Module 1: Welcome and Overview

Welcome to the Program Evaluator (PEV) Recertification Training Program. This course covers a number of important changes and updates. By providing all PEVs exposure to the latest updates, this training helps ensure consistency of evaluations.

A. Purpose of the Recertification Training

The PEV Recertification Training is intended to provide a review of the ABET accreditation evaluation processes and procedures for experienced program evaluators (PEVs). Completion of the Recertification Training is required every five years for all PEVs or after a lapse in service as a PEV for two years. A PEV who has not completed the required Recertification Training will not be eligible for an On-Site review.

Completion of the Recertification Training should require two to three hours, depending on reading speed and level of familiarity with the topics.

B. Assignment to a Site Visit

Upon successful completion of this Program Evaluator Recertification program, including all three Proficiency Assessments, you will be eligible to be assigned to a visit by your ABET member society the upcoming cycle; however,  your assignment will depend upon the number of programs being visited. For more information, contact your member society.

C. Background

What Is ABET?

ABET is the recognized U.S.-based accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology, both nationally and internationally.

What Is Accreditation?

In the United States, accreditation is a non-governmental, peer-review process assuring the quality of the postsecondary education students receive. Educational institutions or programs volunteer to undergo this review periodically to determine if certain criteria are being met. (NOTE: Outside the United States, accreditation is not necessarily voluntary or non-governmental. Please visit the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) website for more information on the world’s postsecondary education systems and their quality assurance mechanisms.)

It is important to understand that accreditation is not a ranking system. It is an assurance that a program or institution meets established quality standards. In addition, the role of ABET accreditation is to provide periodic, peer-based external assessment and evaluation, in support of the program’s continuous improvement process.

D. About ABET

Assuring Confidence

Industry can embrace the future with assured confidence knowing that the institutions that invest in our accreditation services are using the most advanced methodologies and expertise to measure the quality and performance of their programs.

ABET serves the public globally through the promotion and advancement of education in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET:

  • Accredits educational programs.
  • Promotes quality and innovation in education.
  • Consults and assists in the development and advancement of education worldwide in a financially self-sustaining manner.
  • Communicates with our constituencies and the public regarding activities and accomplishments.
  • Anticipates and prepares for the changing environment and the future needs of constituencies.
  • Manages the operations and resources to be effective and fiscally responsible.

We champion excellence worldwide. Our approach, the standards we set, and the quality we guarantee inspire confidence in those who aim to build a better world—one that is safer, more efficient, comfortable, and sustainable.

E. ABET’S Philosophy of Outcomes-Based Accreditation

ABET’s accreditation procedures and processes historically have been intended for programs that prepare graduates for entry into a profession appropriate to the program’s discipline. The decision on the appropriate accreditation action for a program is made based on the extent to which the relevant criteria for the program are met. It is the institution’s responsibility to demonstrate how the program meets the relevant criteria.

ABET’s current accreditation processes are strongly oriented toward Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and outcomes-based accreditation. An educational program CQI process should reflect a clear understanding of:

  • Mission
  • Constituents
  • Objectives
  • Outcomes
  • Processes (internal practice to achieve the outcomes)
  • Facts (data collection)
  • Evaluation (interpretation of facts) and
  • Action (feedback to support decision-making and improve processes)

Outcomes-based accreditation focuses on:

  • Learning, not teaching
  • Students, not faculty
  • Outcomes, not inputs or capacity

You will learn more about how ABET Criteria are based on CQI in Module 5: Applying the Criteria and about how it relates to assessing student learning in Module 4: Continuous Quality Improvement of Student Learning.

F. Who is Involved in the ABET Accreditation Process?

The accreditation process requires the participation of many individuals, institutions, and organizations:

  • ABET
  • ABET member societies
  • Institutions and programs requesting accreditation
  • Team Chairs
  • Program Evaluators

Each of the ABET member societies is invited to have representation on one or more of the four ABET accreditation commissions, according to the curricular areas that the ABET Board of Directors assigns to those societies.

The four ABET accreditation commissions are the:

These accreditation commissions are responsible for administering the ABET Accreditation Process, conducting accreditation reviews, and determining accreditation actions (by vote of the entire membership), based on the Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM) and on the accreditation criteria. The commissions are also responsible for the continuous review and enhancement of criteria, policies, and procedures.

Read the current Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM) and the Criteria for each commission.

The Accreditation Council (AC) is comprised of leadership (Chair, Past-Chair, and Chair-Elect) from the four accreditation commissions. The Accreditation Council is responsible for improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and uniformity of the accreditation process.

Changes to the accreditation criteria and to the Accreditation Policies and Procedures proposed by the commissions and the Accreditation Council are approved by the ABET Board of Directors.

Please click here for an illustration of ABET’s organizational structure.

G. ABET Code of Conduct

ABET holds its staff and volunteers to the highest standards of conduct.

ABET’s Code of Conduct (Section IX of ABET Rules of Procedures)explicitly describes behavior that is and is not acceptable when you participate in ABET activities.

In addition, you must abide by ABET’s Conflict of Interest policy and ABET’s Confidentiality Policies (found in the Accreditation Policy and Procedure Manual, Sections II.B. and II.C.).

Please take a moment and review these two policies now.