Originally posted by: andrewgbriggs
I am struggling to see the value and the relevance of this institution (to me personally, although I suspect I am not alone).
You're not alone. My son holds similar views although he isn't eligible to become a member of the club. He happens to be quite friendly with a retired engineer who was a former member of the IEE who didn't think it was worth the money or that ordinary engineers even gained much personal benefit from being a member. All they were rewarded with was glossy magazines and a few letters after their name, unless they were working towards chartered status, for what he considered very high membership fees. The engineer suspects that membership of the IEE was really in the interest of bosses as they could go round sounding off to their customers, suppliers, and investors that all their engineering staff are members of the club and that's a hallmark of quality for the firm - we don't employ monkeys.
I believe that it is possible to achieve CEng status with the Institute of Physics, with much lower fees for the Institute membership.
Holding a CEng status puts you in a different league from engineers who do not have this status and no interest in gaining it. Sometimes to maintain a professional status means having to be a member of a society you think is otherwise pointless or you disagree with. The best advice is to find out whether there's any benefit from this status, and if there is, identify which societies maintain it then join the one of your choice.