IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: MPhil instead of a MSc to meet CEng requirements
Topic Summary:
Created On: 28 July 2011 02:10 PM
Status: Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Previous Next Last unread
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 02 August 2011 02:48 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Andy,

My light hearted jibe wasn't aimed at you or others who share your dedication to engineering. Your job title and areas of expertise put you in a very high position for CEng recognition. Apologies for causing any offence.

I was thinking more about those who work in areas where a lot of talking or should I say Bull******g is involved. They absorb knowledge from other people's work and make it look like it's theirs.
 02 August 2011 02:55 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: DavidParr
Sorry mbirdi, I feel unable to continue this debate.

It's quite alright David.

I have a talent for putting my foot in it from time to time.
 02 August 2011 03:20 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
Joined: 24 November 2002

Originally posted by: mbirdiApologies for causing any offence.


More frustration than offence.

Unfortunately your arguments about the 'talkers' sweep up many of the 'workers' also, and I am still very much an engineer and not a manager (though I have managed a number of small teams in the past). I will also add that my opinion of the managers in my company is very good, they remain highly competent engineers.

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 02 August 2011 05:43 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for rossall.
rossall

Posts: 1048
Joined: 06 August 2001

As moderator, may I remind members of the need to conduct this debate within both the letter and the spirit of the conditions of use and the rules of conduct. Specifically, please consider that statements made may be taken to reflect on fellow professionals, whether or not this is the intention.

As such, clauses in the rules and conditions concerning conduct towards others, and concern for the reputation of the profession, are relevant. If you have specific issues that are not appropriate to a public discussion, please raise them using the usual contact addresses.

In addition, I note that this thread started as a straightforward question from a member seeking advice, to which there have been at least two answers that were, I hope, helpful. Whilst threads do sometimes naturally move onto related topics, thread "hijacking" is generally regarded as undesirable, and is specifically discouraged on many forums across the Web. If your point was not directly related to the original question, it may have been more appropriate to start a new thread.

One of the major values of this professional registration category is as a means of exchanging experience between those starting out on the process, those who have completed it, and those who provide support to candidates. I would ask for the support of all in maintaining this useful service.

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 02 August 2011 07:27 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

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.
 02 August 2011 07:40 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: rossall

As moderator, may I remind members of the need to conduct this debate within both the letter and the spirit of the conditions of use and the rules of conduct. Specifically, please consider that statements made may be taken to reflect on fellow professionals, whether or not this is the intention.

As such, clauses in the rules and conditions concerning conduct towards others, and concern for the reputation of the profession, are relevant. If you have specific issues that are not appropriate to a public discussion, please raise them using the usual contact addresses.

In addition, I note that this thread started as a straightforward question from a member seeking advice, to which there have been at least two answers that were, I hope, helpful. Whilst threads do sometimes naturally move onto related topics, thread "hijacking" is generally regarded as undesirable, and is specifically discouraged on many forums across the Web. If your point was not directly related to the original question, it may have been more appropriate to start a new thread.

One of the major values of this professional registration category is as a means of exchanging experience between those starting out on the process, those who have completed it, and those who provide support to candidates. I would ask for the support of all in maintaining this useful service.


Conversations evolve, its life. If the IET need any help on this please refer for examples to our finest political institutions.

One of the major values in life is to excercise free speech and open debate. Millions of good people died to maintain this freedom.

If every debate only answered the original question asked in life then there would be no debate, because we would all be answering a question. So the 'General and career discussions' would not be relevant because it would just be 'answer the original question forum'.

I respect the opinion of all who are prepared to give them and whilst I am disagree with them I would defend their right to give them.

Regards.
 03 August 2011 09:08 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
Joined: 24 November 2002

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?

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET

Edited: 03 August 2011 at 09:14 AM by AndyTaylor
 03 August 2011 11:43 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

I completed my HND(TEC) followed by passing all 5 technical subjects from the CEI/EngC exams at my first attempt. The IERE invited me to GradIERE membership immediately. This was the first stage to CEng registration. Unfortunately I couldn't achieve a pass in the 'Engineer in Society' paper simply because it was a general knowledge external exam paper at degree level. Just to highlight how difficult this paper was, no top graduate from an arts based degree course has to sit externally set exams. I had to achieve a pass in this paper and pass all the technical exams. An almost impossible quest.

If I add up all the subjects I passed, including the number of hours sat in the examination hall, this equals to 15 degree level subject and 69 hours. Furthermore, I made 7 attempts at the 'Engineer in Society' exam paper over 7 years spending a total of 21 hours in the examination hall and nothing to show for it. I also passed all 6 pre CEI exams with a total of 18 hours of exams. This was at College Diploma level, though my department moved away from the college diploma scheme so I had nothing to show for this.

An honours graduate passes 12 degree subjects and sits 33/36 hours of exams in the examination hall.

Having said that I have been a member for over 26 years since leaving college with 28 years industrial experience.

With all that I have achieved, I have absolutely no idea how to go about being a CEng. I don't work in management, or leading teams of people. I just do my thing which is technical based. And for what it's worth Guys like me should never be allowed to apply for CEng, because only clever people with ONDs and MBAs should go on to become CEng.

Fortunately I have several years left before taking voluntary retirement and my frustration will be over. That's my position on the matter.

Edited: 03 August 2011 at 11:53 AM by mbirdi
 03 August 2011 01:20 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Any person who meets the competency requirements should be awarded the status in my opinion and I have no issue with that particular point.

I just challenge the IET to prove that their system of checking and validating 'work based' competency, which is used instead of a degree, is to the same standard and thoroughness as that required to obtain an IET 'accredited' degree. If they are then it should be quite simple for the IET to set out what they do and how that is comparable to that required to obtain a degree and then we can all decide. Then we can be sure that all at CEng level are at that level of competency and/or above and that will give/maintain the credibility of the status....a win win for all concerned.

I have an IET accredited engineering honours degree and I can quite easily list the checks and validation and standards applied to ensure I did the work and I learned what was required and I met the required standard. I can also easily show how those systems are checked and regulated by the government. Let us see the IET show how their 'work based' experience checks, assessments and validation are comparable. Work based experience is easier to fake or exaggerate and so the checks need to be comparable to those required to obtain the formal qualifications else the standard is devalued. The checks do not need to be there for the 'honest' engineers but rather they need to be there for those who are not actually at the required standard but who present evidence to suggest they are. It's somewhat easier to ask for a formal qualification because in essence we know what we are getting due to the systems which were/are in place.

Any system which is good enough should be able to withstand any challenge and it is our duty to challenge these systems....it is why we are engineers, in my opinion.

Regards.
 03 August 2011 02:57 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
Joined: 24 November 2002

Originally posted by: westonpaAny system which is good enough should be able to withstand any challenge and it is our duty to challenge these systems....it is why we are engineers, in my opinion.


That (and the rest of your post) is fair enough, I can't provide the answers you are after of course. All I can say from my experience is that I provided honest and balanced information, I found the interview quite probing, and my application was verified for accuracy by my company before being passed on to the IET. But I could not say that someone less honest and in a position to exaggerate may or may not avoid detection.

So, from what I now understand of your argument, it is not necessarily a lack of formal qualification that might devalue CEng, but questionable verification of competencies? If that's the case then I should point out that even with the appropriate formal qualification, there is still a significant element of verification of experience and competencies needed to achieve CEng.

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 03 August 2011 06:10 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jcm256

Posts: 1793
Joined: 01 April 2006

Many professional bodies offer Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and you do not need a degree.

You need to be a full corporate member (EngTech, IEng or CEng) member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, or one of the other SocEnv constituent members.


http://www.imeche.org/training...environmentalist/faqs

Regards
 03 August 2011 07:17 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: AndyTaylor
So, from what I now understand of your argument, it is not necessarily a lack of formal qualification that might devalue CEng, but questionable verification of competencies?

In essence yes.
If that's the case then I should point out that even with the appropriate formal qualification, there is still a significant element of verification of experience and competencies needed to achieve CEng.

Yes this is correct and that also has to be checked and verified of course. But in that respect all are in the same boat because the same standard applies.

My primary issue is with the assessment of those competencies for which a 'degree' is seen as meeting the requirement. If a person then offers other evidence in place of the degree is the assessment of that evidence to the same standard and verification as that applied in the degree! Now I am not saying we can set exams and assignments for work based experience because that is not at all practical or realistic to do. But for me it is not enough to just accept a 'technical report' and some comments from an 'employer(s)' without actually going and viewing the experience in action....at least a few times. The 'degree' is only a part of competency, in reality but we all know the systems for gaining one.

Regards.
 22 August 2011 09:03 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



scottseedell

Posts: 58
Joined: 05 June 2009

Having read this topic I really felt myself becoming frustrated. The IET are devaluing their own CEng qualification by moving the barriers for CEng registration and I'm certain this comes down to one thing; registration fees. Why else would they be so willing to accept membership requests from people that clearly dont meet the educational criteria? I'm afraid its the same reason that the IET's checks for professional registration will never come close to the checks required for a degree. The cost to the IET would be immense to have someone scrutinise each section on the form of an applicant that did not satisfy academic criteria and these costs would never be passed on to the applicant or no one would ever apply.
If people want to become heart surgeons or lawyers they are legally bound to successfully complete all relevant training and there is no get out clause for them. I would suggest anyone who wants to become a chartered engineer also successfully completes the required academia to enable them to fulfill their chosen career path. It really is no incentive at all to spend 4 or 5 years at university to complete an accredited masters degree when someone with no academic experience and is good at talking for an hour in front of 3 people can ultimately get the same level of respect in the engineering community. People will no doubt cotton on to the fact that they can trake the 'easy route' to CEng and it completely devalues both the CEng qualification and their respective masters degrees also.
I'm afraid that 'prestigious' organisations like the IET care more about 'bums on seats' than they do about withholding the integrity of their community and this is appalling. The once-valued IEng has become a joke around the engineering community and the CEng will not be far behind it if it carries on the way it is. No wonder the British engineering industry is a laughing stock around the continent when beuarocracy like this is so rife. I can think of no other profession which rewards its members with the very highest accolades despite not actually having any academic qualifications. It really is baffling in the extreme why this equilibrium between engineering respect and generated income is being manipulated so openly.

-------------------------
Scott Seedell - BSc(Hons) IEng MIET
 23 August 2011 08:38 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Some good points Scott.

For me a combination of good work experience and high level academic achievement sets the required competency for CEng. With the distance learning options available these days I see no reason why those without the required academic achievement cannot gain it.....if they value CEng high enough.

I have high level and complex work experience which more than meets the CEng requirements but having also done the required academic qualifications I know from experience that they both require different skills and qualities and neither on it's own should be enough for CEng. However the IET has to also compete with other institutions and so for me the prime responsibility rests with the ECUK.

Regards.
 23 August 2011 11:45 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

I appreciate that the forums do provide a useful way for members to vent frustration and strong opinions. However it would seem more logical if an argument supporting "academic standards" was supported by evidence and put in a more measured way.

If any member wishes to submit an evidence based paper for consideration by the Registration & Standards Committee of the IET, then this can be arranged.

My own hypothesis is that is actually harder to obtain CEng and IEng registration than it has ever been. I would also argue that the more competent practitioners who are registered the higher the public credibility of registration becomes. The "bums on seats" argument can be applied to almost any organisation which needs to remain viable. The IET is not immune from such pressures, but is in a stronger position than most to maintain high standards.

The "easy route" described has been far more often described as the "hard route" and the many experienced professional engineers who began life as an apprentice, would take a totally opposite view.

Anyone who regards IEng as "a joke" demonstrates their own ignorance. If there are any actual members of the professional engineering community who are perpetuating this sort of rubbish, then I would like to know their names.

As for British Engineers being a "laughing stock" around the continent. I suggest contacting Lord Digby Jones for his views, having him seen him speak recently at an IET event he is well placed to take a view.

There are some legitimate concerns expressed but I'm afraid I don't see an evidence based argument.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 23 August 2011 12:03 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: roybowdler
My own hypothesis is that is actually harder to obtain CEng and IEng registration than it has ever been. I would also argue that the more competent practitioners who are registered the higher the public credibility of registration becomes. The "bums on seats" argument can be applied to almost any organisation which needs to remain viable. The IET is not immune from such pressures, but is in a stronger position than most to maintain high standards.

I don't understand why it should become harder now than ever? And why are those, who got in when it was supposedly easier, gloating on about it? It makes no sense to see this battle between non-CEng members, who are better qualified then some of the matured CEng members (in decision making positions) in the IET.

The medical and legal professions are still producing Doctors and Lawyers in their mid-twenties. According to David Parr, one is now expected to be much older than before to achieve CEng.

This makes no since, especially as younger engineers will be in considerable debt acquiring the necessary education to achieve CEng status. And then only 10% will make it. Hardly relevant to the needs of society.

I used to wonder why the IMechE and ICE pulled out of the merger deal with the IEE and IIE? Now I can fully appreciate the reasons why? It's because they couldn't accept the the IET blueprint of what was going to happen.

Edited: 23 August 2011 at 02:10 PM by mbirdi
 24 August 2011 08:15 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
Joined: 24 November 2002

Originally posted by: scottseedellIf people want to become heart surgeons or lawyers they are legally bound to successfully complete all relevant training and there is no get out clause for them.


Both require a significant amount of on-the-job training that an electrical / electronics degree course does not.

I qualified with an HND in electrical and electronic engineering, I had a one year opportunity to complete the final year of the degree course before it changed to a different course. I was advised that since I was already in full time employment the difference in standard between the HND and the degree would not make that extra year worthwhile.

In any case, within a few years of starting work I was directly involved in designing safety critical nuclear systems (one of which was a safety system) and making literal life-and-death decisions in relation to submarine weapons systems. I know that neither the HND nor the degree course would have had any direct influence on my decisions, and it was my work experience that counted.

So, as I have said elsewhere, I can understand the concerns over how an applicants' experience is verified, but that also applies to someone with the academic qualifications. CEng is not granted to someone who cannot demonstrate the required competencies, and a degree / MSc alone will not be enough. It is quite possible (in fact more likely) that someone with an MSc can very quickly move into a management role in an organisation with very little practical experience of engineering design, an MSc/Degree does not necessarily make an engineer.

Originally posted by: roybowdler The "easy route" described has been far more often described as the "hard route" and the many experienced professional engineers who began life as an apprentice, would take a totally opposite view.


I do, it was not easy for me, and my CEng came after 23 years of experience. But, to be fair to those questioning the process, I can't say at what point I could have obtained CEng earlier if the requirements had been as they are now all along. My belief is that I met the competency requirements about 10 years ago, but I can't say for sure that my level of experience at that time would have been enough to satisfy my interviewers or the application panel.

My simple personal view is that someone with a degree / MSc should typically be able to reach CEng much earlier than someone without those qualifications.

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET

Edited: 24 August 2011 at 08:27 AM by AndyTaylor
 24 August 2011 08:46 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: roybowdler
However it would seem more logical if an argument supporting "academic standards" was supported by evidence and put in a more measured way.

The argument is in support of a combination of experience and academic standards and a verification of the competency requirements which is the same for all. The fact is that a degree is checked and validated to a standard which is far more thorough and robust than that involved in checking only experience. If not then show the evidence, show how experience is checked to the same standard and robustness.

We all know the system for checking a degree and we all know how thorough and robust it is. Show us how we prove a person has the experience they say they have and that is has been tested to the same standard and how we know that their efforts were as they say they were.

I am not saying the IET system of checking is 0 out of 10, but I am saying that it is not 10 out of 10 and it needs to be for the award of CEng. I suggest if no degree then 3 years at IEng with checks made at the workplace during that 3 years.

There are some legitimate concerns expressed but I'm afraid I don't see an evidence based argument.

I see no evidence that the IET checks and validates work based experience to the same standard as that used to check and validate a degree. I see some checks that are of course neccessary and welcome but I see the need for more, particularly where someone does not have the relevant academic qualifications.

Regards.
 24 August 2011 09:05 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: AndyTaylor
In any case, within a few years of starting work I was directly involved in designing safety critical nuclear systems (one of which was a safety system) and making literal life-and-death decisions in relation to submarine weapons systems. I know that neither the HND nor the degree course would have had any direct influence on my decisions, and it was my work experience that counted.

When you made your first 'life and death decision' where did you get the work experience required to make that decision? How exactly do you know that the structures and information and systems understanding placed into your brain during your studies did not play a significant role? Your education made it easier for you to better take in and assimilate what you learned at work....and that's the point. How did you know the consequences of getting it wrong, for example, did you make some big mistake and then think the next time well I had better not do that again? You are a combination of all that you have learned and what you learned in that first day of school at 5 years old is equally important to your 'life and death' decision making.
CEng is not granted to someone who cannot demonstrate the required competencies, and a degree / MSc alone will not be enough. It is quite possible (in fact more likely) that someone with an MSc can very quickly move into a management role in an organisation with very little practical experience of engineering design, an MSc/Degree does not necessarily make an engineer.

And neither does experience alone, but the point is that the combination of experience and a high level academic quaification provides a better verification that a person is an 'engineer' than does either experience on its own or a degree on its own.
I do, it was not easy for me, and my CEng came after 23 years of experience. But, to be fair to those questioning the process, I can't say at what point I could have obtained CEng earlier if the requirements had been as they are now all along. My belief is that I met the competency requirements about 10 years ago, but I can't say for sure that my level of experience at that time would have been enough to satisfy my interviewers or the application panel.

One person can find it easier to pass an exam than another person does but that says more about the person than the exam. The exam is the same questions for all. That you found something hard does not prove that you actually made them 'life and decisions' it just proves that you found it hard. I believe you are an honest person Andy and have a very high standard of work experience and all respect to you for that. A more robust validation of work experience and over time would be better.


Regards.
 24 August 2011 09:50 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



AndyTaylor

Posts: 162
Joined: 24 November 2002

Westonpa,

I agree that education in general will influence my way of thinking, but my comment about the HND or degree not influencing my decisions was meant only from a technical point of view, there was no aspect of either course that I used in taking the necessary technical decisions.

I can't go into any detail, but the 'life and death' decisions related to the implementation of contractual requirements and their impact on system operation. Implementation of one safety requirement placed the system (the entire submarine) at risk. I was the design authority for the weapons system software. The requirement of the subsystem was implemented, tested, and demonstrated to the customer with the intention of highlighting the overall risk, this lead to a series of safety meetings where collective and contractual decisions were made. There was no 'big mistake' that was made other than the customer's creation of conflicting contractual requirements. I was the person who identified these specific issues to the customer.

I agree that a combination of experience and education is needed, but I am trying to point out that the competencies required for CEng can be reached through experience with something less than an MSc. I believe that I can be considered a valid CEng even with just an HND, and was trying to point out that I have experience in areas that support my CEng. So my argument is that I am an example of why CEng can be relevant to someone without a degree / MSc, and a rigid requirement for those qualifications to apply would rule me and many others like me out.

You said, "A more robust validation of work experience and over time would be better.", I agree completely, and it would of course apply regardless of academic qualifications.

-------------------------
Andy Taylor CEng MIET
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.