, Head of Policy and Standards at

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