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Topic Title: Decline in the number of IEng registered engineers
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Created On: 02 April 2012 03:54 PM
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 02 April 2012 07:51 PM
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mikestamp

Posts: 12
Joined: 20 July 2011

Maybe it's because they only want people with degrees and 20+ years experience before meeting their criteria?

From my experience the IET don't really know what they want.
 03 April 2012 08:37 AM
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ectophile

Posts: 551
Joined: 17 September 2001

This has been talked about many times before on this forum, and the usual suggestion seems to be to add the word "chartered" in, so that the IEngs can pretend that they are CEngs.

What is needed is not a cynical re-branding exercise, but a combination of some promotion of IEng and a clear route to getting the qualification. It doesn't help that the UKSpec requirements for IEng are almost identical to those for CEng.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 03 April 2012 11:29 AM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

The same demographic profile applies to all sections of the Engineering Council register. Although the many active engineers aged over 60 might take issue with being declared inactive. Similar trends are also evident in a wide range of other skilled and professional occupations. The reasons are many including huge economic, social, technological and political changes over the last 25-30 years

I am also critical of the situation from 2000-2008 when IEng registration in particular, was difficult to access and poorly promoted. We can't change the past but we can recognise and address the issue. Since the low watermark of 2008 the IET has increased IEng registrations strongly, culminating in the highest figure for nearly a decade in 2011. We registered more than twice as many Incorporated Engineers as any other body, but other institutions also pushed the Engineering Council IEng figures to an overall high point for nearly a decade.

There are still challenges, such as a high proportion of newer IEng registrants being experienced Engineering managers in mid-career. Many might have sought registration sooner if the pathway had been clear. Therefore the challenge remains to attract people into Incorporated Engineer registration once they become competent, which for many will be in their 20s.

A decision to seek registration will usually be influenced by peers employer or customers. Personal pride and potential employability are also key factors. In my experience the Engineering Council promotion of IEng has already had a positive influence. It had regrettably become acceptable in some circles to disparage the IEng standard or Incorporated Engineers. The clear statement by the regulatory body for Engineers about their pride in and support for IEng registrants was therefore very important. There is no longer any legitimacy and there never was any evidence to support "knocking" IEng. It is also very gratifying that IEng is so valued by its holders that they choose to maintain it into their 60s and 70s. What do the "knockers" know that these professionals who have worked in engineering for 40-50 years don't?

The IET and increasingly some other professional bodies are very clear about valuing and respecting the essential contribution to the profession of each different type of registered professional. This has had the very positive effect of producing more Engineering Technician Registrations in 2011 than at any time in the past quarter century (I would need to double check the figures before 1986).

In 2011 the IET registered more in each category of the register (CEng, IEng, Eng Tech & ICT Tech) than any other body. This is a very positive story and not a negative one. There are no grounds for complacency but the evidence is of turnaround not a managed decline.

I would certainly support evolution of the standard to highlight distinctive IEng strengths but this has to be very carefully done. The problem in the noughties can be traced to the 1999 changes and the way they were promoted. There are challenges in making sure that IEng is valued as a career path in its own right, but is also of value for people who subsequently pursue a CEng career path. There are many examples of IEng registrants who have successfully pursued careers to senior management level or diverged into other professional areas (as I did). There are also many Chartered Engineers who pursued a highly technically specialised route, so trying to use "seniority" or "management" as a distinguishing factor doesn't work well for me. Technical expertise enabling technical responsibility (A&B within UK-SPEC) does

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 03 April 2012 06:16 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

I'm not sure which figures are being used in respect of AAT & RICS.

There are numerous reports highlighting current and projected skills shortages. The link gives a list of official skills shortage occupations.

">http://www.ukba.homeof...gov.....stnov11.pdf


I think it would be reasonable to suggest that many of these shortages are at least in part the result of an ageing workforce. Labour markets are fluid and complex but the consensus is that in years to come age profiles will rise.

">http://www.cipd.co.uk/...cpo.....ngworkforce


Many people expected that IEng would become the "mainstream" of professional engineers following the 1999 changes. Many other professions do not demand "masters level" for the "mainstream" professional. Unfortunately with hindsight we then lost a generation of HNC/D qualified competent engineers to registration, whilst those with degrees were led to believe that they were "too clever" for IEng. We are now beginning to make the competency based system work well and I wouldn't want to jeopardise this. The IET has a duty to be a strong voice for IEng but certainly not by diminishing other sections of the register.

Ps thanks for the tip but the hyperlinks now go to the wrong web-page, it seems the websites are defaulting to a home page. They worked in word

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards

Edited: 04 April 2012 at 08:47 AM by roybowdler
 03 April 2012 06:45 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Roy,

url links usually stops working when you re-edit the contents, because it inserts '[/L=' and '[/L]' at either ends of the link. If you remove these, the links will work.
 04 April 2012 05:51 PM
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jcm256

Posts: 1941
Joined: 01 April 2006

This is from the Engineering Council web site

Proposed rewording for European Directive
On 19 December 2011, the European Commission published proposals for revisions to the Recognition of Professional
Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC. Over the preceding months, the Engineering Council had participated in
consultations with the UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills (DBIS) and, through FEANI, the European
Commission. Negotiation on the proposals is expected to continue throughout 2012.
The majority of the proposed changes will have little impact for the UK engineering profession, or may provide some
benefit by, for example, requiring competent authorities to provide a detailed explanation of any identified shortfall in an
application for recognition. However, the Engineering Council has sounded the alarm bells about a proposed re-wording
in Article 11. This places professional qualifications at different levels, according solely to the duration of study of their
academic qualification. The current wording places Incorporated Engineers at level (d) and Chartered Engineers at level
(e). The proposed new wording would bring many Chartered Engineers into level (d). Engineering Council, and some
PEIs, have urged DBIS to object to adoption of the proposed re-wording.
Full details of the proposed changes can be found in a Citizen's Summary on the Commission website at:
http://ec.europa.eu/internal_m...opments/index_en.htm.

How would that be a good change if many Chartered Engineers were brought down to I Eng Level, why not have Chartered Incorporated Engineer.

Regards
 04 April 2012 08:57 PM
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kturff

Posts: 184
Joined: 14 August 2003

Hi

Just to clarify, the proposed change to the European Directive is not specific to engineers, but could have an impact on UK engineering graduates. The directive clause relates to academic programmes of any discipline. If the change is adopted, it would affect any programme of four years' duration, such as integrated Masters degrees, or combinations of 3 year Bachelor + 1 year Master.

The proposal is on the EU website at 2005/36 Policy Developments

Katy

-------------------------
Katy Turff
Programme Manager
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 05 April 2012 07:20 AM
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rar

Posts: 642
Joined: 30 August 2005

There are news for the professional card?
 07 April 2012 01:44 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

'Chartered' has relatively wide recognition in industry and with the general public and yet in comparison to all the engineers which exist only a very small percentage are CEng.....yet the world of engineering still goes on and improves. 'Incorporated' has relatively little recognition in industry and with the general public and so the arguments for seeking to attain it are difficult to make, especially when so few of all the engineers there are seek to attain CEng. IEng has no significant value in today's world and makes very little difference to the world of engineering and is not required for a successful career in engineering. So until such time as a good argument is put as to why it matters and which is then understood and appreciated by industry and the geneal public then only way to increase the numbers is to either drop the costs or make it easier to attain. To turn IEng into something of value in society would require all the big institutions to pool their resources, because individually they do not have enough to make a difference, and agree a common approach and then advertise it.

Regards.
 07 April 2012 05:33 PM
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DavidParr

Posts: 242
Joined: 19 April 2002

Originally posted by: westonpa
........... then only way to increase the numbers is to either drop the costs or make it easier to attain.

The IET are involved in a third option, namely making IEng more attractive and recognised as worthwhile. Rome wasn't built in a day, but significant resource is being applied to support IEng and I believe this is starting to bear fruit. Remember, many of the good, solid, dependable engineers that make companies successful are operating at IEng level, and they should have a recognised status that says this and is understood by the companies concerned and the population in general.

I always try to make this point to my registration candidates.

Regards,

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 08 April 2012 01:44 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: DavidParr
The IET are involved in a third option, namely making IEng more attractive and recognised as worthwhile. Rome wasn't built in a day, but significant resource is being applied to support IEng and I believe this is starting to bear fruit. Remember, many of the good, solid, dependable engineers that make companies successful are operating at IEng level, and they should have a recognised status that says this and is understood by the companies concerned and the population in general.

Of course 99% of the good, solid and dependable engineers who are part of making companies successful are not operating at IEng or CEng level. So the question is why do they need this recognised status? Does it increase the chances of getting a good job? Does it mean they will earn a better salary? Does it mean they will have more influence with their company? If yes where is the evidence to support this?

Rome is a great city and has great value and a great history......hence it was built, still exists and still has great value.

Regards.
 08 April 2012 09:50 PM
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DavidParr

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I would say that there are certainly a lot more than just 1% of engineers who are good, solid and dependable, who are making companies successful, and who are operating at IEng or CEng level. I accept that many of these engineers are not registered (yet!).

The higher the registered percentage becomes, the more valuable registration will be perceived to be, the more influential each registrant will become, and the chances that all this will be reflected in the salary we all can demand will improve.

I am a PRA because I know there is a large untapped pool of talent out there who deserve recognition for the wonderful work they do. The interest shown in the registration events held by the IET, and that I attend regularly, illustrates that this is the case. The quality of many of the registration candidates is excellent.

"Bigging up" IEng and CEng can only help us, both individually, and as a profession. Why would we want to talk down our chosen profession?

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 09 April 2012 02:16 AM
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Brian Robertson

Posts: 106
Joined: 01 April 2006

Following on from rar

The professional card

http://engineersjournal.ie/iss...cles/engineeringcard/

Does anyone know

1. When is it going to be introduced into the Uk?
2. There is no mandatory requirement for a professional engineer to hold a card at present, what about the future?
3. Will you need to be registered as a CEng or IEng?
4. Will applications be made throught the IET?
5. Will employers be asking to see cards?
6. How much will it cost?

I see the cards are already on trial in Germany and also in other nations.

Brian
 09 April 2012 04:06 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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Originally posted by: DavidParr
I am a PRA because I know there is a large untapped pool of talent out there who deserve recognition for the wonderful work they do.

They are already getting their recognition through the terms and conditions of their employment and the recognition through the work they do. I accept that becomming IEng or CEng adds a little value but the real question is how much value. Let's say there is an engineer out there working away, are they suddenly going to transform into a significantly better engineer by being awarded IEng or CEng? Is their employer going to raise their salary significantly or promote them to a better job? Of course if a person requires it for a specific job then I can accept that in that instance it has a much higher value. It would seem to be the qualifications and experience which are on the CV which have the higher value to most employers.
The interest shown in the registration events held by the IET, and that I attend regularly, illustrates that this is the case. The quality of many of the registration candidates is excellent.

Good, this is a positive point.
"Bigging up" IEng and CEng can only help us, both individually, and as a profession. Why would we want to talk down our chosen profession?

IEng and CEng are not the 'engineering profession' and thus it is perfectly reasonable to critically analyse their value. Even talking them down does not equate to talking the 'engineering profession' down. That is like the politicians ploy everytime some criticises any war, the politicians try to suggest the person(s) is criticising the men and women serving in the armed services.

Fair play to you for the work you do as a PRA, that is a positive thing.

Regards.
 09 April 2012 06:50 PM
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DavidParr

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Thank you westonpa. I agree with much of what you say.

Knowing how much work is done by assessors, interviewers and IET staff, and having now had end to end experience of many different cases, I am convinced that no one gets IEng or CEng unless they are top class engineers. It is a pity that not all employers recognise that, by employing an IEng or CEng, they are getting something special; something which takes years of responsible experience to achieve.

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 10 April 2012 06:37 AM
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rar

Posts: 642
Joined: 30 August 2005

Why not a professional card for registered IEng and CEng like the certificate issued by the IET?
 10 April 2012 01:09 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: rar

Why not a professional card for registered IEng and CEng like the certificate issued by the IET?


I would like to see a rigid implementation of CPD to ensure IEng and CEng maintain their competencies and with an assessment every 5 years.....not a full blown IEng/CEng assessment but rather an assessment that the CPD has been properly maintained. This would give an advantage over a degree for which there is no requirement to maintain the comptencies gained whilst studying for it. It would also then inform employers that the person is still at the standard, so far as is reasonably practicable. With this type of message we could start to build a standard which has a value which is different to a degree but which would have value to both the holder and prospective employer......in my opinion.

Regards.
 13 April 2012 03:37 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

Both the previous contributions seem to offer something worthy of further consideration in my opinion.

Implemented with care I would support a periodic review of CPD but there are cost and "red tape" implications, even if much voluntary effort could be harnessed. I can't see how a process of carrying out an "admin check" based on counting hours or similar, would show value added?

Taking it further I think it would be impractical to move away from the current point in time assessment and award system, to a "renewal of licence" approach. This is really only appropriate to activities of a tightly constrained scope and would need costly policing.

Each type of professional registration has to be "distinctive" and strongly valued in itself if we expect people to engage voluntarily. The alternative would be for the professional engineering community to consist only of relatively small "elites" with the rest being on the "outside" or the "waiting list".

The IET embraces all categories of professional registrants across a range of disciplines and is working to ensure their active engagement. In my opinion this actually increases the standing of Chartered Engineers and the overall reputation of the institution.

As part of revitalising IEng we have to address any (often inadvertent) negative stereotyping where we find it, as well as promoting a positive distinctive position. There is certainly a role for marketing which we are doing in a targeted way, but the best advert is the quality of the people who have become IEng through the IET.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 15 April 2012 01:57 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: roybowdler
Implemented with care I would support a periodic review of CPD but there are cost and "red tape" implications, even if much voluntary effort could be harnessed. I can't see how a process of carrying out an "admin check" based on counting hours or similar, would show value added?

The IET can set the standards for the evidence required to prove CPD. Certain types of information may only require an admin check whereas other types may require a different type of check. Look at the existing model for assessing and awarding IEng in that if a person has appropriate qualifications they form part of the competency requirements and are 'easier' to check whereas work experience may required more indepth checks. The current system is not perfect but we accept it as good enough overall to be able to award professional status. I do not suggest that the CPD system would be perfect but it would be a step in the correct direction. If person has a 20 year old degree whilst it has value there is nothing to suggest the person is still at that level whereas if they have IEng with a checked CPD the employer would have at least some more assurance the person remains at that level.....not perfect but something 'distinctive' from formal qualifications. IOSH require senior status's to maintain CPD so it can be done.

Regards.
 16 April 2012 08:46 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
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Originally posted by: DavidParr
The higher the registered percentage becomes, the more valuable registration will be perceived to be, the more influential each registrant will become, and the chances that all this will be reflected in the salary we all can demand will improve.

This might have been true in the past, but not in these modern times. One of the reasons the IEE changed it's name to the IET was in recognition of the changing pace of science, engineering and technology. This means that engineers now have to adapt to changing areas of skills, methods and practice on a regular basis as well as taking on additional management responsibility.

I've seen an example of an engineer registered at a senior level with the EC, transferred over to a new organisational structure in his company, doing much the same role he's done over the last 20 years? and on the same pay grade. In other words he appears never to have been promoted, even though he is in a responsible role and a valued member of staff.

Within the same organisation, other members (not registered with the EC or any membership) doing slightly different roles have been promoted in a short space of time (5 years?) and crept ahead of the registered engineer by as much as one or two pay grades. How did they do it?

We'll they decided to take on more responsibility by applying for senior advertised roles. They filled out the application forms, took the test papers, gave the interview presentations and the interviews, before landing the new jobs.

In other words, organisations are now adopting ECUK-Spec like assessments on candidates for new job applications. Promotions are also assessed on the same basis. Therefore ambitious staff can leap frog ahead of others by submitting themselves to rigorous assessments to win promotion.

For registered engineers to win promotion, they will have to follow the same process and take on more responsibility.

Therefore registration with the ECUK will eventually become irrelevant as it's only a once in a lifetime evaluation and not done on a regular basis.

Edited: 16 April 2012 at 09:01 PM by mbirdi
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