Accreditation FAQs

General

What are the benefits of accreditation?

How can my institution obtain accreditation?

What is CITP Accreditation?

Where can I find further information on CITP?

What is CEng/IEng Accreditation?

What is CSci Accreditation?

When do BCS Accreditation visits take place?

How can I find out the details, requirements for and specifications that must be met for the accreditation of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree to be awarded?

Who do I speak to if I have any questions on Higher Education Accreditation?

What are LSEPIs and how are they relevant?

What is further learning and why is it relevant?

 
Programme specific

Why is my programme not accredited?

Why is my course only partially accredited?

My course/programme isn’t listed on the Course Search facility, why?

How can I individually apply for IEng, CEng or CSci registration?

What are Euro-Inf Quality Labels?

What are EUR-ACE Quality Labels?

 
Visit

My HEI has two Departments with accredited degrees, will we be charged twice?

I am interested in getting the programmes at my institution accredited by more than one Professional Institution - what are my options for arranging the visit(s)?

Can our institution put forward new programme(s) that will not have an intake of students until after the visit has taken place?

How many members of the visiting panel should I expect on a visit?

 
Post visit

How long after a visit will I find out the Panels decisions regarding accreditations?

What if following an accreditation visit, my department’s programmes are not awarded accreditation?

What happens if I am unhappy with the report and outcome of the visit?

What should we do if an accredited course is changed/updated?

 
Educational affiliate

How much is the Educational Affiliate Fee & What is covered in that cost?

How will the Educational Affiliate fee be applied and how often?

I have a query regarding my Education Affiliate Fee, who should I contact?

How can I request an invoice for the Educational Affiliate Fee?


 
General

What are the benefits of Accreditation?
The BCS accreditation of degrees is an important benchmark of the standard of Higher Education programmes and their contribution to the IT profession. Our accreditation provides an indicator of quality to students and employers and provides independent recognition for the institutions that offer them.

Further details of the benefits may be found in the leaflet: BCS Accreditation... Relevance, Recognition, Assurance

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How can my institution obtain accreditation?
For HEIs seeking accreditation for the first time, the following is a brief summary of the steps involved:

  • The HEI discusses the process and the programmes to be considered with the Education Team at BCS.
  • The Education Team arranges an advisory visit by an assessor and a report is produced for use by BCS and the HEI. The report will contain information about any issues which would need to be addressed before a full visit could take place.
  • If BCS is satisfied that it is appropriate, a full visit is arranged when it can be fitted into the visit programme.
  • Payment of the Education Affiliate fee will be payable before a full accreditation visit can take place.

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What is CITP Accreditation?
Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by BCS.  An accredited degree entitles you to professional membership of BCS, which is an important part of the criteria for achieving Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status through the Institute. Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

BCS accredited degrees are listed within the Accredited HE Course Search

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Where can I find further information on CITP?
For further information and criteria regarding CITP, please follow the link: Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

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What is CEng/IEng Accreditation?
Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

BCS accredited degrees are listed within the Accredited HE Course Search and the Engineering Council Accredited Course Search

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What is CSci Accreditation?
Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by BCS. An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as a Chartered Scientist (CSci). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

BCS accredited degrees are listed within the Accredited HE Course Search

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When do BCS Accreditation visits take place?
BCS has a rolling programme of visits to HEIs to consider programmes for accreditation. HEIs included in the programme are normally visited at least every five years and are contacted by BCS the year before a visit is due to commence arrangements. Typically, a visit should be scheduled to take place either in the year before, or in the year of the final year of the existing accreditation, so that a continuous approved status may be achieved.

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How can I find out the details, requirements for and specifications that must be met for the accreditation of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree to be awarded?
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is able to consider accreditation of programmes of study for Chartered IT Professional (CITP), Chartered Engineer (CEng), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Incorporated Engineer (IEng). Any programme which is put forward for accreditation must meet the relevant programme criteria as well as being developed and delivered in an environment which also meets the criteria outlined in Section 2 of the Guidelines on Course Accreditation. In addition, not more than one third of the material in an accredited undergraduate programme may normally* sit outside of the QAA Computing Benchmark as summarised in table 1.5 of the Guidelines (*see BCS Guidelines for further information).

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Who do I speak to if I have any questions on Higher Education Accreditation?
Please contact BCS Education Team who can assist: Tel: +44 (0) 1793 417577 - Email: educ@hq.bcs.org.uk

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What are LSEPIs and how are they relevant?
LSEPIs stands for Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional Issues. At Master’s level, there is a further consideration of cultural issues which are included in the definition of ‘social issues’ at undergraduate level. The teaching and assessment of these issues should include the function of professional bodies including the use of standards and attention to the range of issues incorporated in the BCS Code of Conduct and Code of Good Practice which is available from BCS.

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What is further learning and why is it relevant?
If you have studied a programme that is accredited as partially meeting the academic requirements for a particular level of registration, then further learning is required to demonstrate your learning and understanding to a specified higher level. You may achieve this by way of a further formal qualification, sometimes referred to as a top-up qualification, or by a range of other means such as private study, workplace projects or attending courses related to work. However, whatever means is chosen, it must be subject to rigorous and valid independent assessment.

Where a specialist masters’ programme has BCS accreditation: for CITP accreditation this is referred to as ‘CITP Further Learning’ and for CEng/CSci accreditation it is referred to as ‘CEng/CSci (partial fulfilment). 

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Programme specific

Why is my programme not accredited?
There are five possible reasons for this:

  1. BCS has not received an application from the University for accreditation.
  2. BCS has received an application but the final decision is pending.
  3. The award is not appropriate for accreditation (e.g. it is not at academic level HND or higher).
  4. The award has not met the requirements for accreditation: The reasons will be identified and the Institution is invited to submit an application again at a future date.
  5. There may be specific conditions for particular courses.

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Why is my course only partially accredited?
The course meets some but not all of the educational requirements for registration with BCS for CITP, the Engineering Council as a Chartered or Incorporated Engineer or with the Science Council as a Chartered Scientist.

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My course/programme isn’t listed on the Course Search facility, why?
The final decision may be pending, please contact the Education Team - educ@hq.bcs.org.uk  for confirmation.

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How can I individually apply for IEng, CEng or CSci registration?
BCS can process applications from graduates with non-accredited academic qualifications who wish to gain Chartered or Incorporated Engineer and/or Chartered Scientist status via the Individual Case Procedure. This path enables applicants who have studied courses that have not been accredited but meet the academic requirement to have their qualifications reviewed by BCS.

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What are Euro-Inf Quality Labels?
BCS is approved by the European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education (EQANIE) to award the Euro-Inf Quality Labels to both First Cycle (Bachelors) and Second Cycle (Masters) degrees. The aims of the Quality Labels are to benchmark informatics programmes across international territories, to aid the mutual recognition of achievements and enhance the quality of informatics degrees. Institutions awarding degrees accredited by BCS as meeting in part or in full the academic requirements for CITP registration can now opt to add either Euro-Inf Bachelor or Euro-Inf Master Quality Labels to their programmes. Institutions may apply for the Quality Labels for some or all of their eligible degree programmes and the Quality Labels can be issued to any eligible informatics degree programme accredited by BCS since October 2008.

For further information on the criteria and fees for Euro-Inf Quality Labels, please follow the link: Euro-Inf Quality Labels

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What are EUR-ACE Quality Labels?
The Engineering Council is approved by the European Network for the Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE) to award the EUR-ACE® label to degrees that have been assessed as meeting in part or in full the academic requirements for CEng registration. As BCS is a Nominated Body of the Engineering Council licensed to accredit courses for CEng, any award accredited for CEng by BCS since 2006 may be eligible to be issued with the label.

For further information on the criteria and fees for EUR-ACE® labels is available from the Engineering Council, please follow the link: EUR-ACE® labels

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Visit

My HEI has two Departments with accredited degrees, will we be charged twice?
This depends on the structure and the locations of the Departments. Please contact the Education Team educ@hq.bcs.org.uk to discuss this in more detail.

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I am interested in getting the programmes at my institution accredited by more than one Professional Institution - what are my options for arranging the visit(s)?
Some programmes may be appropriate for accreditation by both BCS and another professional engineering institution or group of institutions (e.g. the IET or through the Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB)). For BCS/IET joint visits, these can be arranged with the lead being taken by one of the professional institutions selected by the Department(s) being visited. BCS will write to HEIs due a visit well in advance (usually in January of the calendar year before the visit is due) at which time Departments are asked if a joint visit is required.

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Can our institution put forward new programme(s) that will not have an intake of students until after the visit has taken place?
BCS normally only undertakes one accreditation visit to an institution during a five-year period and therefore it is important to ensure that every relevant course is put forward at the time of a visit including those offered elsewhere in the institution. BCS is unable to consider new titles for accreditation between visits unless either the new title is a re-naming of an existing accredited programme for which the content is unchanged or the introduction of a new pathway.

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How many members of the visiting panel should I expect on a visit?
The number of Panel members will be determined by the number of programmes that your institution puts forward for accreditation. A typical Panel will consist of between three and five members, plus a member of the BCS Education team to act as secretariat support. Two members of the Panel will be drawn from the Academic Accreditation Committee (AAC) one of whom will Chair the visiting Panel, and one member of each Panel will have experience of industry. All members will be Chartered IT Professionals.

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Post visit

How long after a visit will I find out the Panels decisions regarding accreditations?
Following the visit a draft report will be written summarising the Panel’s findings as a result of discussions during the visit. The draft report will contain the Panel’s recommendations and, following a factual check by the HEI will be considered by the BCS Academic Accreditation Committee (AAC) at its next meeting. The AAC make the final decision upon the outcomes and timings will depend on AAC meeting dates. When the decision on accreditation has been made (following any 90 day response if applicable) the final report will be sent to the Vice Chancellor or Principal of the HEI.

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What if following an accreditation visit, my department’s programmes are not awarded accreditation?
In carrying out the accreditation process, BCS looks at a range of issues which relate to the department in which the programmes are delivered as well as a range of programme-specific issues. In order for accreditation to be recommended, the visiting Panel must be satisfied that all of the criteria for accreditation are met. Occasionally, the design of a programme(s) is such that it does not meet all of the very specific criteria, however, your Department would normally be given an opportunity to re-apply for accreditation at a later date should changes be made to the programme in order to meet the criteria.

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What happens if I am unhappy with the report and outcome of the visit?
An HEI is entitled to lodge an appeal for the review of decisions contained in the final approved visit following an accreditation assessment. The Appeals procedure can be found in Appendix V of the Guidelines on Course Accreditation

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What should we do if an accredited course is changed/updated?
It is recognised that changes to programmes will be introduced between visits to an HEI. If major changes are made to programme learning outcomes, a number of different arrangements may be made and the advice of the Education Team should be sought. The Team can be contacted at educ@hq.bcs.org.uk or on 01793 417577.

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Educational affiliate

How much is the Educational Affiliate Fee & What is covered in that cost?
The annual fee for Educational Affiliate membership is £800 (for 2014-15), subject to change on 1 May each year. Use this link to access information regarding the Benefits of Accreditation

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How will the Educational Affiliate fee be applied and how often?
Each HEI Head of Department of Computing will be sent a renewal email on the anniversary of BCS receiving their first Edcuational Affiliate subscription.This renewal will be sent to the Head of Department approximately six weeks before the renewal is due. 

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I have a query regarding my Education Affiliate Fee, who should I contact?
Queries regarding Educational Affiliate membership fees can be dealt with by either BCS Customer Service, custsupport@hq.bcs.org.uk or the Education Team, educ@hq.bcs.org.uk

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How can I request an invoice for the Educational Affiliate Fee?
If after receiving the renewal document an invoice is required, please email the Education Team, educ@hq.bcs.org.uk providing both your membership number (which you will find on the renewal document) and a purchase order number if applicable.

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