Continuing the accreditation of Malaysian polytechnics, the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) conducted a 3-day on-site visit to Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah (PSAS) located in Behrang Stesen, Perak, Malaysia from March 17 – 19, 2015. The team leader and CPSC Faculty Consultant from Pakistan Dr. Hazrat Hussain and team member, Dr. Theresita Atienza, Dean of the College of Science, Polytechnic University of the Philippines served as accreditors for the mentioned activity. Ms. Adrienne Abril, APACC Officer and CPSC Executive Secretary as Documentation Officer and Mr. Harmen Muda, Lecturer of Politeknik Mukah, Malaysia as Translator were also present as part of the APACC team.
(From L-R) APACC Accreditors Dr. Theresita Atienza and Dr. Hazrat Hussain, APACC President and CPSC Director General Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, and PSAS Director Lt. Kol. Bersekutu (PA) Abdul Karim bin Jaafar during the Opening Ceremony
PSAS' vision is to become the premier semi-professional educational and training institution in Malaysia. It is presently headed by the Director Lt. Kol. Bersekutu (PA) Abdul Karim bin Jaafar. PSAS, formerly known as Politeknik Tanjung Malim, is built in a 100 acres area and composed of 331 faculty members and 99 support staff.

The polytechnic is the 15th set-up by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia and can accommodate up to 3,600 students at a time. It has acquired Tier 6, the highest tier of the Polytechnic Rate System (Polyrate) in 2013.

Some of the programs offered by PSAS are the following: Diploma in Civil Engineering, Building Services, Quantity Surveying, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Marketing, Retail Management, Business Studies, Advance Diploma in Automotive Engineering Design & Manufacturing, and Bachelor of Manufacturing Engineering Technology (Automotive Design) with Honours. Its excellence in the field of automotive has been recognized by the management of the Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE), Ministry of Education, Malaysia and is being developed as MKHTC-Malaysia-Korea High Technology Centre in Automotive Technology and Manufacturing.

Discussion area of the library where students could meet in a relaxed mode
Mechatronics Lab
The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) Director General and APACC President, Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub graced the opening program as Chief Guest. In his speech, Dr. Naim stressed the importance of regional accreditation to ensure quality of graduates in educational institutions for higher employer confidence. In the same event, the Director of PSAS provided a comprehensive overview of the polytechnic, including the history, organization, vision & mission, and achievements to support the polytechnic's compliance to APACC criteria.

Atty. Teodoro Pascua, Chairman of the CPSC Governing Board and Deputy Director General of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Philippines and Mr. Alexander Mercado, Executive Director of the Technical Vocational Schools and Association of the Philippines, Inc. (TEVSAPHIL) were invited by APACC on the 2nd day to allow them to witness first-hand the status of Malaysian polytechnics for benchmarking purposes and the on-site visit processes and procedures.

Inside the Automotive Workshop with Mr. Alexander Mercado (3rd from left) and Atty. Teodoro Pascua
 (3rd from the right)
Dr. Hazrat Hussain testing the race car created by PSAS which helped the polytechnic bag the 3rd place of the  UniMAP-MODENAS Racing Challenge 2014

The 3-day activity focused on the validation of self-study scores submitted by the institution through facilities inspection and gathering of documentary evidences. The APACC team through the guidance of PSAS faculty members and staff toured around the library, Centre of Retail Excellence (CORE), multi-purpose hall where students' innovations were showcased, workshops, and student support services. Upon arrival, the APACC team witnessed the students' entrepreneurship carnival.

Students selling products
APACC President and Accreditors during tour of entrepreneurship carnival
PSAS was evaluated based on the seven (7) APACC criteria namely (1) Governance and Management, (2) Teaching and Learning, (3) Faculty and Staff, (4) Research and Development, (5) Extension, Consultancy, and Linkages, (6) Resources, and (7) Support to Students.

A summary of qualitative aspects per criterion through commendations, affirmations, and recommendations capped the visit, presented by the accreditors. Final results of the accreditation status will be declared by APACC in due time, upon review and approval of the APACC Board.