Accreditation, like anything, can be good and bad. I do teach in a program that is accredited by two external bodies. We hold both a Transport Canada accreditation to be an approved training program for Aircraft Maintenance Engineers as well as accreditation from the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace (CCAA). In order to maintain accreditation we must adhere to the strict standards that are laid out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Our curriculum has to follow what they have determined must be taught and we have to show traceability and validity of our evaluation of student learning. The good part about this is we have a definite framework that we need to work inside. We have rules and regulations to follow so there is a great deal of consistency in our programs. The bad part about it is we have a framework that we must work inside. This can limit our ability to change things up, teach the latest and greatest or implement non traditional methods of evaluation of learning. There is a very comprehensive set of requirements that we must meet and maintain over and above just our curriculum and evaluation process.
This whole chapter in the regulations is dedicated to licensing of aircraft maintenance engineers and training organizations. We have to ensure stringent conformance to all of the regulations and standards. We have to have a manual laying out all of the policies and procedures we are going to follow in order to maintain that conformance and we need to have a quality assurance system to ensure that every thing is working exactly as it is supposed to. This is all in addition to all the policies and procedures and any quality assurance programs our institution has in place. If we do not maintain conformance we can have our certification pulled when we are audited by Transport Canada. This is a very serious issue for us, once you lose certification it is incredibly hard to have it reinstated. Essentially the loss of accreditation could possibly mean the loss of our programs. Without being accredited there is no incentive for students to come to our school. Safety is the prime concern for our standards being so strict. Once a student graduates from our program and meets all the necessary requirements they are credited time spent towards getting their maintenance engineers license. Meaning they will be licensed faster and able to independently maintain aircraft sooner. The requirements for graduation with accreditation are students must maintain a 70% in every course and 95% attendance for the two years they are here. Aviation can be a dangerous business and all of the rules are in place for the safety of the public. Due to the fact we are training the next generation of individuals that will be fixing the aircraft you want to take to go on vacation, we need to maintain strict rules as well.