Asee peer logo


Download Paper |


2015 ASEE International Forum


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 14, 2015

Page Count


Page Numbers

19.1.1 - 19.1.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Sergey Gerasimov

author page

Yury P Pokholkov

Download Paper |


ACCREDITATION OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMS AND CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS IN RUSSIA: A FOCUS ON LIFE-LONG LEARNING Chuchalin A., Gasheva Yu., Gerasimov S., Pokholkov Yu., Shamritskaya P.Socio-economic context, industry transformation, adoption of new technologies and changingtrends in the labor market stipulate importance of some competencies. In particular, engineersmust supplement technical mastery with communication and business skills, ability to workeffectively as an individual and as a member or leader of a team, understanding of ethical,health, and safety issues, as well as social impact of engineering solutions and theirprofessional activity. The importance of life-long learning in engineering profession is alsoincreasing because of a rapidly changing technologies and industry demands. To translatecurrent and perspective needs of industry and to eliminate a mismatch between academicrequirements and competencies needed in the workplace national engineering educationsocieties are created. They provide an opportunity for stakeholders to be engaged ineducational process and to take active part in the development of standards and frameworksfor engineering profession.One of the most authoritative and recognized non-governmental engineering educationsociety in Russia is the Association for Engineering Education of Russia (AEER) thatrepresents the Russian Federation in the European Network for Accreditation of EngineeringEducation (ENAEE), is a signatory of APEC Engineer Agreement, a full member of theWashington Accord and a provisional member of the International Professional EngineersAgreement. Among the objectives of the associations are: - building a system of and conditions for training and maturing of a new generation of highly-educated professionals in engineering capable of maintaining a stable dynamic development of economy and achieving break-through progress in practical fields; - work towards concentration of the engineering potential of Russia on the break- through technologies and directions that lead Russia out of the social and economic crisis and create conditions for prosperous life of the people of Russia; - revival and development of engineering schools of Russia, effective use of their potential for building the strategy of sustainable development for the country; - activities toward joining the efforts of the government, educational institutions, organizations, firms and general public in giving priority to development of engineering education on the basis of progressive pedagogical thinking, use of modern educational technologies, combining the best national traditions and international experience in training engineers; - improvement of the content of engineering education, attaining its humanization and professionalization, forming a high-level informational culture of the engineering education system, increasing the academic mobility of students to improve the quality of engineering education; - improvement of the system of retraining and professional development of the engineering education institutions faculty and engineering corps of the country, etc. [1].To achieve these objectives the AEER uses various mechanisms, namely, non-governmentalprofessional accreditation of educational programs in engineering and technology andprofessional engineers certification and registration. A review of the literature on engineeringeducation and profession issues, the research and study of the experience of various nationalorganizations and agencies carrying out the process of program accreditation and engineercertification in different countries, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering andTechnology (ABET) in the USA, Engineers Ireland, Engineers Australia, Engineers Canada,the Engineering Council United Kingdom (ECUK), the German Accreditation Council(ASIIN) as well as the relevant AEER experience have justified that accreditation criteria foreducational programs and requirements for professional engineers certification are the maintools to impact the level of engineers’ competence. These tools are widely implemented bynational engineering societies and accreditation agencies to regulate the engineeringprofession, to set and maintain internationally recognized standards of professionalcompetence and ethics.The AEER has been successfully developing an internationally integrated national system forprofessional accreditation of engineering programs more than 10 years. Programaccreditation is defined as “recognition given to a program as meeting applicable criteria as aresult of an evaluation process” [2]. It is considered to be an important aspect of qualityassurance in engineering and technology education. In contrast to state accreditation run bythe federal government professional accreditation is run by professional bodies. It providesevidence of recognition of education quality by professional community and is aimed atimproving the quality of education in accordance with industry requirements whereas themain purpose of state accreditation is to conduct comprehensive analysis of academicinstitutions’ activities. Besides, professional program accreditation should allow professionalbodies to contribute to the development of engineering and technology programs accordingtheir needs. Accreditation provides assurance that college or university programs meet thequality standards established by the profession.First set of accreditation criteria was developed in 2002 by the AEER experts based on thebest traditions of national engineering education and international experience of engineeringeducation quality assurance. In 2013 the AEER criteria were updated and approved by theAEER Accreditation Board. The AEER criteria take into account modern trends inengineering pedagogy, are complied with the Federal State Educational Standards andcoherent with the international standards of the European Network for Accreditation ofEngineering Education (ENAEE) described in the EUR-ACE Framework Standards forAccreditation of Engineering Programmes [3] and IEA Graduate Attributes and ProfessionalCompetencies [4]. By the development of a new set of the accreditation criteria the interestsof all stakeholders especially of potential employers were taken into consideration.The AEER accreditation criteria are grouped into seven sections listed below [5]: 1. Program objectives and learning outcomes. 2. Program content. 3. Education process. 4. Faculty. 5. Professional qualification. 6. Program resources. 7. Graduates.The criteria provide a common approach to accreditation of engineering and technologyeducational programs at various levels which stimulates the coherence and continuity ofeducational programs in Russia. In particular, there are sets of accreditation criteria fortechnician training, applied bachelor degree, academic bachelor degree, specialist trainingand master degree programs. The AEER criteria focus on professional training of studentsand define graduate competencies relevant for employers and sufficient to make the graduatesprepared to enter the profession. Like the EC2000 criteria developed by ABET, the AEERcriteria has shifted the emphasis from inputs (what is taught) to student outcomes (what islearned) [6].The criteria are designed to evaluate the quality of engineering graduates andvalidate that they are prepared for engineering practice as well as for applied, complex andinnovative engineering activities at the level meeting the requirements of professionalstandards, the labor market and international requirements for graduate attributes. Thecompliance with the criteria shall guarantee the quality of training and promote ongoingimprovement of engineering programs.The AEER criteria are based on program objectives and learning outcomes that outline non-technical (general) and professional competencies to be acquired by students uponcompletion of an engineering or technology educational program. The outcomes-basedaccreditation approach used by AEER allows professional bodies to evaluate whether theprogram graduates have the required competencies to enter the profession or not. Theprogram can be accredited only if the achievement of learning outcomes by all the students isverified and the graduates are prepared for engineering practice in accordance with programobjectives. The program objectives are formulated by higher education institutions andshould correspond with the institution mission. Learning outcomes are specified in form ofthe competencies the graduates have to demonstrate, based on the program objectives andmust meet the requirements of employers and other stakeholders. The AEER set commongraduate attributes, which correspond to IEA Graduate Attributes and ProfessionalCompetencies and meet current needs of the labor market. These attributes are defined in the5 Criterion and formulated as the knowledge, skills, abilities and competences needed byengineers living and working in innovative-based economic environment. Besides theprofessional competencies such as application of fundamental knowledge, engineeringanalysis and design, investigation, engineering practice, specialization and labor marketcommitment the AEER criteria prescribe requirements for non-technical competencies whichprogram graduates have to demonstrate. Non-technical competencies include management,communication, individual and team work, professional ethics, social responsibility and life-long learning. Recognition of the need for and ability to engage in on-going professionaldevelopment seem to be extremely important. Continuing professional development isconsidered a key to improving engineer competence in all the aspects of engineering practice.To get AEER accreditation, engineering educational programs must go through a complexevaluation process that combines self-study review by the academic institution and programand on-site visit by the AEER evaluators team which includes both engineering academiciansand engineers (industry representatives, employers). The key role in the accreditationprocedure plays the AEER Accreditation Centre which manages the activity of more than 200certified evaluators including deans, professors, industry and relevant organizationsrepresentatives. Accreditation Centre fulfills the initial analysis of educational programsseeking accreditation, analyzes self-study reports, organizes evaluators’ visits to academicinstitutions, and makes reports on educational program evaluation for the AEERAccreditation Board. During the on-site visit programs are required to show evidence that allthe AEER accreditation criteria are met. The aims of the evaluation team at this stage are: - to give qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the factors that cannot be demonstrated in the self-study report; - to study documents and reports prepared by the academic institution for program accreditation; - to make a report for academic institution on its strengths and weaknesses.The industry representative should pay special attention to the graduates’ ability to solvecomplex engineering problems, to perform their professional functions, to demonstrate skillsand competencies necessary to meet the requirements of potential consumers [7]. Theeducational program audit involves meetings of the evaluation team with academic institutionand faculty leaders, the faculty involved in the accredited program implementation,supporting staff, students, graduates, and potential employers. Interviews with students,graduates and potential employers seem to be of highest importance by evaluating theachieved program goals and learning outcomes including the ability to engage in continuousprofessional development. Evaluation team member can ask students and graduates thefollowing typical interview questions: - What do you mean in life-long learning? - What are your plans concerning the professional development? - Have you finished or are you engaged now in supplementary educational activities (workshops, language courses, trainings, etc.)? - Are you going to continue your study after finishing the program? Where? When? - What kinds of CPD are the most effective for engineers? - What do you think about the mentor’s role in the career of young engineer?The AEER Accreditation Centre is working closely with academic institutions to help themprepare for the engineering educational program accreditation, namely, write self-study reportand conduct the on-site visit. Besides it develops training programs for evaluators andorganizes workshops gathered experts (representatives from industry, academe andengineering societies) to prepare them for implementation of the AEER accreditation criteriaand procedure.The set and level of competencies of a graduate with a degree in engineering and aprofessional engineer differ according to the requirements of the Washington Accord and theInternational Professional Engineers Agreement / APEC Engineer. Litzinger, Lattuca,Hadgraft, and Newstetter (2011) emphasise that development of expertise in engineeringdemands 10 years of active engagement in a domain and the practice has to be performedwith the intention of improving a skill [8].In countries where the certification of professional engineers is one of the main instrumentsof engineering profession regulation, a lot of attention is paid to the professional developmentof young engineers. Nowadays there is no federal law concerning professional qualificationsin engineering in Russia. It is an issue for a company to develop and maintain an internalqualification framework. Usually all technicians, technologists and engineers are examined inaccordance with corporate criteria periodically. Ranks held and financial rewards arestipulated by the results of the examination. There is no consistency among these regulationsthroughout the country. The AEER initiated development of a national certification andregistration system based on the best international practices in certification of professionalengineers and the requirements of the IEA Graduate Attributes and ProfessionalCompetencies. The Association involves major stakeholders in discussion of the issue: theState Duma (the national legislative body), the Government of the Russian Federation, theChamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the Russian Union ofScientific and Public Organizations, engineering universities and companies. In 2008 theAEER received an official proposal to join the APEC Engineer agreement and joined theAgreement in 2009.In the beginning of the year 2015 168 of engineers are certified with the title APEC Engineer.Among criteria for certification and recertification of professional engineers in Russia is therequirement to develop professional competence during no less than 50 hours per a year. Itshould be noted that significant part of applications for the professional engineer status wererejected because of lack of evidence of professional development of necessary scope.Furthermore some certified engineers became not eligible for recertification with the samereason.The following guidelines were elaborated by the AEER upon profound review ofinternational practice of formal, non-formal and informal professional developmentrecognition and consideration of national traditions. The guidelines were approved at theAEER Administrative Board Meeting on the 19th of November, 2013 and are a subject for afurther periodic review. Table 1. AEER guidelines on recognition of professional development of engineers CPD Activity Document of Level Type of Amount of Hours Confirmation Involvement Ph.D. or D.Sc. Diploma of Russian and Candidate for a Equivalent to the required studies Ph.D. or Sc.D. International degree CPD activities for three years Educational Certificate, Russian Learner Equivalent to indicated programmes on diploma / academic hours professional contract Teacher 2 hours for 1 academic hour development International Learner Equivalent to indicated academic hours Teacher 3 hours for 1 academic hour Seminars and Certificate, Russian Learner Equivalent to indicated training diploma academic hours Trainer 2 hours for 1 academic hour International Learner Equivalent to indicated academic hours Trainer 3 hours for 1 academic hour Conferences Certificate, Russian Participant 10 diploma Reporter 20 Member of the 40 board of editors International Participant 15 Reporter 30 Member of the 60 board of editors Training in other Certificate, Russian Trainee Up to 100 hours company report of a traineeship International Trainee Up to 6 hours per day supervisor Invention Patent Russian and Author 50 International Patent Russian and Author 25 application International Involvement in Contract Russian and Researcher Up to 50 hours grant research International Membership in Certificate, Russian and Member Up to 10 hours professional membership International societies cardOn-the-job training Report of the Russian and Trainee Up to 50 hours (e.g., technology supervisor International insertion)Writing articles for Papers Russian Author 20 publication in professional International Author 40 journals Writing Papers with the Russian Author 40 hours for 40,000monographs, study publisher’s typographical units books imprint International Author 60 hours for 40,000 typographical unitsReview of articles, Review Russian Reviewer 3 hours for 40,000 research studies typographical units International Reviewer 4,5 hours for 40,000 typographical units Review of degree Review Russian and Reviewer 4 hours for 1 reviewed thesis thesis International Review of study Review Russian and Reviewer 4 hours for 40,000 books International typographical units Consulting of Letter of Russian Consultant 20 hours for Bachelor thesisBachelor or Master confirmation, 25 hours for Specialist thesis student on a contract 30 hours for Master thesis graduation thesis International Consultant 30 hours for Bachelor thesis 35 hours for Specialist thesis 40 hours for Master thesis Involvement in Letter of Russian and Consultant Up to 10 hours development of a confirmation, Internationaldegree programme contract Supervision of Contract, decree Russian and Supervisor, 1 hour for 1 week per 1student traineeship International trainer student of 1st-3d year (Bachelor students, Specialist students) 3 hours for 1 week per 1 student of 4th-5th year (Bachelor students, Specialist students), Master student or intern Elaboration of Contract Russian and Author 1 hour for 4 questions of questions for International written exam professional engineers certification examination (forcertified engineers only) Involvement in Contract Russian and Examiner Oral examination: 1 hour for examination of International 1 interviewee professional Written examination: 1 hour engineers for 1 testThere is no obvious replication of international experience in CPD hours allocation, howevermain types of formal, non-formal and informal professional development activities are listed.The main emphasis is put on the outcomes of these activities, so candidates for theprofessional engineer title or professional engineers wishing to renew their certificates aremotivated to be involved in continuous professional development. It is supposed thatessential function of a system for certification of professional engineers is the process ofprofessional engineer formation.Taking into account that professional accreditation of educational programs and certificationof professional engineers do not influence the majority of national engineering community,there is a need in a wide-scale tool for disseminating life-long learning principles amongstudents and practicing engineers in Russia. Otherwise it is a challenge for the AEER topromote professional accreditation of educational programs and certification of professionalengineers in Russia integrating them into a normative framework provided by thegovernment.Bibliography 1. Association for Engineering Education of Russia (AEER), official website. Available at: (accessed 11 March 2015). 2. International Engineering Alliance (IEA), Glossary of Terms. Available at: (accessed 11 March 2015). 3. EUR-ACE Framework Standards. Available at: framework-standards (accessed 11 March 2015). 4. IEA Graduate Attributes and Professional Competencies. Available at: (accessed 11 March 2015). 5. Chuchalin, A.I. (ed.) (2014) Kriterii i procedura professional'no-obshhestvennoj akkreditacii obrazovatel'nyh programm po tehnicheskim napravlenijam i special'nostjam [Criteria and Procedure for Professional Accreditation of Educational Programs in Engineering and Technology]. Tomsk: TPU Publ., 56 p. (in Russ.). 6. Phillips, W., Peterson, G., Aberle, K. (2000). Quality Assurance for Engineering Education in a Changing World. International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 97-103. 7. Gerasimov, S.I., Shaposhnikov, S.O., Yatkina, E.Y. (2013). Standard Interview Questions for Educational Program Accreditation in the Association for Engineering Education of Russia. Engineering Education, Vol. 12, pp. 60-65. 8. Litzinger, T. A., Lattuca, L. R., Hadgraft, R. G., & Newstetter, W. C. (2011). Engineering education and the development of expertise. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(1), 123-150.

Gerasimov, S., & Pokholkov, Y. P. (2015, June), ACCREDITATION OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMS AND CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS IN RUSSIA: A FOCUS ON LIFE-LONG LEARNING Paper presented at 2015 ASEE International Forum, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--17124

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015