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ACCREDITATION OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMMES
1.0 MANDATE OF COREN
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria,COREN, was established by Decree 55 of 1970 as amended by Decree 27 of 1992 and now an Act of the National Assembly, Engineers (Registration etc) Act CAP E11 of 2004 with the mandate to regulate the practice of Engineering in all aspects and ramifications. Thus the Council carries out this mandate through Accreditation of Engineering Programmes, Registration of Engineering Personnel and Firms and Regulation and Control through Engineering Regulation Monitoring and other mechanisms.
2.0 ACCREDITATION OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMMES
The law empowers COREN to accredit all Engineering Programmes in Universities, Polytechnics and Technical Colleges to ensure that these institutions have adequate facilities for the production of Engineering graduates at all levels. Accreditation is COREN’s quality assurance mechanism for the teaching and learning of Engineering courses.
Section (1) (b) of Decrees 55 of 1970 and 27 of 1992 (amendment), now the Engineers (Registration, etc) Act CAP E11, 2004, empowers COREN to “determine what standards of knowledge and skills are to be attained by persons seeking to become registered as engineering personnel and to raise those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit. For this purpose, these Decrees provide that COREN shall conduct visitation to Engineering Institutions in Nigeria or elsewhere for the purpose of:
(a) Accrediting their courses (sections 7 and 8 of the Decrees);
(b) Withdrawing any previous approvals, if so warranted and as prescribed in sub-sections (3) – (5) of section 7’’
Similarly section 9 sub section 6 of the Act provides:
‘’ An educational institution for the training of persons in the engineering profession shall submit syllabus of its programme, content and minimum facilities to the Council for approval before a course approved by the National Universities Commission or the National Board for Technical Education, or any other engineering body, is commenced’’
3.0 PROCEDURE FOR ESTABLISHING AN ENGINEERING PROGRAMME
From the various sections of the COREN Act, the procedure for establishing Engineering programmes has been made clear.
Based on national manpower requirements, the National Universities Commission, NUC, approves an Engineering Programme to be run in a Universities while the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, does same for Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Technical Colleges.
COREN then carries out a Pre-Accreditation or Resource Inspection visitation to the Engineering programme and based on the findings, approves its commencement. It is COREN that determines whether the Engineering programme has adequate facilities to commence teaching and learning of the programme. It is therefore illegal to commence an Engineering programme without initial approval by COREN.
The Pre-Accreditation visit is usually an opportunity for the institution to get professional advice from COREN on all aspects of the programme that need to be put in place.
Two years after the initial approval, COREN visits again for the normal accreditation.
4.0 PROCEDURE FOR ACCREDITATION VISITATION
i. Identify Programmes for accreditation from COREN updated website and data kept at the Education and Training Department.
ii. Write Letters to institutions on Pre-accreditation, Accreditation and Re-accreditation.
iii. Follow up on correspondence from institutions
iv. Recommend list of visitors for Registrar’s approval.
v. Write to Institutions on the date and budget for the visitation.
vi. Obtain all necessary materials for the visitation i.e score sheet, self study document, Guideline on accreditation etc.
vii. Prepare a report on the accreditation visitation by the secretariat.
viii. Presentation of the report on accreditation visitation to E & T Committee and to the Council for approval.
ix. Communicate Council’s decisions on the status of accreditation to the institutions.
x. Update the accreditation institutions on the COREN website.
5.0 RESOURCE PERSONS FOR ACCREDITATION OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMMES
a) Accreditation teams to Engineering Programmes to Universities are made up of Engineers drawn from the Industry and Academics. These are the Resource Persons on the Visitation.
b) Two Resource Persons shall be appointed for each programme.
c) Proposition of Resource Persons is done by the Education and Training Department for the consideration and approval of the Registrar.
d) The Team Leader of the Accreditation Visitation shall be a Member of COREN Council.
e) Resource Persons shall be highly knowledgeable and experienced engineers with the following qualities:
i. High level of integrity
ii. Firm and fair
iii. Not less than 10years post-qualification experience
iv. Must have been registered with COREN for at least 6 years.
v. Up to date with payment of practicing fees.
vi. Be seen to be active in activities of the Engineering profession.
6.0 ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITATION
Accreditation looks at the following areas of the programme for assessment.
(d) Professional status
(e) Staff/Student ratio
(f) Staff Distribution
(g) Staff Development Programme
(i) Contribution to Industry and Engineering.
iii. Physical facilities including
a) Workshops & Laboratories
b) Library facilities
c) Classrooms, Lecture theatres and Drawing Studio
d) Office Accommodation
e) Safety and Environment
f) Teaching Aids
iv. Funding of the Programme
v. Management of the Programme
6.0 STATUS OF ACCREDITATION
At the end of a visitation, a programme is granted either ‘Full Accreditation’ or ‘Failed Accreditation’ by Council. For a first time visitation, a programme may be considered for “Interim Accreditation’ to allow it to run for two years and correct all deficiencies before a re-visitation.
Full Accreditation implies that a programme has met the minimum requirements in all the areas of assessment and scored not less than 70% in total. Such a programme is then valid to run for five (5) years subject to maintaining or improving on the standards as may be verified through regular monitoring of the programme by Council.
A programme with ‘Failed Accreditation’ status must have scored less than 70% in total and has not satisfied the minimum requirements in all the core areas of assessment. Such a programme has no validity to continue to run.
Graduates of an unaccredited programme are not registrable by COREN and will never be registered even if the programme is eventually accredited. It is therefore unacceptable, illegal and morally wrong for a University to admit students into or graduate students from unaccredited Engineering programmes.