Learn more about the College Accreditation Process

Accreditation Process

AED Foundation Accreditation is based on The AED Foundation’s national technical standards reference titled “Standards for Construction Equipment Technology.” The Standards state the requirements in order to become AED Foundation Accredited.

AED Foundation Standards are very rigorous; schools typically cannot achieve them without industry support. The AED Foundation’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 Foundation Accreditation process is explained here:

  1. A local dealer-college-industry task force is recruited to work on AED Foundation 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 Foundation 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 Foundation 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 Foundation requirements are met.
  7. The accreditation application is submitted to The AED Foundation 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.
    Click below to download AED Accreditation application documents:
  • Download The AED Foundation Accreditation Summary here.
  • Download The AED Foundation Accreditation Application, including information, process and instructions here.
  • Download The AED Foundation Accreditation Application – Excel Spreadsheet here.


Accreditation Standards

AED’s national technical standards are provided in a publication titled “Standards for Construction Equipment Technology.” Now in their eighth revision, the Standards were first published in 1997. Every three years, the publication is updated based on industry-expressed needs via industry task forces with technical expert representation from equipment dealers, manufacturers and AED Accredited college programs. They provide a technical description of what students should know when they graduate from such college programs, as well as what subjects and content that needs to be taught.

Over the years, well over a hundred equipment industry technical professionals have been involved in the Standards initiative. We at AED are proud to say that the Standards are truly “of the industry; for the industry.”


Download Standards for Construction Equipment Technology


AED Foundation Canada College Affiliate Program

The AED Foundation recognizes the importance of building relationships and bridges among college diesel-equipment technology programs in the U.S. and Canada. Toward that end, the Foundation has launched the The AED Foundation Canada College Affiliate initiative. This initiative, combined with The AED Foundation’s Accreditation program, creates an AED Foundation “umbrella group” of North American diesel-equipment technology college programs. The value proposition to schools includes networking opportunities, sharing of best practices, student scholarships and more. This also positions AED and The AED Foundation to better leverage its resources, speak more forcefully to Career and Technical Education challenges that exist in North America, and facilitate positive change

Heavy equipment technology programs at Canadian colleges are eligible to become an AED Foundation Canada College Affiliates. Contact The AED Foundation for more information.


Download Listing of Accredited School Programs