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Topic Title: Time to Knock IEng on the Head
Topic Summary: IEng registration in terminal decline
Created On: 03 December 2009 10:39 AM
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 04 December 2009 05:57 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: tickner
On the subject of statistics, the age profile of IEng members as shown in the most recent Engineering Council report is pretty interesting! (I'll let someone else go dig that one out) but in summary its a fairly narrow distribution pretty much centred on ~ 50 - 60 years

Imagine going to schools and explaining to the kids they'll have to wait till they're nearing retirement before they can achieve IEng status. As I've said before there is a lot of deadwood around this establishment as well as in the EC that need to be removed before we see real improvement.
 04 December 2009 08:04 PM
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hamishbell

Posts: 287
Joined: 11 September 2001

On the decline in numbers, we are talking about the small difference between leavers (many of whom progress to the great laboratory in the sky!) and joiners. The latter fall into two categories; new students and later age groups who decide that some evidence of their achievements is needed, maybe to enhance their CV. The biggest problem is to retain the 25 to 40 year-olds who have many calls upon their time and finances. The Institution is well aware of this and is trying a number of approaches. If anyone has further suggestions, then we (as Trustees) would welcome that input.

As an individual, not as a Trustee, at a conference several years ago, I described engineering as a spectrum of qualifications for different roles rather than a staircase up which you had to progress. IEng and CEng describe different roles not levels, to my mind. This view was not taken by the ECUK, much to my regret. I still believe that the differences relate to roles and opportunities rather than any inherent real differences.

I put my degree and other professional qualifications on my business card and when appropriate in other circumstances. I describe myself as a Chartered Engineer when asked my job on social occasions. It is always recognized as a professional status even if the detail of it isn't understood by the enquirer. As an engineering consultant my qualifications form a shorthand way of giving confidence that I might be just the person to give them the advice they are seeking. They indicate levels of achievement at various career stages. Ultimately getting a contract depends upon many other things, but they are a door-opener even if their significance has to be clarified in subsequent conversation.

Finally, in answer to Mehmood, you don't have to be in your dotage to achieve CEng; I have interviewed candidates in their late twenties who have achieved significant progress and have a high level of demonstrable competences and are clearly CEng or IEng, depending upon their particular career path. Complete the application and get the necessary support and don't hang about waiting for the world to change.
Regards
Hamish

-------------------------
Hamish V Bell, BSc, CEng, FIET, FCQI, CQP
2007 - 2010, Vice President and Trustee
 04 December 2009 08:28 PM
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tickner

Posts: 1229
Joined: 30 September 2001

I would agree with Hamish on all his points, and being one of those mid-career engineers with a young child, I feel the pull on finances and time very keenly.

I actually got my CEng at 28 and I've met others who achieved it at a similar age or younger (I believe the "record" was 25). I would not consider myself an exceptional engineer - but probably the fact I don't shy from documentation exercises is why I spend most my time in requirements capture these days

My comment about shape of the age curve for IEng was not that it takes ~50 years to get it. I would estimate that about 20 - 30 years ago IEng was very well promoted and thus there was a significant uptake. Since that point, the curve suggest that IEng lost popularity and thus new registrations have dwindled. Maybe someone of a suitable vintage might be able to throw light on that

-------------------------
Mark Tickner CEng MIET
 04 December 2009 09:10 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: DavidParr
In my opinion, for all our sakes, we just have to increase the status of the engineering professions. Companies should insist that anyone who works as an engineer is registered, and IEng could be an important part of the structure (as could EngTech for that matter).

We are now in the 21 century and Hairdressers (remember me mentioning about them in past forums?) will soon be required to register to practice. They're going to be more professional than Chartered Engineers are. The IET and EC have failed us abysmally. To say "we just have to increase the status of the engineering professions" is like a cowboy builder saying "I must remember to get some qualifications". It's completely pointless!

Either we're professionals now in which case we has status, or we're not and don't have status! We should be looking to the BoT and EC executives and asking them the question "Why have you failed us?"

Originally posted by: DavidParr
The IET have put a process in place to recognise IEng which is just as rigourous an CEng. Engineers who are talented enough to be IEng are the lifeblood of our industries, and we should be campaigning for this to be widely recognised.

Employers aren't interested in what Engineers call themselves which is why they don't insist on them being registered. They don't even know what the engineering institutions do anyway.

Registration as CEng or IEng doesn't guarantee an engineer will remain competent throughout the course of their career, simply because of the nature of change of pace of technology. Today engineers (and technologists) are required to be competent in multiple tasks, not just one or two as was in the past. Enployers aren't going to be impressed with someone who cannot do multiple tasks even if they have CEng or IEng. They'll judge a person on what they can deliver before deciding on job offer or promotion.

All this proving your competence to your peer is meaningless because whilst they might be impressed with you spinning several plates at once, your employer may expect you to spin a dozen plates. It's what you prove to your employer that really counts and I think the IET hasn't got the grasp of this reality.

To Hamish:
I just want say that when I use words like deadwood, I naturally don't include you in my target as I have the upmost respect for you and what you do for the IET. I only include those who don't show the courage to come on the forums and participate in the debates.

As for registration, I've worked for over 25 years (same number in membership) and spun too many plates in my time. Most of them are now historical and not relevant to present registration requirements. I'm spinning new plates now, but not interested in going into management, so don't see a reason why I'll get registered. It's all too methodical now and doesn't interest me in anyway. More interested in a change of direction like learning about particle physics and other things. Don't want the added 'professional code of conduct' that comes with registration on my shoulders. Prefer to be independent and say what I think, within reason of course. Thanks for your help.

Edited: 04 December 2009 at 09:46 PM by mbirdi
 05 December 2009 10:31 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: hamishbell

If anyone has further suggestions, then we (as Trustees) would welcome that input.

Regards

Hamish


1. If we say we have a degree the majority of people will know about it.
2. If we say we are a Chartered Engineer the majority of people will think they know about it.....because of the word Chartered.
3. If we say we are a member of an engineering institution the majority will think they can work it out because they have heard of 'engineering' and know the word 'institution'.
4. If we say we are an engineering technician the majority will again know, or think they do, because they have heard of 'engineering' and the word 'technician'.
5. If we say we are an 'incorporated' engineer the majority will say what is 'incorporated'.

If the trustees don't understand that they need to move on.

Suggestions for improvement, albeit not related to my points above:

A. Don't hide the tradition and values of the IET and engineering quite so much. "We stand on the shoulders of giants" and we have great values. Try advertising some of the giants, history and values a bit more. In the rush to be all things modern the IET has lost its link to the past....in my opinion.....of course it's there but jolly hard to find.

B. When people renew their membership how about a membership card that will fit in the wallet/purse/pocket. The card can briefly explain the membership type, meaning and values. As you mentioned you have a business card. I would rather see your IET card and have a quick glance and get the message about your memberhsip and values rather than listen to you/me/another 'waffle about it'. I think it also gives a extra sense of belonging to something.

C. When you send out the membership renewal letter, if there is an increased cost, try putting a decent explanation as to why the costs have increased in it......it shows a little more respect to the customer. Too many times these days companies just increase costs without any proper attempt at an explanation.

These will not solve any major issues but as Tom Peters says "there is no such thing as a small improvement".

Regards.
 05 December 2009 12:57 PM
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diviner

Posts: 44
Joined: 14 July 2003

In reply to Hamish Bell's latest, one of the things that caused me to join was the opportunity to network with those who are long on experience, but who are now leaving because - being retired - are now (apparently unknown to The Powers That be, despite the world and his wife telling them time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time <message truncated> shorter on funds and so not able to afford the fees.

-------------------------
Ian Gordon, MIET CITP MBCS
 05 December 2009 07:53 PM
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seeker

Posts: 319
Joined: 10 March 2007

On the subject of statistics, the age profile of IEng members as shown in the most recent Engineering Council report is pretty interesting! (I'll let someone else go dig that one out) but in summary its a fairly narrow distribution pretty much centred on ~ 50 - 60 years


Possibly one of the factors relating to this age band is the shifting of the goalposts for CEng registration about that era. It was quite possible to satisfy the CEng educational requirements with a HNC pus 3 endorsements or alternatively a CEI part 2
When the goalposts moved many entrants had spent some years studying the HNC route often via day or block release from full-time jobs, and suddenly were faced with either finding a college that was actually running a CEI pt 2 course or accepting I Eng
I speak about the age when HNC courses were old school, we were thoroughly taught, lab report + coursework mark assessed and examined with written papers. If you passed all that you were no dummy who had sneaked by with lucky question encounters!
 05 December 2009 10:58 PM
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ieechrisa

Posts: 25
Joined: 04 January 2005

Originally posted by: hamishbell

The biggest problem is to retain the 25 to 40 year-olds who have many calls upon their time and finances. The Institution is well aware of this and is trying a number of approaches. If anyone has further suggestions, then we (as Trustees) would welcome that input.


I'm also one of these people. 2 children, wife studying to be a teacher and I'm the only engineer for my company in the UK (and I'm responsible for more than the UK!). Like Mark Tickner the strain on finances and time is immense. The obvious suggestion is to reduce the cost of membership - especially when compared to other Institutions.

On the plus side I like what the IET have done for the professional registration process - and I'm redrafting my CEng application at the moment.

Chris

-------------------------
Chris Aitken BEng(Hons) MIET
 06 December 2009 11:03 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: pmiller2006

p.s. If anyone can show an example of IEng being promoted since the last review, I will buy them a Christmas drink!


I know what you actually mean but hey there is a free drink on offer here. So regardless of what you actually mean I am pitching for the drink!

Technically the IEng is being promoted because it appears on the IET website. I am getting thirsty here. mine's a

Regards.
 06 December 2009 06:07 PM
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jcm256

Posts: 1792
Joined: 01 April 2006

Please see the web site below is this new or is it from the time when IET members were also asked to give views on an I Eng. name change. See also the pull down menu for a suggested title change. The EC easily changed their own name recently could they now do the same for I Eng have a rethink.

http://www.rina.org.uk/ieng_survey.html

Regards
jcm
 06 December 2009 06:26 PM
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danielscott

Posts: 461
Joined: 18 April 2003

Originally posted by: jcm256

Please see the web site below is this new or is it from the time when IET members were also asked to give views on an I Eng. name change. See also the pull down menu for a suggested title change. The EC easily changed their own name recently could they now do the same for I Eng have a rethink.



">http://www.rina.org.uk/ieng_survey.html



Regards
jcm




I believe it's an old questionaire. The Engineering Council (UK) is still being used.
 10 December 2009 05:51 PM
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pmiller2006

Posts: 471
Joined: 09 January 2007

Originally posted by: hamishbell

On the decline in numbers, we are talking about the small difference between leavers (many of whom progress to the great laboratory in the sky!) and joiners.



Hamish, the small difference you refer to is a large difference in respect of incorporated engineers. In fact there are over 6 times more leavers than joiners and last year it amounted to over 7% of the IEng register. The rate of decline is increasing sharply so one can only assume that it is terminal!
 10 December 2009 08:23 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Engineers have one great quality about them. It's called imagination. As a result we see all the wonderful things around us that we call society.

Unfortunately engineers (or rather Chartered Engineers) have a negative quality about them. It's called resentfulness (not wanting to share status with engineers who don't have the same qualification). As a result Incorporated Engineers have no recognisable status and are going down in numbers at a time when society is getting larger and needs more engineers to make things better.

I view this condition to a balloon. The hot air (imagination) is wanting to take the balloon up, up where the sky is clear (as the song goes). But the lead weights (resentfulness) piled at the bottom of the balloon is keeping it (status) firmly to the ground.

This is the only profession where status is moving backwards when engineers have made the biggest contribution to society. And this problem rests entirely on the shoulders of Chartered Engineers. The key to unlocking the cage, where status is held, is in their hands.
 10 December 2009 09:25 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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Originally posted by: mbirdi

Engineers have one great quality about them. It's called imagination. As a result we see all the wonderful things around us that we call society.

Unfortunately engineers (or rather Chartered Engineers) have a negative quality about them. It's called resentfulness (not wanting to share status with engineers who don't have the same qualification). As a result Incorporated Engineers have no recognisable status and are going down in numbers at a time when society is getting larger and needs more engineers to make things better.

I view this condition to a balloon. The hot air (imagination) is wanting to take the balloon up, up where the sky is clear (as the song goes). But the lead weights (resentfulness) piled at the bottom of the balloon is keeping it (status) firmly to the ground.

This is the only profession where status is moving backwards when engineers have made the biggest contribution to society. And this problem rests entirely on the shoulders of Chartered Engineers. The key to unlocking the cage, where status is held, is in their hands.


I had to get my hankie out when reading this because it brought a little tear to my eye.

Not that I disagree with your overall point and certainly I think the IEng status has seen better days, albeit we now need a telescope to see those days, but:

Who is to say the relevant membership numbers would improve significantly?

Has anyone surveyed engineers to find out how many more would be prepared to pay the relevant fees, and so on, if they were chartered?

Do we have any idea how many extra engineers may join?

Regards.
 11 December 2009 08:39 AM
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DavidParr

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Originally posted by: mbirdi

Engineers have one great quality about them. It's called imagination. As a result we see all the wonderful things around us that we call society.

Unfortunately engineers (or rather Chartered Engineers) have a negative quality about them. It's called resentfulness (not wanting to share status with engineers who don't have the same qualification). As a result Incorporated Engineers have no recognisable status and are going down in numbers at a time when society is getting larger and needs more engineers to make things better.

I view this condition to a balloon. The hot air (imagination) is wanting to take the balloon up, up where the sky is clear (as the song goes). But the lead weights (resentfulness) piled at the bottom of the balloon is keeping it (status) firmly to the ground.

This is the only profession where status is moving backwards when engineers have made the biggest contribution to society. And this problem rests entirely on the shoulders of Chartered Engineers. The key to unlocking the cage, where status is held, is in their hands.


Mehmood, a rather sweeping generalisation about Chartered Engineers, if you don't mind me saying!!

The IET is blessed with a large number of Chartered Engineers who put in many hours of volunteer effort, and the many I have met display none of the negativity you have described! They are enthusiastic at what they do. I personally am putting a lot of effort into encouraging all my colleagues to become registered engineers. This includes my own staff, my peers and their staff, and also my management.

I agree with you that the leaders of this country are not giving engineering anything like the attention it deserves, and this attitude is endangering all our futures! We need to get much more influence in "high places", and the IET is working at this, I can assure you.

Getting politicians to understand what we do is the hardest thing, because what we do is rather clever! I'll stop there before this becomes a rant!

Regards,

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 11 December 2009 08:41 AM
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AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
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Originally posted by: mbirdi Unfortunately engineers (or rather Chartered Engineers) have a negative quality about them. It's called resentfulness (not wanting to share status with engineers who don't have the same qualification).


The 'us-and-them' arguments are wearing a bit thin. If you became chartered next month would it change you in that way? What you describe is the opposite of the attributes required of a chartered engineer.

I'm chartered but have not always been of course, I don't believe I behave any differently now to the way I did before. I know of a few people in my company who are chartered simply because I have seen it in documentation or letters somewhere, otherwise I could not tell you who is and is not chartered, I don't ask and they don't ask. I don't see a group of people in the company who are aloof and unwilling to share.

By the way, I don't have a Degree, I have a HND from a course that was not assessed by the then IEE.


-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 11 December 2009 09:11 AM
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pmiller2006

Posts: 471
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I totally agree regarding the professionalism of individual chartered engineers, however I feel there is a collective arrogance and snobbery which sometimes emanates from the leadership of the engineering profession. There is no doubt that whereas most of society has become less hierarchical the engineering profession has become more so. If you look at the Engineering Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering or Engineering UK and see how many IEngs or Engtechs are represented you will see it is not very inclusive.
 11 December 2009 10:32 AM
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AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
Joined: 24 November 2002

I see my CEng as saying something about me, but not necessarily giving me a yardstick to measure myself against others. I know plenty of highly experienced professional people who are not even members of the institution and others who are who see no need for them personally to attain CEng.

I would seriously hope that if I ever behaved in the way that mbirdi and others have described the behaviour of other chartered engineers, that people would either verbally bring me to my senses or report my clearly unprofessional behaviour to the IET and/or EC. Clearly mbridi has had a less than satisfactory experience with a number of CEng(s) which is totally unacceptable, but I think that simply says a lot about those individuals rather than the status and purpose of CEng.


-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 11 December 2009 12:24 PM
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AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
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If I had not achieved CEng I would have looked at IEng, it was considered during the process as possibly more appropriate. I would not have considered achieving IEng as some sort of failure and I don't consider IEng to be some kind of second class award. My opinion is that IEng stands on its own and is of value. If I was of the mindset that IEng is somehow inferior to CEng then I don't think I would have really appreciated what CEng and IEng are all about, and perhaps I should not in that case be a CEng.

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 11 December 2009 12:26 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Welcome to the discussion Dave.

The IET moderate the forum, and have rules for what is allowed, and thus by default rule 6 is obviously not relevant in the context of these forum discussions.

If you have faith in the IEng status then a few negative comments should not undermine it.

I may not agree with all mbirdi's comments, and vice versa, but this is a discussion forum and each can put their views and opinions......as have you.

Good luck with your ambitions....if IEng meets your requirements then great.

Regards.
IET » CEng, IEng, EngTech and other professional registration matters » Time to Knock IEng on the Head

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