Engineering Technology Accreditation Council (ETAC) is a delegated body by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). ETAC started as a Protem Council in 2011 in order to provide a smooth transition in the accreditation of Engineering Technology and Engineering Technician Education programmes. The Protem ETAC initially focused on the Sydney Accord based education programmes, and obtained the approval of its inaugural Engineering Technology Accreditation Manual by the BEM in 2015.
With the 2015 amendment to the Registration of Engineers Act 1967, the BEM established a 21-member-council ETAC, comprising the seven (7) groupings (BEM, learned bodies, industry/ employer, Public Services Department (PSD), Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA), Ministry, and public representatives) in 2015 as the only recognized accrediting body for engineering technology bachelor degree, engineering diploma and engineering technology diploma programmes offered in Malaysia.
Out of the 21 members of the ETAC, more than 50% of them are representatives from various fields of the engineering industry. The BEM believes that a good mixture of members from different backgrounds; practitioners, academics, related government agencies and learned societies will provide strength and balance for the council to exercise its role and function.
The operation of ETAC is supported by its administrative arm, the Engineering Accreditation Department (EAD). The set up includes a director, five (5) Associate Directors and secretariat. ETAC is also supported by a task force and its committees that oversee the development of accreditation manuals standards, the outcome-based culture change at institutions of higher learning, quality assurance and international affairs.
ETAC was instrumental in ensuring accredited engineering technology bachelor’s degree, engineering diploma and engineering technology diploma programmes are substantially equivalent to the engineering technology qualifications of the signatories of the Sydney Accord and Dublin Accord.
ETAC began its accreditation in 2016. The cut-off date for the transfer of authority from MQA to BEM to conduct accreditation of engineering technology degree programmes was on the 1st January 2017, while engineering technician education programmes began on the 1st February 2018.
On record, as of December 2020, the ETAC/BEM has awarded accreditation to 50 engineering technology degree programmes and 159 engineering diploma programmes which were conducted by 14 and 44 IHLs in Malaysia respectively.
In IEA Meeting held in June 2018 London, BEM marked another major milestone when Malaysia was admitted as a Full Signatory to the Sydney Accord (SA) and Dublin Accord (DA). Malaysia was the 11th of SA and the 9th of DA full members of that year.
This contribution serves the national interest of Malaysia, where through enhanced education standard, the country’s education system is now at a world class standard on par with many advanced countries in the world. This has attracted many foreign universities in opening up branch campuses in Malaysia with confidence, thus helping to expedite Malaysia in becoming an international hub of engineering education.