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Topic Title: Skills test questions professional registration?
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Created On: 06 May 2010 10:31 PM
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 06 May 2010 10:31 PM
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Ron Collins

Posts: 6
Joined: 14 June 2006

Has anyone had any experience of their employer insisting that all company engineers must sit a skills test. Apparantly this test is being carried out by Festo training. The company employes around 24 engineers, mechanical, electrical, and multiskilled. All the engineers have worked for the company for a number of years, and had no pervious complaints have been raised about work standards.

With only eight years to retirement and some with even less time to do most engineers, as I do, find it insulting that we should be asked to take this test. Who is to say what qualifications or experience the examiner will have to examin us.
In my case, years of documented training, education, qualifications , experience and my registration with the engineering council, should be all they require but apparantly not.
Does anyone know if the employer has the right to do this?
 07 May 2010 12:52 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

The company certainly does have the right to do this. For example, they may be carrying out a gap analysis to determine what additional training needs to be carried out and they may decide that it is easier to do this from a standard test than by a survey of many different qualifications and experience. It is, after all, the responsibility of the company's management to ensure that their staff have all the required competences, and it is really up to them how they do this. Of course, if they do it in a heavy-handed way they may lose staff, and that is realistically the control measure.

What they cannot do without further negotiation and a darn good reason is to change your contract of employment based on the results of these tests.

It does sound like this may be a problem of poor communication rather than anything else.

-------------------------
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
 17 May 2010 01:43 PM
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macdavies

Posts: 9
Joined: 06 November 2001

I can fully sympathise with your feelings and those of your colleagues Ron. This may be part of a genuine attempt by your employer to tailor its budget for 'staff training and development' to the requirements of the business. If they employ a number of younger engineering staff who may well benefit from such a programme, then it would be seen as rather pointed to only test them. Hopefully you will happily sail through this 'assessment' and there will be no adverse impact on your position. Indeed, it is customary for the most experienced staff to be used as professional mentors to the younger staff and hopefully such a scheme would actually save your employer money and enhance your value to them. All the best with your position.
Malcolm Davies C.Eng, MIET

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electron_thunder
 17 May 2010 04:08 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Ron,

Sounds like your employer wants to know what training needs it's employees require. This is usually done through staff appraisal, so it's a bit surprising they're taking the "we have ways of making you take a test" approach.

Your employer shouldn't keep anything from you as you're entitled to know what's involved in the test. If you are in a trade union tell them about your concerns and they will make representations on your behalf. If not and there is one you should seriously consider joining them. They could find out if your employer is breaking any laws and bring their plans to a grinding halt. They're also useful in negotiating re-deployment, good pay settlement or early retirement packages should you're employer consider staff redundancies.

Good luck!
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