National Accreditation Process
The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) provides the evaluation of applied science and engineering technology programs in Canada. Accreditation is a voluntary, yet detailed, review of a technology program measured against the National Technology Benchmarks™ (NTB). CTAB uses a two-part process to assess the program at a level of performance, integrity, and quality, ensuring that technology programs across Canada keep pace with change and remain relevant to industry.
In general terms, the following steps must occur:
- An educational agency requests accreditation for a specific applied science or engineering technology program by submitting an application form no later than December 31.
- The program staff complete and submit the required documentation to CTAB no later than May 31 of the following year.
- CTAB, in cooperation with the related provincial constituent member association, assembles an accreditation team to visit the school and assess the program in question.
- The visiting team examines every facet of the program, including facilities, student services, faculty, and professional development for staff, with program outcome of primary importance. The evaluation of student work is a key element in the process.
- The accreditation team submits a written report detailing the results of their comparison of the program to the appropriate criteria, and any recommendations for program improvements. The Educational Agency receives a draft report for review and comments. Upon receipt of their response, a Final Visiting Team Report is issued to CTAB for a decision. Estimated length of time for a decision: within six months from the date of the visit.
- At the end of the initial accreditation term (up to four years), the Educational Agency will submit a variance report, in years five and eight, highlighting all changes made to the program since the previous evaluation.
- As part of a quality assurance initiative, every year up to 10% of all accredited programs will be selected for a random audit visit. The National Accreditation Policy clearly states that no program will go more than ten (10) years without a site visit.
Part 1: Self-Study
The organization seeking accreditation evaluates its own compliance against a national series of outcome requirements. The self-study portion requires that the program demonstrate how it meets/exceeds the National Technology Benchmarks. Key areas that are examined during the process include the list of program strengths, course outlines, evidence of student work, the organization's governance, faculty qualifications, and the management of the program.
Part 2: Peer Review
External reviewers undertake an evaluation of the program to measure the organization through an on-site visit. This review offers clients the opportunity to have the program assessed by external and objective reviewers. During the on-site visit, the reviewers meet with a broad spectrum of individuals, such as faculty, students, graduates, advisory committee members, and senior administration to discuss their experiences, perceptions, and expectations. The findings from the evaluation are summarized in a report and focus on the strengths and weaknesses. Recommendations and opportunities for improvement are made to assist the organization in curriculum development.