In response to concerns expressed by Government, employers and the Engineering Council over the lack of a common format for the articulation of the output standards of engineering graduates, the EPC initiated a project in 1997 to develop a methodology by which engineering graduate output standards can be both defined and expressed.
The objective of the EPC output standards project was to design a model that meets the following criteria:
- it is a set of generic statements which articulates the output standard of engineering graduates;
- it is acceptable to Government, industry, professional institutions, university departments, and the graduates themselves;
- it can be used when it is necessary for these different groups to communicate with one another on the subject of output standards.
In support of this project, an advisory group with a broad representation, including members from the Engineering Employers Federation, the Engineering Council, the Department for Education and Employment and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) was established.
The EPC work was an independent project with the EPC taking full responsibility for its direction and outcomes, however, it worked closely with the QAA Engineering Benchmark exercise, and linked and compared the EPC Standard with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Key Skills Standard and those of the Occupational Standards Council for Engineering (OSCEng) and the Construction Industry Standards Council (CISC).