Originally posted by: mbirdi
I agree with what you have said, but having taken a day or two to think things over, I've come to the conclusion that what the IET have done is probably right.
This institution is no longer the IEE. If it were then our OND colleague would be admitted to Associate IEE or at best, Companion IEE. But we've changed to being the IET. The rules (or Bylaws) have also changed in ways that allow other type of professionals into the IET.
A degree is only part of 'competency' as is any other qualifcation and/or training. There are many millions of engineers who are competent and the award of a status does not make them more or less competent and/or change their position as an 'engineer'.
To recognise that there are different ways to demonstrate competency is 'right' and to assess those other ways is 'right' and to give a status to those who meet the requirements is 'right'. However if those systems are not robust and thorough and to the same high standards as those who achieve the highest level of qualifications then that is 'wrong'....full stop. We are saying that a CEng is at the highest level and is in essence 'professional' and is in essence equivalent to someone with higher level qualifications and relevant experience and thus that assessment must be as good. If we go to the doctor for open heart surgery that doctor is required to have a degree and experience. If we are represented by a lawyer that lawyer has to have a degree. These are top professions in our country and those are the requirements....full stop. They are not watered down and/or assessed in some lesser way which is less robust.
If the IET have systems which check and validate work based experience to the same stadard as those which check and validate someone has a degree, and that have the same safeguards built in, then it is 'right' that the relevant person is awarded CEng. I have worked also in industry for many years and in highly technical and professional positions and held leading positions in multi million pound engineering projects. I also have most of the qualifications mentioned in these forums.....umpteen C&G's, OND's HNC's HND's, degrees and so on. Thus I know very well the systems in industry and the systems in education and I know very well what is learned and where and to what level things are tested to. I also know that when getting a degree a person has to produce the work and this is checked and verified but in a major project the person is part of a team and that it's easy to think you are at some level whereas actually it is the 'team' which is at that level. We often see in industry how some people take credit for other people's work and thus they think they did it. Exams for a degree are not done as a team but rather they are done as an individual.....whilst I accept the assignments can of course be done as a team.
Every respect to Sir Dyson because he is a world class businessman and very successful at what he does but so what that he is a fellow of any academy. The royal family have knighthoods and general, admiral, colonel positions galore and yet apart from Prince Andrew most of them have little or no 'competency' for these. However as a Royal Family they are of course competent. They guy who lead the Northern Rock bank to disaster has a Knighthood and still does. Was it taken away? The 'Sir' has always been a 'political' thing given to friends and/or otherwise people who are close to those with political power. Dyson was made a fellow because of his company and it's success and not because he is a competent engineer, or did you really think he would have the same things had his company remained a small but reasonably successful company. However I am in favour of people like him getting their titles, as I am about Lord Sugar, because I think they are good for the country and they promote the countries image. But I do not get all exited and some how think this means they are somehow 'competent' because I only need to look at some of the others who hold the same titles who are clearly not competent and for which there is no sanction.
If Dyson tells me he has a degree I know what he has, if he tells me he has a successful business I know what he has but if he tells me he has a CEng I will not accept that he is somehow now a 'competent' engineer because the system of assessment is not robust enough. I will however accept that he 'maybe' a competent engineer.
If a person is currently working at the level required for CEng when they apply then we need to visit them at work and verify that they are applying their skills, knowledge, etc., as they say they are.....for the part which they submit work based experience in place of the high level formal qualification. If the person has submitted an honest report and is at the required level then it will be no issue at all.
The award of CEng is not rigid, but flexible. It does not say the engineer is qualified to do a guaranteed range of tasks with precision, but through academic qualification and experience, is competent to invent (or maintain) safe engineering product(s) and market them.
No actually is says that someone is a 'Chartered Engineer' and implies that they are at the top of their profession. That person should either have a combination of experience and high level formal qualifications or have been assessed to have the equivalent...and to be assessed to have the equivalent requires systems which are to the same standard.
The academic qualification does not necessarily have to be precise in subject matter. It can be one literally invented by the engineer.
No it cannot actually, an academic qualification is what the government determine is an academic qualification and to gain it requires following a structured study program and being tested and to a verifyable and properly regulated system.
The combination of OND, MBA plus considerable experience effectively makes up the degree level knowledge entirely of the engineer's (or Entrepreneur's) making.
No actually it does not because that accredited degree level knowledge has been tested by a nationally regulated system which is thorough and robust. The 'considerable experience' has not been validated to anywhere near the same standard. The person with the degree was at that level of competency when they were awarded it whereas the person with experience may not have actually been at anywhere near the level of competency they have put down......there were no veryfyable tests. We are not even visiting their place of work to see if they are actually applying the knowledge.
For me it is quite simple. A person who goes for a degree makes that decision and goes through a structured program of training and is tested through a proper regulated system and then they are awarded their high level qualification. They are not submitting their work umpteen years later and asking for their degree....because if they did they would not get it. The person who decides instead to go to work and gain the experience that goes with it does not follow a path to gain CEng but rather they follow a path for other reasons. Thus in my opinion if a person wants CEng and does not have the formal qualifications they should apply for it and have appropriate work based checks at various stages to be sure they are at the required level. Thus they 'prove' it to the same standard as the person who has the degree and experience.
So where we are today is that there are two routes to CEng (and maybe IEng). One is the formal IET accredited degree route for those engineers who want to follow the preciseness of their chosen subject. Then there is the non-traditional route as explained above.
One is a more robust route and the other is a less robust route because the person who does not have the higher level qualifications does not have their work based experience properly validated to the same standard.....full stop. They may well be at the required level of competency but it has not been proven to the same standard.
In the end CEng represents a professional qualification demonstrating engineering and/or Entrepreneurial competence. And it represents the IET's and EC's confidence in the competence of the engineer to society.
No actually it means they are a 'Chartered Engineer' and are able carry out 'engineering' at the highest level. That requires a thorough and robust assessment which is to the same standard as that required to achieve an 'accredited degree'. If this is done then please explain how the assessment methods/systems used are comparable.
It's not only about demonstrating the ability to solve engineering problems using Calculus, but also demonstrating the ability to find the solution, even if that means getting someone else to do it for them. e.g Software. As long as they have initiated the process of finding the solution that constitutes the competence required to be an engineer.
So for example if the person can also get someone to do their degree for them they can still be awarded the degree? Would you accept that person has the competency to receive the degree? If I can get a doctor to solve a heart problem then I am also a competent doctor? Sorry but the person who submits work based evidence in place of an accredited degree has to be able to personally produce work which is equivalent to that academic work and getting someone else to do it quite clearly does not meet that requirement.
What you are doing here is starting to work on ways to justify a lesser standard of assessment. CEng is 'Chartered Engineer' full stop and if we want additional 'status's' for other things then fine I can be happy with that.
Unfortunately like many engineers I initially looked at this news with blinkers on. What no degree? Can't be an Engineer. It was only after chaps like David Parr stood their ground after being bombarded for days on the Forums, that I decided that maybe I've overlooked something and decided to take the blinkers off to see what it was.
Yes I almost believed you for a moment but then I saw your humour in this statement. Are you now preparing for your CEng application by any chance?
In Italy, and as in many countries, you need a degree to be an 'engineer' else you get called something else. Personally I think you no more need a CEng to be an 'engineer' than you do a 'degree' but the person who has the degree has a higher qualification than the person who has the OND. The person who has a CEng has to be a high level engineer and be assessed to a standard equivalent to that. The assessment for NVQ 3 is better than that for a CEng without an accredited degree and yet that is only a level 3 qualifcation which by itself does not put a person at CEng level.
If a person has their accredited degree then the experience they also have to have needs assessing as well.
I have every respect for 'David Parr' and his engineering work and his BSc etc., etc., and his opinions. However, standing your ground has nothing at all to do with the quality of an assessment system and changes nothing about that 'quality'. I'm quite sure the guy in charge of the Northern Rock worked hard and stood his ground but ultimately it turned out that the quality of his work was not so good after all.....yet he still has his Knighthood and a multi million pound pay off.
If we want CEng and do not have formal qualifications fair enough, but apply for it and have our work based evidence assessed over a period of time and in a verifyable way and if we cannot do that then sorry we best go apply for something else. If CEng is the pinnacle standard for an engineer then it requires a pinnacle standard of assessment. If it is then prove it.
06 August 2011 at
09:14 PM by