The Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) Accreditation Team were given a glimpse of the Malaysian polytechnic education system on their visit to the Department of Polytechnic Education (or the Jabatan Pengajian Politeknik, JPP) Headquarters in Putrajaya, Malaysia on March 16, 2015. The main objective of the briefing is to familiarize the APACC team with the polytechnic system before embarking into institutional reviews of four polytechnics as part of the second phase of on-site visits in Malaysia.

Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs, APACC Team Member, signs the DPE  guestbook while Dr. Naim, CPSC Director General 
and APACC President and Dr. Romulita Alto, APACC Team Leader, observe
The APACC delegation consisted of two groups. The first group included the team of Dr. Romulita Alto, APACC Team Leader and Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs, APACC Team Member who were assigned to visit the Politeknik Sultan Ahmad Shah (POLISAS) in Kuantan and Politeknik Kota Bharu (PKB) in Kota Bharu (PKB) on March 17-19 and March 30-April 1, respectively. The second group included the team of Dr. Hazrat Hussain, CPSC Faculty Consultant and APACC Team Leader and Dr. Theresita Atienza, APACC Team Member who were assigned to visit Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah (PSAS) in Behrang Stesen and Politeknik Seberang Perai (PSP) in Penang on March 17-19 and March 23-25, respectively.

Ms. Adrienne Abril, Mr. Rae Emmanuel Echaveria, Ms. Nabil bt. Yaacob and Mr. Harmen Muda, APACC staff members from CPSC, also accompanied and assisted the APACC team members as part of the secretariat. Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, CPSC Director General and APACC President, was also present to oversee the activities.

The delegation was welcomed by the Director General of DPE, Datuk Mohlis bin Jaafar and the Deputy Director General of Operations, En. Shabuddin bin Man. During the orientation proper, four presentations were discussed and presented by DPE officials. The first presentation by Datuk Mohlis, focused on providing a general information of the polytechnic system and the efforts to fulfill its vision to be "Malaysia's main provider of innovative human capital through transformational education and training for the global workforce by 2015." It aims to fulfill this vision by breaking boundaries for the creation of transformative and creative learning environment for an innovation-led economy.

Datuk Mohlis bin Jaafar, Director General of DPE, presiding over the orientation program
From a single school in 1969, the polytechnic system in the country has expanded to 33 institutes in which 3 are premiere polytechnics, 25 are conventional polytechnics and 5 are METrO polytechnics. Overall, the system currently admits 92,161 students and has produced a total of 442,753 graduates throughout its history. The aims of the polytechnic education system is consistent with the fulfillment of the national aspiration to transform Malaysia into a high income economy with skilled workforce by increasing TVET enrollment and raising TVET quality.

Each of the Deputy Directors briefed the APACC accreditation team on the different aspects of polytechnic education in the country from curriculum development, student admission, industrial liaison, policies, research and development and polytechnic development. 

An actual review of the documents and evidences commenced after the lunch break in which the APACC accreditors and the DPE representatives and staff validated, reviewed, discussed and checked the additional documents pertaining to the policies and evidences formulated by the department. The exercise was also an opportunity for the APACC accreditors to be oriented with the actual practices and guidelines followed by DPE in its operations and liaison with the different polytechnic institutes in the country. The respective teams embarked on their assignments after an informative day in Putrajaya shortly after the orientation.

The staff of DPE (left) and the APACC Accreditors (right) during the review of documents and evidences