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CIBSE’s Statement on Academic Accreditation and COVID-19 Interruption to Programme Delivery

CIBSE is aware that for a short period, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with accredited programmes will be experiencing or planning for changes and possible interruption to delivery and assessment during the COVID-19 outbreak. We appreciate you will need to make decisions about changes to delivery and assessment rapidly and trust you to do the best for your students in this difficult period.

To ensure you are still meeting accreditation requirements please ensure you are still meeting the AHEP learning outcomes and your programme learning outcomes. In most situations, these will be mapped across the full programme and the loss of student experience and assessment from one semester can be mitigated by the students’ experience in previous learning or later learning during their degree programme. It is important to note that it is the programme level learning outcomes that we are concerned with and not the mapping to individual modules. As long as learning outcomes have been covered within the programme and at the correct level it is not necessary to deliver them in every module you have mapped them to.

We request that the accredited HEIs maintain a fully documented record of changes, which demonstrates the emergency procedures followed and how all graduates will still achieve the required learning outcomes. This should include details of assessment changes, changes to group-working, learning outcomes that were no longer able to be assessed this semester and any changes to degree calculations / awarding of grades. CIBSE will require a retrospective report on the effects of the changes and how their impact has been mitigated.

If HEIs are planning for any major changes, CIBSE would need to be informed by contacting awhite@cibse.org. These might include changes to compensation or condonement regulations, substitution or discontinuation of modules.

If an HEI is forced to suspend the delivery and assessment of their programmes, CIBSE should be notified immediately. Evidence will need to be provided to show that the underlining circumstance would not interfere with graduates being able to meet the learning outcomes.

For HEIs who had planned for a 2020 accreditation visit, for the re-accreditation of existing courses, CIBSE will allow a one-year extension. For new courses, CIBSE will delay an accreditation visit until 2021 but will backdate accreditation to include cohorts who graduated in 2020, provided that the final year work of the 2020 cohorts is available for inspection. CIBSE will be maintaining a full audit trail of any variances from our normal procedures and will be notifying the Engineering Council of any actions taken in respect of registration or accreditation.

We appreciate that this is a challenging time where adjustments are likely to be made, and we will continue to support you as best we can. Additional or updated information from CIBSE or the Engineering Council may be issued in due course.