February 2010

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Engineers form accreditation council

Several years ago there was a move by the Caribbean engineering fraternity to establish an engineering accreditation agency. A lot of groundwork was done through a project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and executed by the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) and the Professional Engineers Registration Board (PERB), in which the Council of Caribbean Engineering Organizations (CCEO) was involved in the context of regionalizing the accreditation issue.

Finally, at a meeting in Puerto Rico on November 26, 2009, the Caribbean Accreditation Council for Engineering and Technology (CACET) was officially established.

CACET’s main function is to accredit English-language baccalaureate and master-level academic programmes in engineering and engineering technology offered by institutions in the Caribbean. The meeting in Puerto Rico approved CACET’s Charter and Operations Manual and its Accreditation Manual. Thirty prospective programme evaluators and team chairs also participated in a training workshop facilitated by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) volunteers Moshe Kam and Pramod Abichandani. CACET has been established with financial and technical support from the IEEE Educational Activities Board and it is envisaged that fees from accreditation activities will largely cover its operational costs.

The establishment of CACET is a significant development in the field of engineering in this region and it augers well for the future of specialised accreditation in the Caribbean. CACET will collaborate with existing national and regional accrediting bodies within CARICOM to ensure that there is harmonisation and sharing of information and resources to the benefit of the community. CACET will develop a portfolio of accreditation activities so that within five years, it can become a member of the Washington Accord. This would ensure that all programmes accredited by CACET would have mutual recognition by Washington Accord member countries.

The CACET declaration must now be formally adopted/ratified by CARICOM and the funding mechanism for its operation be agreed to. In the interim, CACET will be located in the offices of the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago (APETT).

Officers elected to the Board of Directors

  • Professor Chandrabhan Sharman - President (Deputy Dean-Undergraduate Studies, Faculty of Engineering, UWI, St Augustine)
  • Professor Gossett Oliver - President-Elect (Vice President, Research, Graduate Studies and Entrepreneurship, University of Technology, Jamaica)
  • Dr Ruby S. Alleyne - Vice-President, Accreditation Activities (Vice-President, Quality Assurance & Institutional Advancement, The University of Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Janet Peters - Treasurer (General Manager, Public Services Credit Union, Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Hannah Wei-Muddeen - Secretary (President, Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Other members of the Board are:
    Tony Gibbs (Barbados); Trevor Browne (Barbados); Maxwell Jackson (Guyana); Melvyn Sankies (Guyana); and Joseph Aryee (Jamaica), Valda Alleyne, President of CANQATE and Moshe Kam of the Educational Activities Board of IEEE.
  • Justice Anthony Lucky, retired Justice of Appeal and Judge of the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea was appointed Ombudsman for the Council.