AED Accreditation is based on AED’s national technical standards reference titled “Standards for Construction Equipment Technology.” The Standards state the requirements in order to become AED Accredited.
AED Standards are very rigorous; schools typically cannot achieve them without industry support. AED’s template for accreditation is a “community-based, school-to-work” plan, where local dealers-colleges-industry stakeholders work together as a task force to meet mutual needs. Supporting a local technical college program involves time, resource, and financial commitments from the equipment industry. However, the result of having a new well-qualified pool of graduating entry-level technicians each year more than justifies those commitments.
The basic AED Accreditation process is explained here:
- 1. A local dealer-college-industry task force is recruited to work on AED Accreditation of the college diesel/equipment technology program.
- 2. Each participating dealer assigns a “champion” for the initiative, charged with the accountability of “making it happen.” If their participation is an afterthought i.e. “I’ll just work on it when I have time,” the project will never happen.
- 3. The task force does a “gap” analysis … identifies “where the program is” versus “where it needs to be” based on AED Technical Standards.
- 4. The task force agrees to move forward and address “the gap.”
- 5. The task force develops a plan to address the “gap” and be able to meet all AED Accreditation requirements. The plan identifies tasks, time and resources that industry and schools will need to complete/provide to achieve success and creates a critical path time-frame for completion.
- 6. The plan is executed to completion; that is, where the task force feels all AED requirements are met.
- 7. The accreditation application is submitted to AED and the assigned Evaluation Team Leaders (ETLs). Clarifications needed by the ETLs are provided. If remaining issues are identified, they are addressed.
- 8. When the ETLs feel the school is ready, this is followed by an onsite program evaluation by the ETLs. Accreditation is granted if requirements are met.