Canadian Consulting Engineer

Engineers Canada upgrades tool to help regulators assess international institutions and degrees

The International Institutions and Degrees Database (IIDD) provides up-to-date information about engineering programs from over 140 countries around the world.

May 14, 2021  CCE

Engineers Canada has launched an upgraded tool to help engineering regulators assess the academic qualification of international engineering graduates.

The International Institutions and Degrees Database (IIDD) provides up-to-date information about engineering programs from over 140 countries around the world. It includes background about a country’s education system, the legitimacy of specific institutions and degrees, and whether a degree meets academic requirements for professional licensure in that country.

“With thousands of institutions offering engineering degrees worldwide, the IIDD provides a baseline of information for regulators by consolidating information from multiple publicly available data sources,” the Ottawa-based organization said in a news release. “The IIDD tells them about the degree, the institution it comes from, and how it is treated within the country. This helps a regulator to determine what next steps they need to take when assessing the candidate.”

The IIDD was originally launched in 2009, and has been upgraded in 2014 and 2021 – this latest overhaul is aimed to improve performance, reliability, and security. In addition to improving the underlying data structure, Engineers Canada said, there was a close focus on improving the user experience through a more intuitive interface, better user management tools for regulators, and flexible reporting functionality. It is also much more adaptable to future growth and enhancement.

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The IIDD has also been expanded to provide more information to regulators about institutions and degrees, including information about quality assurance systems and the link between education and the licensing/registration system in each country (where applicable).

The IIDD is one of many tools that regulators use in assessing academic qualifications of non-CEAB graduates. These include mutual recognition agreements and other international agreements, third-party assessments, interviews, experience reviews, and the use of technical examinations.

In 2019, just over one in four newly licensed engineers in Canada were internationally trained, Engineers Canada said, which amounts to nearly 2,500 individuals. “Taken together with those applicants still being processed, and those that were not accepted, assessing international engineering graduates is a resource-intensive process for regulators,” it said. “Tools such as the IIDD help regulators to ensure the licensure process is effective and efficient.”

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