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Topic Title: Is CEng of any value?
Topic Summary: Has CEng been of use to you in your career?
Created On: 05 December 2006 10:23 AM
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 05 December 2006 10:23 AM
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deleted_beverlylaferla

Posts: 31
Joined: 25 September 2003

Has CEng been of use to you in your career? Did it help you get a job over someone without it?

Or do you think a CEng is not worth bothering about?

Or perhaps we need another type of qualification and/or professional registration?

I'd like to invite anyone who feels strongly about CEng, professional registration and working towards this qualification, to contact me if they would like to write something for the next issue of Engineering Management magazine in the Training & Careers feature.

Alternatively, you can post your comments on this forum but please specify if you are happy for them to be published in the magazine and please include your full name, job position, and location (e.g. Steve Hills, design engineer, Bristol).

My email address is 'blaferla@theiet.org'.

Best regards,
Beverly La Ferla
Editor
Engineering Management magazine
The IET

E: blaferla@theiet.org
W: www.theiet.org/managementmagazine
 05 December 2006 10:54 AM
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jcolquhoun

Posts: 487
Joined: 21 September 2001

In the UK there is not the same drive for an Electrical and Electronic Engineer to become Chartered as there is in other sectors such as Civil Engineering, Surveying and Accountancy.

It may well be the mind set involved and potentially the reluctance of the majority of Employers to actively encourage their staff to become Chartered as it may be seen that they will have to pay them more or that they are 'up-skilling' them so that they will find employment elsewhere.

Happy to have my opinions published if suitable but can you leave my employers name out . Location is Scotland.

Regards

-------------------------
Eur Ing John Colquhoun CEng MIET
Si Je Puis
Clarior Hinc Honos
Operations Manager - Telecommunications (Scotland) <img src="/forums/forum/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0">
 05 December 2006 12:17 PM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4478
Joined: 06 May 2002

I work in Systems Engineering, where some employers see the value. Sometimes, clients ask for a certain number of CEng on a job, or require other evidence of competence. Other times, it's related to the part of the industry.


My whinges first:

    (i) CEng (except awarded through ICE) is not recognised in the CSCS or related schemes (e.g. ECS). IET need to get this well and truly sorted out before CEng in electrotechnical industry falls by the wayside.

    (ii) The statement from John "In the UK there is not the same drive for an Electrical and Electronic Engineer to become Chartered as there is in other sectors such as Civil Engineering, Surveying and Accountancy." - well, to be honest, there's no-one else to blame for that (if there is anything to be blamed for) other than IET (and before them, IEE, IIE and IEEIE)

    (iii) If someone is going to come up with an IET "replacement" for CEng, that people have had to work damn hard for, I might suggest this would not go down too well at all


However, I do think there's a place for alternative, equally-prestigious qualifications for specific areas of the industry. Let's face it, Chartered Electrical Engineer really didn't do it for many IEE members (although it was very apt for some).

But to be honest, to repeat what John said, it's no good making a qualification that employers aren't interested in.

The main reason for keeping CEng, is it DOES mean something to some employers.


However, if I'm forced to pay for more qualifications to keep doing the same job I do with CEng, you won't have my support. It's bad enough that to work on a construction site in addition to CEng I have to maintain a "Platinum" and "Gold Card", and can't get a Black Card with my current L5-equivalent qualifications just because the scheme provided for electrotechnical only goes up to Platinum - v. poor, and poor showing of IET in not supporting us here !!!

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 05 December 2006 02:28 PM
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achung

Posts: 364
Joined: 22 November 2001

It is compulsary to acquire a professional engineer status, such as Chartered Engineer, on top of one's degree before s/he is qualified to attend an interview for a professional engineering post in the Far East. Apart from having a higher social status than their technician counterpart. there is also substantial pay difference which is normally 2 to 3 times higher for the former. Furthermore, additional fringe benefit such as housing allowance in the region of 20% of the basic salary will be also provided. Graduate enigneers are highly motivated to acquire the Chartered Engineer status. This could partly explain the reason of having a high proportion of Chartered Engineers in these overseas branches. Furthermore, it is essential or even mandatory for the professional engineers in this region to embark on a continuous career development programme through various modes of study or participation to ensure their knowledge are up-to-date.

-------------------------
Allen Chung
MSc(Eng) MSc CEng MIET MIEE CPEng MIEAust MHKCS SeniorMIIE

Edited: 05 December 2006 at 04:07 PM by achung
 05 December 2006 03:20 PM
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ahouston

Posts: 405
Joined: 05 February 2003

I havn't found that being a Chartered Engineer helped me in any way to get a job in preference to someone who wasn't a CEng. Maybe, however, it got my CV past the first stage.

I have, however, experience where it was useful in completing a task. I was able to act as an expert witness on behalf of my employer during a litigation in the USA. "CEng, MIEE" was accepted as the equivalent of a Professional Engineer (PE) in the particular US State in question, allowing me to give opinion based evidence rather than just observed facts. We successfully defended the case.

On a personal level, I've found that I receive better results from letters of complaint about defective goods or services in relation to friends and family - none of whom are "Registered Professionals". Even when the "service" was not directly related to my qualifications (eg a bank), the "Chartered" title seemed to instill respect.

You may Publish this if you wish.

Eur Ing Andrew Houston, BSc, CEng, FIET
Technical Programme Manager
Orpington, Kent

-------------------------
Andy
EurIng Andrew Houston CEng FIET
PRA, PRI and Volunteer Career Manager Advisor
 06 December 2006 08:48 AM
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jcolquhoun

Posts: 487
Joined: 21 September 2001

I must admit to using my CEng in the same way as Andy, looks good on letters of complaint, references, etc. Also makes it simple for those who know what a CEng is to assess your competancy and level of experience.

As for the position of Professional Engineers in the Far East as described by Allen is like a Nirvanna for us in the UK, although we do not have to look as far as Germany has a good system in place.

In a country where the main driver for wealth creation appears to be the stock exchange , avoiding tax laws with accountants and leaching the systems by use of the legal system we are pushed further and further down the food chain.

No disrespect to any other occupation but I have developed a deaf ear to requests to fix domestic wiring and electrical goods (especialy TVs).

My brother is a Civil Engineer and is a Contracts Manager for a largish construction company but he is too busy to progress through to Chartered status as he is working five and a half days a week and long hours as well. These hours are seen as acceptable as the 'older' staff have all done it, so doesnt leave much time for professional development past what is required for his day to day job. Not having CEng doesn't appear to have restricted his progress though.

-------------------------
Eur Ing John Colquhoun CEng MIET
Si Je Puis
Clarior Hinc Honos
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 09 December 2006 08:13 PM
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kasese

Posts: 183
Joined: 31 March 2006



Beverley,

I have just received word that I am not going to be invited for a Professional Review Interview as I didn't demonstrate the necessary competence to be asked - in 1997 I did get a Professional interview with the IMechE and have now put right the points for not gaining CEng Status then! as I am multi-disciplined the IET seem to be my way to go forward.
I have an old style HND - Engineering (25 units - BTEC) + a 4 year apprenticeship (Technical) and a MSc in a science / chemical engineering related subject, having be done the same type of work since 1972 (34 years), have been Head of Dept (Maintenance Manager for nearly 18 years) and have been "Competent person" on "Top Tier" CIMAH sites for 5+ years (controlling 12 - 2000 people and up to 250 gradute engineers - not all UK graduates including some CEngs and budgets of up to £10 million) and running a 10 Mw hydro-power station. Now working as a Senior Engineer / team leader on the North Sea oil platforms writing Feasibility / O & M studies etc. for major oil companies.
Obviously not having Chartered Status has not held my career back BUT the fact I cannot obtain this level - seems to debase the whole system - if I am not eligible then who is with out a Honours Degree?.
I have been an Incorporated Engineer for 15 years but this holds no weight.
CEng would be a nice to have but certainly I have never needed it!

Maybe's I shouldn't be in engineering if I am not compentent :-) (also I have 9/10 ths of a MBA)

Regards,
Tim Guy
MSc ASEE DEM (Hons) IEng MIET
 09 December 2006 08:41 PM
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kasese

Posts: 183
Joined: 31 March 2006

Beverley,
Sorry I meant to say that you could publish my posting - please put the spelling mistake right!

Tim Guy
Bishop Auckland
Co.Durham
Senior Maintenance Engineer - Wood Group Engingeering (North Sea)
 05 January 2007 02:13 PM
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phillip.kearns

Posts: 8
Joined: 18 January 2003

Beverly,

I think the accolade of CEng means more to the individual than it does to many employers. If you work within the engineering consultancy sector or for a company were the engineering role isn't 'just' a support function; it's a must have.

I consider CEng and indeed FIET, MIET to be of great importance in the engineering community. Without the means recognition, the status of professional engineer or indeed competent engineer would not be easily quantified. When I receive reports or design documents from fellow members of the institute, if they have achieved Chartered status I feel more confident in the content of said documents and feel that I don't need to scrutinise their findings as much. Likewise with MIET status, if I receive an application from a member of the institute and an application from a non member; the member would take priority over the non member, as it indicates to me a level of commitment to their career and technical discipline.

My comments can be published.



Edited: 02 December 2008 at 11:31 AM by phillip.kearns
 08 January 2007 11:33 AM
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iie630326

Posts: 62
Joined: 03 May 2006

Originally posted by: kasese


Obviously not having Chartered Status has not held my career back BUT the fact I cannot obtain this level - seems to debase the whole system - if I am not eligible then who is with out a Honours Degree?


As a fellow IEng, I do symphasize but the problem may lie in the Engineering Council (ECUK)'s definition of CEng and IEng:

Chartered Engineers are characterised by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change. They might develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced designs and design methods, introduce new and more efficient production techniques, marketing and construction concepts, pioneer new engineering services and management methods. Chartered Engineers are variously engaged in technical and commercial leadership and possess effective interpersonal skills.


Incorporated Engineers are characterized by their ability to act as exponents of today's technology through creativity and innovation. To this end, they maintain and manage applications of current and developing technology, and may undertake engineering design, development, manufacture, construction and operation. Incorporated Engineers are variously engaged in technical and commercial management and possess effective interpersonal skills.

My impression is that the ECUK want to promote both CEng and IEng as professional competent engineers. CEng has an emphasis on leadership and development of new technology and IEng has management and use of available technology.

I suspect ECUK do not want CEng to be seen as superior from IEng but to reflect the different types of work undertaken. Leadership does not have to come from tops of organisations and leaders are not necessarily managers.

However, I believe more could be done by ECUK and the IET to emphasize what the differences are between IEng and CEng and their equal importance to society.

Regards

Robert Miles
IEng, BSc(Hons), MIET

-------------------------

Yours

Robert Miles, BSc(Hons), IEng, MIET


Edited: 08 January 2007 at 11:35 AM by iie630326
 09 January 2007 11:37 AM
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kasese

Posts: 183
Joined: 31 March 2006

Well at least you made me feel better if nothing else.
Just cannot understand the system - I will keep on doing my consultancy studies and take the money - mind CEng would look better for the type of work that I am now carrying out :-)


I am good at what I do - my mother says so !!! :-)

Regards,
Tim
 10 January 2007 01:13 PM
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aegism

Posts: 1
Joined: 10 January 2007

I qualified CEng some time ago during my career in the Royal Air Force. I had also previously qualified as both Technician and Incorporated Engineer (having risen through the ranks). During that RAF career I developed my proficiency as an engineering manager in IT and Satcom computer systems but sensing that I would probably be leaving the Forces in 1996 at the end of my commission, I also undertook to become qualified with a diploma in accounting and finance (CDipAF). I also took advantage of registering as Eur Ing.

When I came to leave the RAF I found that I could not obtain reasonable employment in the UK on two counts. One, the RAF - in my final years - had not assigned me to a position in NATO that was in anyway cognisant of the responsibility and expertise I had previously held - as perhaps should have beed recogniseable by the qualification CEng. I therefore found my professional experience was undermined by operating for some years at a far lower level of responsibility than I was capable of. Two, although following many interviews, I received interest from prospective employers with regard to some of my portfolio of professional expertise, my distinct lack of commercial experience made the possibility of a job offer at a salary level commensurate with my, by then, considerable life commitments no existent.

Consequently I did manage to secure a position with a UK IT consultancy in 1997, but only becasue I had a specific experience (ironically from my first 3 years in the RAF - 1977-1980), for a specific contract they had a difficulty filling within EUROCONTROL. When I sought to develop this new found consultancy career, my new employers were not minded to provide any further general training and so I left to set up my own firm. In the meantime I have, through my own firm, funded my personal development and, together with my array of engineering qualifications which no longer have any real bearing on my current role, I now have a doctorate in Critical Management Studies.

Lest the above sound like a bitter whinge - it is not! While I have no doubt that the qualifications themselves have never once contributed to my career, they mark various points of transition. I am immensly proud of the qualifications, though I do not use them generally in any correspondance or the like. They are personal reminders to me of the fact that all of what I am today - in a professional sense - is a consequence of being trained as a professional engineer. As I have no doubt the qualification itself is of little intrinsic value, it is the fact that I have been through the process of gaining them that has. I have no doubt also that, though I no longer class myself as a practicing engineer, as a professional manager (and now management academic also) the value of my technician and engineering training is to be seen in my approach to my professional life.

We are, it has been said before, our own worst enemy. We should not harp on about qualifications as labels but encourage the publicising of what it is we do and how involved the process of qualifying is. It is the journey that is important not the signpost. Many people understand that a medical Dr is a position of responsibility because it takes them 6 years to qualify. How many outside of our profession realise the same is true for a professional engineer. Only when others understand our value will the qualification become a valuable sign.

Eur Ing Dr. David Atkinson BEng PhD CEng CDipAF FIET (RAF Rtd)
 22 February 2007 07:48 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: kasese

Beverley,

I have just received word that I am not going to be invited for a Professional Review Interview as I didn't demonstrate the necessary competence to be asked -

[snip]

I have an old style HND - Engineering (25 units - BTEC) + a 4 year apprenticeship (Technical) and a MSc in a science / chemical engineering related subject, having be done the same type of work since 1972 (34 years), have been Head of Dept (Maintenance Manager for nearly 18 years) and have been "Competent person" on "Top Tier" CIMAH sites for 5+ years (controlling 12 - 2000 people and up to 250 gradute engineers - not all UK graduates including some CEngs and budgets of up to £10 million) and running a 10 Mw hydro-power station. Now working as a Senior Engineer / team leader on the North Sea oil platforms writing Feasibility / O & M studies etc. for major oil companies.

Obviously not having Chartered Status has not held my career back BUT the fact I cannot obtain this level - seems to debase the whole system - if I am not eligible then who is with out a Honours Degree?.

I have been an Incorporated Engineer for 15 years but this holds no weight.

CEng would be a nice to have but certainly I have never needed it!

Maybe's I shouldn't be in engineering if I am not compentent :-) (also I have 9/10 ths of a MBA)

Regards,

Tim Guy

MSc ASEE DEM (Hons) IEng MIET

Tim,

From what you have described above and by the inference given by your academic qualifications, considerable experience and dedication to your profession through registration, I 'd say you have MORE than enough to achieve CEng status.

I say more because you have achieved MORE than a 25 year old engineering graduate with several years experience who has CEng; MORE than the non-engineering graduate with an MSc in IT Conversion degree and several years experience in the IT industry who also has a CEng.

The reason why you haven't made it is because you don't have a first degree.

I have already mentioned in the fora before that the IEE published an article (1970s or 80s) in the IEE review on the types of academic qualifications that were acceptable to the IEE for CEng registration.

The review mentioned that those with an HND/HNC plus MSc or PhD would not meet the requirement for CEng because the MSc/PhD is too specialised a course to give a candidate the broad academic education required for CEng.

As a result (in my view) your experience is judged against the academic content of a final year of an engineering degree course. Somewhere along the line you're not quite satisfying them that your experience fills that gap.

Since you have an HND, they're not as interested in your MSc as they would be if you had a pass degree.

At the end of the day, it's not just the lack of a first degree that's the stumbling block for many people, it's also the fact that those with a first degree level qualification (EC part 2, GCGI etc) fare poorly because they didn't go to University to obtain those qualifications.

Bearing in mind that non-engineering graduates (BSc in Arts etc) fare well when it comes to achieving CEng status, I'm of the opinion that there is far too much influence from University academics in the IET about who makes it to CEng and who doesn't.

I cannot imagine a CEng member who's gone through an HND and/or the technical report route telling you that you don't have the competence to gain CEng. I can imagine it coming from a CEng who's title resembles that of 'Prof Joe Bloggs BSc, MSc, PhD, FIET'. Unfortunately there are too many of them in the IET with much influence to ever affect a change of direction. And there lies the irrelevance of the IET to the vast majority of Engineers in the UK.

The creation of the IET is a small progress which in my opinion was down to the indirect influence of the Engineers who choose not to join the IET. Sort of Tory/voter relationship where the Tories are changing their tune to attract the voters who abandoned them at the last election.

The above is my opinion and others may have different views. Any resemblance to anyone called Joe Bloggs is purely coincidental and the statement above is not connected with any such person.
 22 February 2007 09:08 PM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4478
Joined: 06 May 2002

Originally posted by: mbirdi

From what you have described above and by the inference given by your academic qualifications, considerable experience and dedication to your profession through registration, I 'd say you have MORE than enough to achieve CEng status.



I say more because you have achieved MORE than a 25 year old engineering graduate with several years experience who has CEng; MORE than the non-engineering graduate with an MSc in IT Conversion degree and several years experience in the IT industry who also has a CEng.
I'm sorry, MBirdi, but there's not enough information in the post to make this statement. If you have read (and moreover understood) the criteria, this would be obvious.



The reason why you haven't made it is because you don't have a first degree.
This is NOT the case. I know of people who didn't make the "first degree" requirements who now have CEng. I'm of the opinion (agreeing with what's been stated above), that it's probably (note the use of the work "probably" rather than making an actual statement) the fact that there needs to be evidence of working "at the right level", which is NOT necessarily "management".

The above is my opinion and others may have different views.
Indeed. But I don't know how you formed that "opinion" based on facts as they are presented in this thread.

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 22 February 2007 09:09 PM
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kasese

Posts: 183
Joined: 31 March 2006

The amazing thing is a couple of days after I posted this email - I got an email inviting me for interview - apparently my application was rejected by the normal route committee (no approved degree!!!!- hence the letter) BUT approved by the Individual case panel for my qualifications - therefore I have the interview tomorrow 23/02/07 - not holding my breath but if I fail I just don't renew my membership and keep taking the near 6 figure salary as a consultant.

regards,
Tim Guy
 22 February 2007 09:46 PM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4478
Joined: 06 May 2002

Excellent stuff. Hope it all goes well.

Not salary makes any difference - Merchant Banker does not equal CEng

Best wishes.

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 22 February 2007 11:32 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: gkenyon
I'm sorry, MBirdi, but there's not enough information in the post to make this statement. If you have read (and moreover understood) the criteria, this would be obvious.

Perhaps Graham. But I know one thing. Applying for registration is about as mysterious as applying for British citizenship or a passport. And the ones who work in the system always seem to be at least one step ahead of the game and make it look like it's all clear and simple when in fact the majority of us are about as confused as a Polar Bear up a gum tree.

Funny that Tim should receive an email inviting him for an interview after previously rejecting him - just the way the Home Office likes to operate. Only this time he's paying through his subscription fees, for the privilege of being taken for the ride. Will Tim reach the end of the road and collect his CEng or will he tumble at the last hurdle ? The excitement's too tense for words.

Good Luck Tim.
 23 February 2007 06:49 AM
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achung

Posts: 364
Joined: 22 November 2001

Originally posted by: kasese

The amazing thing is a couple of days after I posted this email - I got an email inviting me for interview - apparently my application was rejected by the normal route committee (no approved degree!!!!- hence the letter) BUT approved by the Individual case panel for my qualifications - therefore I have the interview tomorrow 23/02/07 - not holding my breath but if I fail I just don't renew my membership and keep taking the near 6 figure salary as a consultant.


Tim

Just emphasize and highlight how important your role and responsibilities are as a consultant to lead, gain cooperation and motivate your counterparts during the consultancy assignments. I had attended similar interview and spent nearly one and half hours explaining my roles to the two interviewers specialising in both engineering and management.

Best wishes

-------------------------
Allen Chung
MSc(Eng) MSc CEng MIET MIEE CPEng MIEAust MHKCS SeniorMIIE
 23 February 2007 09:05 AM
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kasese

Posts: 183
Joined: 31 March 2006

Graham,
Well you are right - I would have stayed with the IET as an IEng - I am very well trained / experienced with a resonanble academic background - some friends (CEng / Fellows of the IMechE) say that I am a better trained engineer than them - all are graduate trained / company schemes. I have worked with and supervised a lot of CEng (IMechE / IEE) - presently have one undergraduate MEng (4 year) under my care.
I cannot be that bad - just annoyed that the route to CEng seem to be very dependent on an accredited degree (I can understand the reasoning though). We drop back to the thread of why isn't GCGI any good for CEng (not EngC approved)
About salaries - it's supply and demand - the oil industry is paying "top salaries" at present - cannot get people. Locally my salary would be £40/45k 'ish.
I do keep push is IEng recognition and the institutes (all).
Thanks for the best wishes - Graham & mbirdi - but if I am good enough I should be it - all in the hands of the interviewers -

Regards,
Tim Guy
 23 February 2007 09:10 AM
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jcolquhoun

Posts: 487
Joined: 21 September 2001

Tim

As we were both put up in lights in the recent article in the IET Management journal I would like to wish you good luck in your interview and my only bit of advice is....don't be nevous as you are only talking about what you have done. Nowhere near as nervous as a Best Man speech or a job interview.

Nice to see some of the other usual suspects in the article as well

-------------------------
Eur Ing John Colquhoun CEng MIET
Si Je Puis
Clarior Hinc Honos
Operations Manager - Telecommunications (Scotland) <img src="/forums/forum/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0">
IET » Management in engineering » Is CEng of any value?

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