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.
Other functions are as follows:
- Maintain a list of accredited engineering programmes.
- Oversee the development and operation of accreditation and mutual recognition of programmes with other countries.
- Keep the Board informed of the activities of ETAC. Where necessary make recommendations to the Board.
- Foster the dissemination of developments and best practices in engineering technology and engineering technician education.
- Advice the Board on public statements or representations that should be made in relation to engineering technology and engineering technician education.
The Engineering Accreditation Department (EAD) is the administrative arm of the EAC and ETAC that facilitates all activities of the EAC/ETAC. There are several active committees within the EAD addressing a variety of issues, including, training, accreditation management system, strategic planning and finance.
The volunteers from industry and academia, also known as programme evaluators, make up the accreditation teams, which conduct on site visits based on request by programmes seeking accreditation, and make recommendations to the EAC/ETAC at Accreditation Decision Meetings (ADM).
All graduates must register with the BEM to practice engineering, engineering technology and engineering technician in Malaysia as graduate engineers, engineering technologists and inspector of works (IOW). Having an EAC/ETAC accredited engineering/engineering technology degree and engineering or engineering technology diploma are the prerequisite for registration. It is an offence to practice engineering, engineering technology and engineering technician in Malaysia without registering with the BEM as a Graduate or Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologists and Inspector of Work (IOW). Accreditation provides the assurance for the BEM and the stakeholders that engineering, engineering technology and engineering technician graduates have the necessary skills and competencies reflected in the graduate outcomes specified by the EAC Engineering Accreditation Standard, Engineering Technology Programme Accreditation Standard and Engineering Technician Education Programme Accreditation Standard.
The Public Service Department (JPA) would only allow graduates from the EAC/ETAC accredited programmes or those recognized by EAC/ETAC to join the public service. Only programmes accredited by the EAC/ETAC would be allowed to be offered at the institutions of higher learning in Malaysia, be it at public or private institutions.
Accreditation also provides the assurance to potential employers and public at large as to quality of graduates and the programmes offered at the institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.
The EAC/ETAC also believes in international benchmarking and is committed towards continual quality improvement in engineering education. As such EAC/ETAC is also embarking into several initiatives of mutual international recognition such as with the European and Asian networks, apart from Washington Accord, Sydney Accord and Dublin Accord. The EAC/ETAC presently also provides evaluation service on recognition of international degree programmes.
Degrees and Diplomas accredited by the EAC/ETAC would also be listed in the Registry of the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA). MQA is a unified body established under the MQA Act to be responsible for accreditation for all higher education programmes in Malaysia.
The Act however acknowledges the role of professional bodies in conducting accreditation of professional programmes such as engineering, engineering technology and engineering technician education. Thus the EAC/ETAC continues to provide the leadership in ensuring all engineering programmes provides quality engineering, engineering technology and engineering technician education.
The EAC and ETAC establish the minimum standards for engineering, engineering technology and engineering technician education at the bachelor’s and diploma levels, as specified in the EAC Engineering Accreditation Standard, Engineering Technology Programme Accreditation Standard and Engineering Technician Education Programme Accreditation Standard.
The Standard has undergone extensive reviews to incorporate comments from Washington Accord’s, Sydney Accord’s and Dublin Accord’s sponsors and mentors. The Working group tasked to review the Standard also studied the Washington Accord, Sydney Accord and Dublin Accord Signatory members’ accreditation criteria before recommending changes.