Competency Model for Program Evaluators

Program evaluators should meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in improving education.
  • Current member (or willing to join) one of ABET’s technical and professional societies.
    For computing professionals, membership in ACM, American Statistical Association (ASA) or IEEE/CS fulfills this requirement.
  • Formal education and degree appropriate to the field
  • Experience with accreditation processes and / or quality improvement processes.
  • Proficiency using word processing programs, spreadsheets, and PDF files.
  • Be willing to take the required program evaluator training courses.
  • Meet any additional society-specific requirements.

Substantial growth in demand for ABET accreditation outside the United States creates an expanded need for Program Evaluators to serve on teams that travel to these locations.  Pertinent rules include:

  • Evaluators must belong to an ABET member society, but may reside in any nation.
  • All ABET Experts must be able to read, write, speak and listen to English with a high degree of competence and clarity, and must have an understanding of the governance structure and decision processes typical of higher education institutions in the United States.
  • The initial visit by all program evaluators shall be to an institution located in the United States.
  • Subsequent program evaluator assignments will be based on: prior performance, conflict of interest declarations, schedule availability, individual willingness to accept a non-U.S. assignment, team balance between academic, industry and government representatives, and the match of subject expertise of the evaluator to the characteristics of the program being reviewed.
  • ABET does not have a cadre of program evaluators who will concentrate their volunteer service within a particular region.

ABET Program Evaluator Competency Model

Successful program evaluators exhibit the knowledge, skills, and attitudes listed below in the ABET Program Evaluator Competency Model and are evaluated against these competencies after each assigned program evaluation.

Technically Current

  • Demonstrates required technical credentials for the position
  • Engaged in lifelong learning and current in their field
  • Able to apply technical knowledge to ascertain the level of conformance to program accreditation requirements
  • Remains current in accreditation procedures and requirements

Effective at Communicating

  • Easily conducts face-to-face interviews
  • Writes clearly and succinctly
  • Presents focused, concise oral briefings
  • Interviews personnel to understand program operations
  • Writes succinct, criterion-centered statements of program strengths and weaknesses
  • Develops succinct findings for exit interview
  • Keeps team chair informed prior to and during the visit

Interpersonally Skilled

  • Friendly and sets others at ease
  • Listens and places input into context
  • Remains open-minded and avoids personal bias
  • Forthright, doesn’t hold back what needs to be said
  • Adept at pointing out strengths and weaknesses in nonconfrontational manner
  • Interviews and readily obtains input from faculty, administration, industry advisors, and students
  • Evaluates program against criteria within the context of the institution
  • Evaluates and constructively conveys program strengths and weaknesses


  • Readily accepts input from team members
  • Works with team members to reach consensus
  • Values team success over personal success
  • Compares program findings with those of other visitation team members to improve consistency
  • Looks for and listens to common issues across programs
  • Assists other team members as needed during the visit


  • Conveys professional appearance and demeanor
  • Is committed to contributing and adding value to the evaluation process
  • Considered a person with high integrity and ethical standards
  • Represents ABET and responsible technical society as a practicing professional
  • Willing to make observations to stimulate innovation and further the program’s efforts toward continuous improvement
  • Shows professional respect for institution faculty and staff
  • Upholds ABET code of conduct at all times


  • Is focused on meeting deadlines
  • Focuses on critical issues and avoids minutia
  • Displays take-charge initiative
  • Takes responsibility and works under minimum supervision
  • Formulates preliminary program strengths and weakness assessment based upon review of materials supplied prior to the visit
  • Focuses on critical findings, effectively cites supportive observations, relates to appropriate criteria and suggests possible avenues to resolution
  • Submits high quality documentation to team chair on time
  • Makes difficult recommendations when appropriate