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Topic Title: How valid is CEng without a degree?
Topic Summary: (from "MPhil instead of MSc..." thread)
Created On: 03 August 2011 09:58 AM
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 03 August 2011 09:58 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: westonpa

Originally posted by: AndyTaylor

westonpa,

I can only speak from personal experience, and my view of the company / IET process.


Of course and I respect your opinion is honestly given. However you have not applied for CEng both with and without a degree and so by your own personal experience you cannot actually know which is easier or harder.

For sure it could be possible to fake the years of experience needed to satisfy the assessment of competencies, and maybe it could be possible to bluff your way through the hour long interview. In my case I would have also needed to con my company assessors, and since I've worked here for 15 years and they know me that might be a tad difficult.


I have no personal issue with your particular case, just the systems which the IET apply....they are not to the standards which are required to achieve national qualifications. That we say something is true does not make it true. The systems the IET use to grant CEng are less rigorous and more open to abuse than those required to obtain NVQ 3 and that is a relatively low level qualification....and there has to be something wrong with that. If the IET use a degree as part of the competency requirement they can be sure of its standard and how it was obtained whereas if the use OND and work based experience then they MUST ensure that experience is checked and validated to the SAME or higher standards than that required to acheive a degree. If this is the case then simply prove it. To obtain a degree requires umpteen exams and tests etc., over a 3 year period and in whch time each stage is checked and validated to a nationally agreed standard....overseen by the government. Which parts of the 'IET' checks/validation are equal to that?

With regards to bluffing, there are countless examples of this. What if for example an engineer was working for Enron? Would that company assessment now be valid? What if they were working for 'News of the World', would that company assessment now be valid? The point is that if any of those engineers gained their degree at a UK university their degree would still be at the same standard regardless of the company they worked for because the awarding body is independant and regulated by the government.

I have an HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and also 25 years experience. Without going into too much personal detail I have played significant roles in;

Nuclear reprocessing,

Nuclear power,

Nuclear safety,

Towed array sonar,

Submarine weapons systems,

Naval Electronic Warfare,

Naval tactical data links,

Aircraft tactical data links.

And in all those areas I was able to build up the necessary experience to satisfy the CEng competency requirements. I'm a principal systems engineer within the company, and considered an expert in some areas.

So, I should not be entitled to CEng?


And what about the person who has done all that and has a degree as well, should they get CEng++?

I salute your fine work and your personal achievement because if you are happy with it then that is what should matter to you. I see no evidence that the systems used to award CEng to those without a degree are in anyway comparable to those required to achieve any national qualification. But this is not to disrespect your personal competency as an engineer.

Regards.


Originally posted by: AndyTaylor

Westonpa, I don't want to quote everything you said, but I can understand your arguments about verification.

You asked about someone with identical experience to me, but also with a degree, I would say that such a person would have simply achieved CEng much earlier than me. I would also say that my route to CEng was less certain than someone with a degree, I had fewer options for my initial job than someone with a degree would have had. Career progression for someone without a degree will often be slower; there is for example no 'fast track' route for people without a degree in my company. Those are the reasons why I suggest that obtaining CEng (honestly) without a degree is going to be harder than with a degree.

I can understand why you are questioning the verification method for CEng, and weak verification may throw the title into question, but that does not necessarily mean that people without the formal qualifications should be excluded from obtaining the title, the method of proof / verification should perhaps be different. As I understand it, and as I was told by the assessors at my interview, my assessment was a little more rigorous than it would have been if I had the necessary formal qualifications, so that difference should in theory be built into the process.

Prior to recent changes, the option open to me was the 'mature candidate' route, perhaps a return to something along those lines would help?


Since this is an important discussion it seemed worth starting a new thread.

Personally I believe it would be a considerable loss to the industry (and a devaluing of CEng) if only graduates were eligible. The vast majority of engineers at CEng level will have degrees, but one of the forces which keeps creative engineering alive is the fact that there are other routes into the profession, and hence other influences. Yes there needs to be a rigorous process, but a review of these forums over the last few years shows that getting CEng without the "obvious" qualifications cannot be that easy.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 03 August 2011 03:11 PM
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AndyTaylor

Posts: 164
Joined: 24 November 2002

A degree alone does not provide an automatic CEng, there is still a need to demonstrate the competencies required of a CEng. The degree is easily verified; the competencies and experience are not so easily verified. It seems to me that there has been a shift in emphasis by the IET to recognise competencies gained through experience more now than in the past. So as I posted in the other thread, I believe the issue is not so much with the qualification requirement, but the verification of competencies, which applies with or without a degree.

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 03 August 2011 07:46 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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Originally posted by: amillar
Personally I believe it would be a considerable loss to the industry (and a devaluing of CEng) if only graduates were eligible.

No not really because the same engineers would still be doing a fine job as they were and it is not like the CEng status suddenly turns them into an engineer. It's the person who does the work and not the status and so no CEng does not equal no person or less work.

However I accept that someone can be competent without a degree.

Yes there needs to be a rigorous process, but a review of these forums over the last few years shows that getting CEng without the "obvious" qualifications cannot be that easy.

Those who found it easy are less likely to come here and say it for fear of being seen to 'boast' or be 'big headed' and so it is always more likely we will read comments from those who found it to be difficult. So in essence a review of these forums does not say that much about the standard of assessment. Would we expect for example the person who 'exaggerated' their evidence to come here and say it?

I simply want to know which systems check and validate that work based evidence, offered as meeting the requirements for which a degree would be acceptable, and how are they comparable to the same systems which are used to check and validate the obtaining of an accredited IET engineering degree.

Regards.
 03 August 2011 07:47 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: AndyTaylor

A degree alone does not provide an automatic CEng, there is still a need to demonstrate the competencies required of a CEng. The degree is easily verified; the competencies and experience are not so easily verified. It seems to me that there has been a shift in emphasis by the IET to recognise competencies gained through experience more now than in the past. So as I posted in the other thread, I believe the issue is not so much with the qualification requirement, but the verification of competencies, which applies with or without a degree.

Agreed Andy and well explained.

Regards.
 04 August 2011 09:50 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: westonpa
Originally posted by: amillar
Personally I believe it would be a considerable loss to the industry (and a devaluing of CEng) if only graduates were eligible.

No not really because the same engineers would still be doing a fine job as they were and it is not like the CEng status suddenly turns them into an engineer. It's the person who does the work and not the status and so no CEng does not equal no person or less work.

However I accept that someone can be competent without a degree.

In which case surely there should be a system for recognising that?

Yes there needs to be a rigorous process, but a review of these forums over the last few years shows that getting CEng without the "obvious" qualifications cannot be that easy.

Those who found it easy are less likely to come here and say it for fear of being seen to 'boast' or be 'big headed' and so it is always more likely we will read comments from those who found it to be difficult. So in essence a review of these forums does not say that much about the standard of assessment. Would we expect for example the person who 'exaggerated' their evidence to come here and say it?

Fair point. I suppose my point really is that I would like to see some evidence that the IET is failing in its assessment process of non-graduate applicants before I could support the case for change or - especially - abolition.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 04 August 2011 12:14 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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Originally posted by: amillar
In which case surely there should be a system for recognising that?

There is, it's called years of doing a good job and receiving good terms and conditions and the customers appreciation and/or continued use of the results from that work. If we want to recognise a body of work which is not otherwise recognised then give an honoury award, as do universities, and then it will be seen for what it is.

A professional status which is used to say 'I am at this higher level with regards to engineering' has to be assessed at a uniform standard....but it is not. Those who use a degree to meet part of the competency are subject to a system of assessment, for that part of the competency requirement, which is to a higher, and better regulated, standard than those who use work based experienece for that part. My challenge is that the IET does not check the 'work based evidence' to a comparable standard which is applied by universities to checking and validating degree obtained competency.

If they do then show how they do it and we can make our own minds up. I have no issue with the status but my challenge is 'prove that those with the status are at that level. For me someone with an OND need considerable checks on their work based experience which is used instead of a degree to meet that part of the competency requirement.

I suppose my point really is that I would like to see some evidence that the IET is failing in its assessment process of non-graduate applicants before I could support the case for change or - especially - abolition.

Sorry but an 'engineer' does not wait for an accident or equipment to fail or a system to fail before they take action but rather they evaluate how robust the systems are and if they are not up to it they improve them...pro active. No one is suggesting an 'abolition' but rather let's take a look at how the work based evidence is assessed and decide in a open forum if that 'system' is good enough for the standard.....if yes then great and if not then let's improve it.

Sorry but I do not think that a 'technical report' with some employer endorsements and an 'hour' interview is up to the required standard and/or is not robust/foolproof enough. Of course this can be hard to accept by those who put the system in place because it is a 'crticial analysis' of their work. Look what happened to the likes of Enron, overseen by relevant authorities/agencies, the world's financial systems, overseen by governments and News of the World who's 'criminal' activities were known about and seem to have involved the 'Police'. It is not good enough to just say 'well we do it this way and think it is good enough'.....prove it.

Regards.

Edited: 04 August 2011 at 12:43 PM by westonpa
 04 August 2011 07:21 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
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The questions raised in this debate are fair and a reflection of those within institution committees which are governed ultimately by Engineering Council. Other agencies regulate quality in the universities of the UK, each of which is an independent body. Government has influence over, but not day-to-day control in both cases.

The IET has a key linking role to ensuring that professional standards are upheld in a way that values both the "industry" and "academic" perspective. UK-SPEC and its supporting regulations help to provide this balance in our assessment practice by describing competence (i.e. proven practice) requirements underpinned by knowledge. Holders of accredited qualifications are given a significant advantage when being assessed for professional registration. In the case of some professional institutions their specialist coverage or limited assessment capability may make rigid reliance on certain qualifications essential to quality assurance.

At the heart of assessment involving complex judgments with various sources of information is "peer review" i.e. using a group of experts with a rigorously designed and well operated system. In academic accreditation this involves experts externally reviewing and critically evaluating the work of another institution.

The IET has worked over the last few years to provide a process which allows currently competent people to achieve professional registration, without being excluded by what they did or didn't do, often years before. Progress so far has led in my humble opinion to a fairer, better balanced and more inclusive process, but not one of lower standard.

There are a range of sociological and economic arguments about making a profession exclusive by limiting access. However excluding proven excellent engineers and engineering leaders from professional registration doesn't maintain or improve standards, it makes the standards look irrelevant or out of touch with reality.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 04 August 2011 07:45 PM
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DavidParr

Posts: 242
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Originally posted by: mbirdi

Why don't you ask your chaps in the rail industry who do world class engineering to apply for CEng? If they can't get it by now when a businessman (with MBA) and an OND (in whatever subject) can, then you know something must be wrong with the system.


Providing they are working at the right level and have a professional attitude, I have no doubt at all they could achieve CEng. If there is anyone reading this who would like to look into it further, send me a PM - I'm happy to help!

Originally posted by: mbirdi
The other thing is that given someone with an OND (or perhaps nothing at all) can work their way to CEngs status without formal higher education, what becomes the point of Chartered Engineer status?


There are alternative routes to chartership and all require professionalism and a high level of competence. Achieving CEng recognises this status and capability.


Originally posted by: mbirdi
Does the CEng represent someone in authority, without whom subordinates cannot make decisions? or just a wise old man (at 25 you say? ) whom others can chose to consult or ignore?

Someone in authority with the capability to delegate this authority to his subordinates with wisdom and responsibility. Wisdom takes time - 25 sounds young to me!


Originally posted by: mbirdi
Then of course there is the question of University education. What is the purpose of an engineering degree if someone can acquire all the necessary academic knowledge from working in industry?


More choice and diversity. A richer engineering environment. Also, I imagine that, all other things being equal, you will probably be older before being awarded CEng if you don't have the exemplifying qualification.

Originally posted by: mbirdi
Why chose to accredit engineering degree courses (or control them as I would put it) when it serves no added purpose to gaining knowledge by experience in industry?
See above.


Originally posted by: mbirdi
There are many question that need answering. Unfortunately the IET prefer silence as substitute for an answer. Perhaps there lies the answer to the future of CEng.


The IET are not required to respond to you (or me!). The system is not perfect, but it is delivering well and, of course, subject to continuous improvement.

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 05 August 2011 07:34 AM
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DavidParr

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Thanks mbirdi

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 05 August 2011 01:37 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: mbirdi

David,

However, if you were to tell me that the person in question is, by way of natural talent, a world class engineer or someone who manages major engineering projects and works under enormous pressures, such that ordinary engineers would collapse under the weight. Then I would accept this person to be worthy of international recognition. No problem.


Sorry but the 'word' of other 'engineers' just does not cut it and is in no way a credible system. The 'system' of assessing work based evidence is weak and full of gaps and can be open to abuse. This type of system has led to the collapse of companies like Enron where in essence reports were accepted as 'honest' after a short chat with those who presented them. If someone is applying for CEng then the methods of assessment for work based experience must be as thorough as those used to assess a degree....if the status is to retain credibility. We only have to note that the IET or other CEng are not able to show how the work based evidence assessment is comparable to that required to obtain an accredited MEng degree. They cannot do it because it is not done but rather some system has been strung together and everyone stands round congratulating themselves on how well they did because they would rather do this than admit they have lost the plot.

If we take Andy,well I have to say he sounds like a very competent person and a good all round type of engineer so no disrespect on that point. However a person who does national high level qualifications is tested to 'prove' they have that knowledge and skill and can apply it and in a variety of ways and at different stages. Nowadays as we also know certain modules or qualifications have a shelf life if they are to be used as entry to another quaification.....why is this we ask? Well it is because the education authority know that things change. So how exactly do we know that a person actually did the work they claimed to do 10 years ago and that it was at the level they stated? For a degree we know they were tested at that level and at that time even 20 years later and we can rely on that if it was from a proper university. Does anyone from the IET even visit the person in their workplace several times to see them in action and to verify they can do what they say they can currently do?

You get a degree by doing it and if you do not want to do it then you do not get it.....it has nothing to do with 'deserving recognition'. I conclude that the lesser the qualifications a person has then the more rigorous the assessment and checks need to be and yet there is no evidence to suggest that if a person has an OND as opposed to a BSc or HND that their assessment is somewhat more rigorous to make up from the difference in formal education.

If the non qualification route assessment has the same standards of verification and checks in it then prove it I say. Someone once said if it 'comes to a choice of admitting we are wrong or looking for evidence to prove we are correct then most people start looking for the evidence'.

Regards.
 06 August 2011 01:53 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: mbirdi

I agree with what you have said, but having taken a day or two to think things over, I've come to the conclusion that what the IET have done is probably right.

This institution is no longer the IEE. If it were then our OND colleague would be admitted to Associate IEE or at best, Companion IEE. But we've changed to being the IET. The rules (or Bylaws) have also changed in ways that allow other type of professionals into the IET.


A degree is only part of 'competency' as is any other qualifcation and/or training. There are many millions of engineers who are competent and the award of a status does not make them more or less competent and/or change their position as an 'engineer'.

To recognise that there are different ways to demonstrate competency is 'right' and to assess those other ways is 'right' and to give a status to those who meet the requirements is 'right'. However if those systems are not robust and thorough and to the same high standards as those who achieve the highest level of qualifications then that is 'wrong'....full stop. We are saying that a CEng is at the highest level and is in essence 'professional' and is in essence equivalent to someone with higher level qualifications and relevant experience and thus that assessment must be as good. If we go to the doctor for open heart surgery that doctor is required to have a degree and experience. If we are represented by a lawyer that lawyer has to have a degree. These are top professions in our country and those are the requirements....full stop. They are not watered down and/or assessed in some lesser way which is less robust.

If the IET have systems which check and validate work based experience to the same stadard as those which check and validate someone has a degree, and that have the same safeguards built in, then it is 'right' that the relevant person is awarded CEng. I have worked also in industry for many years and in highly technical and professional positions and held leading positions in multi million pound engineering projects. I also have most of the qualifications mentioned in these forums.....umpteen C&G's, OND's HNC's HND's, degrees and so on. Thus I know very well the systems in industry and the systems in education and I know very well what is learned and where and to what level things are tested to. I also know that when getting a degree a person has to produce the work and this is checked and verified but in a major project the person is part of a team and that it's easy to think you are at some level whereas actually it is the 'team' which is at that level. We often see in industry how some people take credit for other people's work and thus they think they did it. Exams for a degree are not done as a team but rather they are done as an individual.....whilst I accept the assignments can of course be done as a team.

Every respect to Sir Dyson because he is a world class businessman and very successful at what he does but so what that he is a fellow of any academy. The royal family have knighthoods and general, admiral, colonel positions galore and yet apart from Prince Andrew most of them have little or no 'competency' for these. However as a Royal Family they are of course competent. They guy who lead the Northern Rock bank to disaster has a Knighthood and still does. Was it taken away? The 'Sir' has always been a 'political' thing given to friends and/or otherwise people who are close to those with political power. Dyson was made a fellow because of his company and it's success and not because he is a competent engineer, or did you really think he would have the same things had his company remained a small but reasonably successful company. However I am in favour of people like him getting their titles, as I am about Lord Sugar, because I think they are good for the country and they promote the countries image. But I do not get all exited and some how think this means they are somehow 'competent' because I only need to look at some of the others who hold the same titles who are clearly not competent and for which there is no sanction.

If Dyson tells me he has a degree I know what he has, if he tells me he has a successful business I know what he has but if he tells me he has a CEng I will not accept that he is somehow now a 'competent' engineer because the system of assessment is not robust enough. I will however accept that he 'maybe' a competent engineer.

If a person is currently working at the level required for CEng when they apply then we need to visit them at work and verify that they are applying their skills, knowledge, etc., as they say they are.....for the part which they submit work based experience in place of the high level formal qualification. If the person has submitted an honest report and is at the required level then it will be no issue at all.

The award of CEng is not rigid, but flexible. It does not say the engineer is qualified to do a guaranteed range of tasks with precision, but through academic qualification and experience, is competent to invent (or maintain) safe engineering product(s) and market them.

No actually is says that someone is a 'Chartered Engineer' and implies that they are at the top of their profession. That person should either have a combination of experience and high level formal qualifications or have been assessed to have the equivalent...and to be assessed to have the equivalent requires systems which are to the same standard.

The academic qualification does not necessarily have to be precise in subject matter. It can be one literally invented by the engineer.

No it cannot actually, an academic qualification is what the government determine is an academic qualification and to gain it requires following a structured study program and being tested and to a verifyable and properly regulated system.
The combination of OND, MBA plus considerable experience effectively makes up the degree level knowledge entirely of the engineer's (or Entrepreneur's) making.

No actually it does not because that accredited degree level knowledge has been tested by a nationally regulated system which is thorough and robust. The 'considerable experience' has not been validated to anywhere near the same standard. The person with the degree was at that level of competency when they were awarded it whereas the person with experience may not have actually been at anywhere near the level of competency they have put down......there were no veryfyable tests. We are not even visiting their place of work to see if they are actually applying the knowledge.

For me it is quite simple. A person who goes for a degree makes that decision and goes through a structured program of training and is tested through a proper regulated system and then they are awarded their high level qualification. They are not submitting their work umpteen years later and asking for their degree....because if they did they would not get it. The person who decides instead to go to work and gain the experience that goes with it does not follow a path to gain CEng but rather they follow a path for other reasons. Thus in my opinion if a person wants CEng and does not have the formal qualifications they should apply for it and have appropriate work based checks at various stages to be sure they are at the required level. Thus they 'prove' it to the same standard as the person who has the degree and experience.

So where we are today is that there are two routes to CEng (and maybe IEng). One is the formal IET accredited degree route for those engineers who want to follow the preciseness of their chosen subject. Then there is the non-traditional route as explained above.

One is a more robust route and the other is a less robust route because the person who does not have the higher level qualifications does not have their work based experience properly validated to the same standard.....full stop. They may well be at the required level of competency but it has not been proven to the same standard.
In the end CEng represents a professional qualification demonstrating engineering and/or Entrepreneurial competence. And it represents the IET's and EC's confidence in the competence of the engineer to society.

No actually it means they are a 'Chartered Engineer' and are able carry out 'engineering' at the highest level. That requires a thorough and robust assessment which is to the same standard as that required to achieve an 'accredited degree'. If this is done then please explain how the assessment methods/systems used are comparable.
It's not only about demonstrating the ability to solve engineering problems using Calculus, but also demonstrating the ability to find the solution, even if that means getting someone else to do it for them. e.g Software. As long as they have initiated the process of finding the solution that constitutes the competence required to be an engineer.

So for example if the person can also get someone to do their degree for them they can still be awarded the degree? Would you accept that person has the competency to receive the degree? If I can get a doctor to solve a heart problem then I am also a competent doctor? Sorry but the person who submits work based evidence in place of an accredited degree has to be able to personally produce work which is equivalent to that academic work and getting someone else to do it quite clearly does not meet that requirement.

What you are doing here is starting to work on ways to justify a lesser standard of assessment. CEng is 'Chartered Engineer' full stop and if we want additional 'status's' for other things then fine I can be happy with that.

Unfortunately like many engineers I initially looked at this news with blinkers on. What no degree? Can't be an Engineer. It was only after chaps like David Parr stood their ground after being bombarded for days on the Forums, that I decided that maybe I've overlooked something and decided to take the blinkers off to see what it was.

Yes I almost believed you for a moment but then I saw your humour in this statement. Are you now preparing for your CEng application by any chance?

In Italy, and as in many countries, you need a degree to be an 'engineer' else you get called something else. Personally I think you no more need a CEng to be an 'engineer' than you do a 'degree' but the person who has the degree has a higher qualification than the person who has the OND. The person who has a CEng has to be a high level engineer and be assessed to a standard equivalent to that. The assessment for NVQ 3 is better than that for a CEng without an accredited degree and yet that is only a level 3 qualifcation which by itself does not put a person at CEng level.

If a person has their accredited degree then the experience they also have to have needs assessing as well.

I have every respect for 'David Parr' and his engineering work and his BSc etc., etc., and his opinions. However, standing your ground has nothing at all to do with the quality of an assessment system and changes nothing about that 'quality'. I'm quite sure the guy in charge of the Northern Rock worked hard and stood his ground but ultimately it turned out that the quality of his work was not so good after all.....yet he still has his Knighthood and a multi million pound pay off.

If we want CEng and do not have formal qualifications fair enough, but apply for it and have our work based evidence assessed over a period of time and in a verifyable way and if we cannot do that then sorry we best go apply for something else. If CEng is the pinnacle standard for an engineer then it requires a pinnacle standard of assessment. If it is then prove it.

Regards.

Edited: 06 August 2011 at 09:14 PM by westonpa
 07 August 2011 11:35 AM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: mbirdi
westonpa, you've written a hell of a lot there. I'll have to come back on Monday to catch with what you're written.

And if you do not agree I will write 10 times more, get the picture! It's only for debate of course.

In the old days they used to allow engineers who went through apprenticeships and experience to become CEng. Then the University Academics got hold of the title and decided to award it only to graduates. The standard for university educated engineers is still MEng with IET accredited experience, but the IET have also shifted emphasis towards apprenticeship and practical experience.

I am not suggesting only graduates should get the status and agree we need more experience than that. My point is that those at CEng level should have experience + other comptencies, in relevant areas, equivalent to an an accredited degree and that those degree type competencies must be checked and validated by similar standards/systems. We do not roll up at university after 20 years and say hey I have been doing this and that for the last 20 years and here is a report and then they give a peer review and award a degree! The degree is a high level award and is checked and validated by a proper robust system and which has proper safe guards built in. To get a degree we apply for it and then do the relevant years of study. Of course if we have already some validated modules to the required level we can gain credit for these and that is correct. Now if someone wants to apply for CEng and has the degree then they only need to have their experience assessed in order to meet the other comptency requirements...albeit that assessment should be robust as well. However if they do not have the degree then they should be required to 'prove' their experience to the same standard as that of a degree, i.e., it's checked and validated in the place it's gained to be sure the person is at the level......full stop. Same as the degree, if you have not already the moduled you follow the program of study and testing!!

What the IET are doing is making it easier for those without the degree because they know the person applying for CEng without a degree would NOT likely go through this testing and would then not likely follow on to CEng. Well do we really want that type of person as CEng which is supposed to be the pinnacle status for engineers? If there were say 200000 applications a year from those with experience and relevant qualifications the IET would be raising the standards to make it harder and to recuce the applications. However because the applications are not near the required levels they are making it easier for people to apply to improve the numbers. One good option could be that before becomming CEng we need to be IEng for 3 years and then be available for checks in that 3 years if required. To become CMIOSH you have to hold GradIOSH for 2 years so there is already a good example applied there.....but also you require the academic knowledge.

If we look at David Parr recent comments in another topic and with regards to reliability systems/testing for Nuclear Reactors and his comments about what should have been applied in Japan and which was clearly not applied properly. In essence he was correctly making the case for proper systems and saying that if these systems were not proper and/or in place then the reactors should not be built....until their safety could be guaranteed. For me CEng should not be awarded until the systems are in place to ensure those gaining the status are proven to be at the correct level. For all we know the next CEng could get a job in a Nuclear Reactor and design the safety system on the basis of someone seeing the CEng on their CV......we want to make 100% sure they are as competent as they say they are and if this is not the case the status should not be awarded.

I am quite sure those who made the relevant decisions for the ractors in Japan stood their ground and could make valid arguments for their decisions and/or their systems and yet according to David they did not prove to be effective as they were thought to be.

The CEng assessment standards have been dropped to make it easier for those with past experience to get in by the fact their experience is not checked and validated to the same standard as that of the higher level accredited degree....in the relevant areas.

Using an analogy with the football profession. They used to give CEng to the skilled graduates (or footballers). Now they've decide to give it also to the practicing engineering managers (or football managers). In the same way football managers don't need to know how to kick the ball into the back of the net, so experienced engineers (or engineering managers) don't need to know how to use calculus or work out something to 4 decimal places to get the job.

Yes but you have to be at 'premier league' standard to play football in the premier league....note how few player managers there are in the premier league! CEng is supposed to represent the pinnacle of 'engineering' and not 'managing engineering' and in essence if the football players are good enough the guy down the local chip shop could manage them......and yet know little about football.

The IET (and EC) are giving CEng to both the engineering geeks and the practical engineering managers who oversee the objectives of their company.

But one group is checked and validate to a higher standard and in a more robust way and chooses a path of structured study and testing in order to gain their award whereas the other group want to turn up some time later and offer 'experience' which has not been tested and validated to anywhere near the same standard. A person who has their higher level degree has the universities statements/proof about every single piece of that persons study and this proof can be relied upon.....what is submitted from the workplace cannot unless it has been checked and validated to the same standards and over time. What we are saying is that the person with MEng who is actually checked to be at that standard cannot gain CEng without experience but a person with experience can gain CEng without the same level of checks and validation and proof. Actually it's the group which have the better level of checks and validation which have been disciminated against.
To give you an extraordinary analogy. What would our opinions be of the OND chap if it turned out they were the modern equivalent of Isambard Kingdom Brunel? No degree. Doesn't know how to work things out to 4 decimal places, etc , etc, but has a hugh engineering reputation to their name?

Brunel was an engineer based on the standards and systems of his time and the education he received etc. What if he was born and raised today, it would likely be that the same person would have their doctorate and relevant experience and easily gain their CEng. Alternatively we could go look at the bridges, for example, and see him in action designing, building and then installing them and then award him CEng on that basis.

What if the guy that services your gas boiler is not Corgi registered and the boiler blows up and wipes out your family while you are out at work....but his name turns out to be ISK and he was good with bridges? Would that make it ok?

We do not drop standards to allow everyone in but rather we ensure those coming in are at the correct level by ensuring they 'prove' their competency. For me this is what is required to ensure someone is that the top level.

Regards.
 08 August 2011 12:32 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
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Originally posted by: mbirdi
Originally posted by: amillar
I suppose my point really is that I would like to see some evidence that the IET is failing in its assessment process of non-graduate applicants before I could support the case for change or - especially - abolition.

Why don't you ask your chaps in the rail industry who do world class engineering to apply for CEng?

They do. The woods are full of them here! Some of them even still work as engineers

The only one of my colleagues who struggled (but got there in the end) was a friend of mine from University who had a better degree than I did, but unfortunately my specific degree programme was IEE registered and his (bizarrely) wasn't. That was my first indication that there was a bit of a lottery at work - but this was 13 years ago so that particular problem may have improved.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 08 August 2011 12:37 PM
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amillar

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Originally posted by: westonpa
The CEng assessment standards have been dropped to make it easier for those with past experience to get in by the fact their experience is not checked and validated to the same standard as that of the higher level accredited degree....in the relevant areas.


Sorry, I've missed something here, I didn't realise anything had changed in the assessment process, can you give me a link?

Thanks, Andy

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 08 August 2011 12:46 PM
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amillar

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Originally posted by: westonpa
Thus in my opinion if a person wants CEng and does not have the formal qualifications they should apply for it and have appropriate work based checks at various stages to be sure they are at the required level. Thus they 'prove' it to the same standard as the person who has the degree and experience.

Couldn't agree more.

Originally posted by: westonpa
For all we know the next CEng could get a job in a Nuclear Reactor and design the safety system on the basis of someone seeing the CEng on their CV......we want to make 100% sure they are as competent as they say they are and if this is not the case the status should not be awarded.

Anyone who recruits on that basis should be sacked. OK, that does beg the interesting question of what value a CEng is...

Incidentally, I'm vaguely looking at Chartered Manager status, now that gets regularly reassessed (every three years from memory?). I have long felt that the same should happen with CEng. The big difference between CEng and a degree is that a degree is a snapshot of where you were at the time, whereas a CEng should represent where you are now (else why do we have to keep paying the blessed fees for it ).

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 08 August 2011 at 12:54 PM by amillar
 08 August 2011 02:34 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: amillar
Sorry, I've missed something here, I didn't realise anything had changed in the assessment process, can you give me a link?

By default if the emphasis has changed to allow more people with 'experience' to attain the status then something has changed. I do not have all the older links, as well you know.

The 'OND' reply from the IET provided an opportunity to challenge on the assessment system. I have still to see the evidence which indicates work based experience is checked and validated to the same level as that for attaining an accredited degree. I'm not saying the current system of assessment is 'the pits' but rather that it has some areas of weakness and needs improving.

Regards.
 08 August 2011 02:41 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: amillar
Anyone who recruits on that basis should be sacked. OK, that does beg the interesting question of what value a CEng is...

They sacked a few after Chernobyl but that was a bit late! Good question on the value of a CEng...let's debate it.
Incidentally, I'm vaguely looking at Chartered Manager status, now that gets regularly reassessed (every three years from memory?). I have long felt that the same should happen with CEng. The big difference between CEng and a degree is that a degree is a snapshot of where you were at the time, whereas a CEng should represent where you are now (else why do we have to keep paying the blessed fees for it ).

Currently though the CEng is also a snapshot and I agree fully with your comments about re-assessment. This may require more systems and resources but pinnacle standards require pinnacle standards of assessment.

Regards.

Edited: 08 August 2011 at 02:52 PM by westonpa
 08 August 2011 02:51 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: mbirdi
westonpa,
Having read your two Monstrous threads , I'm generally in agreement with you. But my replies represented observations and deductions about the IET and EC's having shifted policy to allow non-graduates admittance to CEng.

Yes but they were good points for discussion. Thanks.
You mentioned University degrees and that people with experience cannot just walk in and claim their degree. Actually they do, in a roundabout way. It's called Honorary degrees.

I did mention that in my comments somewhere in relation to these points...maybe in the other thread though. Honoury degrees when checked by the employer will be seen for what they are. I have no objection to HCEng for example.
Nobody complains about that. And I suppose the IET and EC are just copying the University system, to increase CEng population. IET doesn't represent any particular field of engineering and/or technology. Which is how they are able to award CEng to those who have literally created their own degree level knowledge for themselves.

If we all copy poor systems we reduce standards whereas if we introduce a better quality system we raise standards. I am for the latter.
I have mentioned in previous threads that raising of standards (MEng) to CEng status would see a drop in registration numbers, because it would take much longer for an engineer to reach the higher standards. The IET seemed to have found a solution to that problem. Instead of waiting for young engineers to become older and wiser before registering them, they are looking to those who are already older and wiser and award them CEng.

No problem with either, just want to be sure CEng is properly checked, assessed and validated etc.
Better to recognise someone who can play the grand piano at the Royal Albert hall, then recognise somone who's got a 1st at the Royal Academy of Music, but with no experience of at playing at that level.

Better to recognise someone who can 'prove' their level of competency required for the standard/status.

Regards.
 08 August 2011 04:35 PM
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sunnyboy

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I wonder whether an Engineering Designer ( Design Engineer ), without any formal degree but sustantially involved person in the below highest level project could be elected a Chartered Engineer by the work-based route ?
As far as I understand by your subjective viiews, Signori Mbirdi and Westompa , your answer would imperatively appear NO !

http://smithgill.com/media/pdf...om_for_web4.pdf


http://smithgill.com/#/news/kingdom_tower_announcement/

-------------------------
Luciano Bacco

Edited: 08 August 2011 at 11:34 PM by sunnyboy
 08 August 2011 09:15 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: sunnyboy

I wonder whether an Engineering Designer ( Design Engineer ), without any formal degree but sustantially involved person in the below highest level project could be elected a Chartered Engineer by the wok-based route ?

As far as I understand by your subjective viiews, Signori Mbirdi and Westompa , your answer would imperatively appear NO !

In Italy Sunnyboy if a person had designed every engineering device which existed and if they were made a Saint by the Pope and had spent 30 years as Prime Minister but did not have a formal engineering degree would they officially be called an 'engineer'?

Why?

Regards.
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