The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) organized the In-Country Program on Accreditation and Certification at the National Institute for Technical Teachers' Training and Research (NITTTR) in Chennai, India. The collaborative program with NITTTR, conducted from October 26-30, 2015, gathered 41 academicians and TVET practitioners in India.

The program mainly aimed to support the Government of India in their initiatives to provide knowledge on quality assurance mechanism based on quality system's standard of TVET Institutions that promotes exchange and recognition of standards and criteria across Asia and the Pacific Region. Through the program, CPSC contributed to the raising of awareness and values necessary to put accreditation system for TVET excellence into practice. Since all emerging challenges to achieve excellence lie at the center of the TVET system, the program had been a platform for discussions on building TVET excellence though accreditation and certification system.

The program also intended to make the participants appreciate the need for and importance of accreditation and certification of TVET programs and institutions to respond to the national, regional, and global labor market through the understanding of concepts and components of accreditation. The program communicated the nature and significance of various criteria and parameters used for accreditation as a tool for improving the quality of TVET Institutions. It also raised participants' comprehension on the steps leading to processes of accreditation and its evaluation procedures for certification and identify issues and intervention areas in accreditation and certification of TVET program and institutions. Lastly, the participants prepared an action plan for accreditation of the institutions.

The program was coordinated by the CPSC Officer-in-Charge and Faculty Consultant, Prof. Dr. Govindarajan Kulanthaivel. Program preparations were supported by the local coordinator and the Director of NITTTR Chennai, Prof. S. Dhanapal. During the opening ceremonies, Dr. Kulanthaivel mentioned the relevance of institutional accreditation as a contributor of the national economic development of India, and urged the participants to participate actively for the sake of their institutions. In addition, Dr. Dhanapal expressed his gratitude for the program's success and the agencies behind the logistical and academic preparations particularly CPSC and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

The program also tapped local experts such as former Professor and Head of the Department of Policy Planning & Educational Research of NITTTR, Dr. D. Brahadeeswaran. During the opening ceremonies, he highlighted several initiatives being done in the region for a closer integration and cooperation among institutions with similar aspirations.

Another local expert tapped for the program was the Director of Engineering and Technology of SRM University, Dr. C. Muthamizhchelvan in which he discussed alternative approaches for TVET Quality and Excellence.

Complementing the program was the seminar on "Enhancing Quality of Technical Education Through Accreditation" held on October 29, 2015 and attended by 75 participants. Areas covered include the role of APACC in regional mobilization highlighting the experience of the Philippines and Malaysia, the experience of other institutions subscribing to alternative accreditation bodies and issues and intervention areas in accreditation and certification, focusing on India's experience. A case study of the Murugana Polytechnic College in Chennai, which was recently granted an accreditation, was also discussed. This is to spark the interest of the participants on the benefits of accreditation and encourage them to work towards obtaining this distinction for their institutions.

The program was largely successful and was well-received by the participants, as reflected in the acceptable appreciation ratings garnered by the program organizers. Towards the end, CPSC hopes that it contributed in India's drive for high-quality polytechnics and TVET institutions by inspiring them about the benefits of total quality management through accreditation and certification.