An increasingly important role of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) is the accreditation of undergraduate chemistry degree programs. National accreditation is awarded by the CSC only to those programs that meet the rigorous high standards of education and laboratory practices expected of a chemist. CSC accreditation guarantees that graduating students possess balanced and broad skill sets in both core chemical concepts and practical laboratory skills that are necessary to thrive professionally and safely in today’s workforce.
Program accreditation involves a thoroughly structured peer review evaluation. The evaluation process applies only to the individual degree program. Accreditation committee members have a vast and intimate knowledge of both national and international chemistry programs, allowing them to provide not only critical assessment and evaluation of an institute’s current programs but feedback to aid each department in enhancing and improving their programs. The accreditation process demands high standards of chemistry knowledge and skill but is flexible, allowing for creative degree programs following interdisciplinary trends in the chemistry community. Currently the CSC accredits about 140 programs at more than 40 universities across Canada and an additional 12 programs in six other countries. Upon graduation, students enrolled at CSC-accredited universities receive a certificate stating that they completed a nationally accredited chemistry program. This gives them a competitive edge, easing the mobility of students to proceed towards advanced degrees due to the comparability of the programs at the different universities. It also provides employers with a guaranteed level of competence of potential employees. CSC accreditation continues to promote and ensure that graduates of quality chemistry-based programs enter the profession and address the chemical challenges of our society.