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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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 24 August 2013 11:17 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: MosheW
Here is a thought.
IEng's start a separate society , called The Society of Incorporated Engineers. Run by IEng's, for promotion of the interests and status of IEng's. I don't know what it takes in UK, here in California I can start a non profit. Association, by filing 30 USD and an application form with the secretary of state.
Become like NSPE in USA.

Fair suggestion but all things considered I think it is better to keep IEng within the IET in order to keep it as part of a large engineering and technology institution. I prefer to work to improve what we have. However, it is quite clear that the IET are rather fixed in their ways. IEng is the weaker brand/product, but this is not down to the engineers who hold it and do a fine job (note, they would be doing a fine job even if they did not hold IEng), and instead it is because it is pitched in the wrong area and the messages used for obtaining it are lacking in key areas. If we have a degree then it pays to make a little bit more effort and gain CEng.

There are 1000's of engineers with HNC's, and HNC level work experience, and IEng would be a great status for them. What the IET/EC did some time ago was to try and pitch IEng at degree level in order to increase the value of IEng. It was a marketing ploy to try and suggest IEng was somehow equivalent to a degree. Based on http://ofqual.gov.uk/qualifica...els-of-qualifications/ I see EngTech as level 3, IEng as level 4/5 and CEng as level 6/7 and not as 3, 6 and 7. Now if we are at level 6 it's better to step up to 7 because the gap is relatively small.

Now the IET inflated the qualifications required because degrees were becoming more commonplace and they did not want to devalue/dilute CEng. However, it is only in 'rare' cases where a person at work is going to be doing degree, at honours level, maths and there will not be enough of those rare cases to take up IEng. There will however be lots of engineers working at HNC level and who can take up IEng. It's a very good status for the them and would add value. Now with regards to why we should obtain it then for any company wanting an assessment of competency, in order to know for health, safety, environmental, ethical, moral, professional, reasons that they have a generally competent engineer then it is well worth them having the status.

There are laws which talk about competency and so it fits. This gives high value to all employers and so more will ask for it to better cover their relevant obligations. For the engineer their status will inform that they are generally competent and thus they have less to prove in that regards other than the normal doing the job. The other added advantage is that we have more engineers taking it up and so more engineers and companies become aware of the professional, legal, moral, ethical, etc., obligations and requirements to CPD etc. It will not take much effort to tweak the messaging/branding.

Regards.

Edited: 24 August 2013 at 10:50 PM by westonpa
 24 August 2013 04:07 PM
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MosheW

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IEng is not only awarded by IET, it also registered via 30+ EngC licensed Institutes.

The Society of IEngs will run in parallel, not in opposite. A complimentary task force who's members and officers are IEng's.
It can combine members from IET, BCS, IMEchE etc, etc.
 24 August 2013 10:14 PM
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peteTLM

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MosheW,
have a look on wikipedia and tell us what 2 institutions merged to form the IET............ :-)

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 25 August 2013 05:50 PM
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MosheW

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Originally posted by: peteTLM

MosheW,

have a look on wikipedia and tell us what 2 institutions merged to form the IET............ :-)


I was Associate member of Institute of ENgineers and Technicians, it merged to IIE. And later IIE mergied with IEE to form IET.

So I'm well aware of it.

I used to be IEng. A little over a month ego I became CEng.

From what I read
basically it appears that IEng's are not to happy (not all) with branding of IEng by IET and EC.

That's what I read here in this tread.

So I suggested a task force body formed by IEngs, manged by IEngs
for promotion of the interests of IEng's.

It can run in parallel

Edited: 26 August 2013 at 05:03 AM by MosheW
 25 August 2013 08:59 PM
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MosheW

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I used to be a licensed member of NSPE in USA and CASPE.
This is a National Society of Professional Engineers , run by Professional Engineers for the Interests of Professional Engineers.
They are strongly lobbying withing Government and other major bodies related to Engineering.

In 1934, a group of professional engineers met in New York City to establish an organization dedicated to the non-technical concerns of licensed professional engineers. The National Society of Professional Engineers stands today as the only national organization committed to addressing the professional concerns of licensed PEs across all disciplines.


Foster Chapter-State-National partnerships to seamlessly deliver a core level of service to every member.
Deliver value to our members that enhances their competence and ability to practice as a Professional Engineer.
Increase membership to serve and represent the collective interests of all licensed Professional Engineers and Engineer Interns.
Advocate U.S. public policy pertaining to engineering matters in the interest of enhancing public health, safety, and welfare.
 26 August 2013 12:56 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: MosheW
From what I read basically it appears that IEng's are not to happy (not all) with branding of IEng by IET and EC. That's what I read here in this tread.

Nope, people are giving opinions as to why they think take up of IEng is not that good amongst the younger engineers.

Regards.
 26 August 2013 06:24 PM
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MosheW

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Originally posted by: westonpa

Originally posted by: MosheW

From what I read basically it appears that IEng's are not to happy (not all) with branding of IEng by IET and EC. That's what I read here in this tread.


Nope, people are giving opinions as to why they think take up of IEng is not that good amongst the younger engineers.



Regards.


That to but also the branding of IEng.

Regards
 26 August 2013 07:06 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: MosheW
That to but also the branding of IEng.
Regards

True.
Regards.
 27 August 2013 09:23 AM
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g7jwr

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Very interesting posts, but I see constant reference to younger Engineers, there is still plenty of Mature engineering candidates out there myself being one them, who are holding off from applying for IEng because the feeling that a degree is pre requisite for the application and anything less will be looked upon as not good enough.
I have over thirty years experience in engineering in one form or another mainly in the field, but I am holding back from applying for IEng for the above reason
 27 August 2013 12:32 PM
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Simon750

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Originally posted by: g7jwr

Very interesting posts, but I see constant reference to younger Engineers, there is still plenty of Mature engineering candidates out there myself being one them, who are holding off from applying for IEng because the feeling that a degree is pre requisite for the application and anything less will be looked upon as not good enough.

I have over thirty years experience in engineering in one form or another mainly in the field, but I am holding back from applying for IEng for the above reason


Probably as are many potential IEng candidates/registrants

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Simon Long CMgr FCMI FInstLM
 27 August 2013 06:45 PM
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MosheW

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I was proud to be IEng I became one in my late 40's with almost 30 years of experience.

Then one day I thought that I can apply for CEng as my experience and training matched well with UK SPEC for CEng.

Professional registration in my view is a big plus.

Incorporated Engineer is a Registered Professional Engineer. I call it like its called in Russia

Engineer Technologist = IEng. In Russia it can be some one with Masters degree in Engineering Technologies. Its a greatly respected profession.
 27 August 2013 09:27 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: MosheW
Professional registration in my view is a big plus.


What were your qualifications at the time of gaining IEng and what difference did it make to your career?

Why did you need to change to CEng and what difference has that made to your career?

Regards.
 28 August 2013 09:37 AM
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roybowdler

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Originally posted by: g7jwr

Very interesting posts, but I see constant reference to younger Engineers, there is still plenty of Mature engineering candidates out there myself being one them, who are holding off from applying for IEng because the feeling that a degree is pre requisite for the application and anything less will be looked upon as not good enough.

I have over thirty years experience in engineering in one form or another mainly in the field, but I am holding back from applying for IEng for the above reason


There is no reason why a good engineer with an HNC or HND cannot gain IEng registration via the IET. In fact many CEng also hold such qualifications.

It is necessary to demonstrate professional competence which is why the standard is called UK SPEC (Standard for Professional Engineering Competence).

This standard has been in place for a number of years. UK SPEC provides exemplifying (aka benchmark) qualifications of which an HNC is one, subject to the potential IEng illustrating learning to "degree level". One approved method of achieving this is by "work based or experiential learning" and the IET has a process for evaluating work-based learning during registration assessment . The process has been extensively tested and validated, including comparative studies between practising engineers of similar professional standard, with different formal qualifications.

I accept that those who argue that IEng should have a lower academic "benchmark" are not motivated by snobbery. But I think it would be difficult to deny that the some of the promoters of one of the professional registration categories have made extensive use of one-upmanship or snobbery over many years. It is perhaps the cheapest marketing gimmick of all to diminish an alternative. I think that this approach is inappropriate and outdated.

It would seem from the argument in this forum that the concept of competence is not understood and/or accepted. Perhaps it is the principle of competence, or the correlation between academic achievement and professional performance in different situations that we should be debating?

Any sensible person seeking to maintain or enhance professional standards, would want to encourage excellence in courses of study and engineering qualifications, but this only one dimension of the argument. It is too simplistic to categorise people by their academic qualifications alone, there are excellent Technicians with an MEng or even PhD and equally excellent Chartered Engineers with an HNC.

Incorporated Engineers should be seen as occupying the mainstream of professional engineering, in many sectors of engineering and technology. IEng are also drawn from many entry points, a higher apprenticeship is the "traditional route" (and the most efficient in my opinion), but there are full time bachelors courses with IEng accreditation and many people with CEng accredited degrees practising in an IEng role.

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards

Edited: 28 August 2013 at 03:56 PM by roybowdler
 28 August 2013 09:50 AM
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Parsley

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Originally posted by: g7jwr

Very interesting posts, but I see constant reference to younger Engineers, there is still plenty of Mature engineering candidates out there myself being one them, who are holding off from applying for IEng because the feeling that a degree is pre requisite for the application and anything less will be looked upon as not good enough.

I have over thirty years experience in engineering in one form or another mainly in the field, but I am holding back from applying for IEng for the above reason


IEng is possible if you don't have a BEng.
You will need to allow a fair bit of time to produce an excellent PDR which demonstrates how you meet the 16 ECUK competencies.

Regards
 28 August 2013 09:53 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: roybowdler
It would seem from the argument in this forum that the concept of competence is not understood and/or accepted. Perhaps it is the principle of competence, or the correlation between academic achievement and professional performance in different situations that we should be debating?

Reasonable point, but I think we are evaluating reasons for the decline in IEng registered engineers and are offering ideas for improvement. Lowering academic requirements to HNC level, and which is a well respected qualification, would make the status available to a wider range of engineers and would add good value for their career. No matter what the IET/EC understands by competency unless we can get enough people to take up the 'product' then few are ever going to understand competency. I would think most BEng holders would rather make a little extra effort and go for CEng. Let us consider the careers of most BEng holders then I would suggest that their work experience is likely to consist of enough of the competencies required to gain CEng, albeit maybe they would require the MSc as well. This may often be the case even if their work experience contains also enough of the competencies to gain IEng. All they need to do is to decide what status they want and then write their report and emphasise the competencies required. I say this because nowadays many jobs are not going to be Black and White IEng or CEng with regards to the work experience aspect. However many people with HNC qualifications are overall more likely to also be doing jobs with work experience which is better aligned with IEng, albeit I accept this will of course not always be the case. Given the choice between IEng and CEng, as things stand, most engineers will prefer to have CEng. Now the other way to change this would be to improve the branding of IEng, if that is possible, such that it is seen as a more desirable status. If for example it was seen as desirable as CEng then many BEng holders may well go for IEng instead. For the HNC holders however it will be a tougher task to show the BEng level competencies because there is a bigger gap between HNC and BEng (honours part) and so they may well be put off applying. It's ok to say go for it anyway but that is easy for the IET/EC to say. For the customer they may see this as an effort which is not just worth it.

A person with a degree and several years of good quality work experience already has a qualification which is for the most part transportable around the world. For example we speak about degree in Italy, USA, Germany, Brazil, India, China, etc., then it has brand recognition. Speak about HNC and those countries will likely ask what's that then? So the degree holder will then likely want something which gives an even better recognition and that is more likely to be CEng and so they will likely make the extra effort. For the HNC holder however IEng will add value and be easier to achieve, with the HNC academic requirement, and give them a status which has a reasonable international recognition.

I have as much respect for the guy who comes into my office and empties the bins and cleans the floor as I do the CEO but it does not change my opinion that IEng sits too close to CEng and most jobs nowadays are just not Black and White in one camp or the other, especially with the advent of more multi skilling.

It is too simplistic to categorise people by their academic qualifications alone, there are excellent Technicians with an MEng or even PhD and equally excellent Chartered Engineers with an HNC.

This is true but we cannot list all the competencies each time we discuss this else there will be a whole lot of writing each and everytime. It's easier to talk about the qualifications aspect and just state the person also needs the relevant work experience.

Incorporated Engineers should be seen as occupying the mainstream of professional engineering, in many sectors of engineering and technology. IEng are also drawn from many entry points, a higher apprenticeship is the "traditional route" (and the most efficient in my opinion), but there are full time bachelors courses with IEng accreditation and many people with CEng accredited degrees practising in an IEng role.


That's fair enough but there will always be 10's of examples of those over academically qualified for the status they hold. However it really then comes down to their reasons for holding that status and how 'easy' it was for them to obtain it. I tend to think it will be easier for the BEng/MEng engineer with relevant work experience to obtain IEng than say a HNC qualified engineer. Hence the BEng/MEng engineer may just take it because it was 'easy' to obtain.....it does not mean they neccessarily see it as really important for their career. On the other hand maybe they do, I think it's important to understand why they have the status they do.

If IEng and CEng were as different as say apples and organges then I guess it would be down to your taste, so to speak, whereas if they are the difference between a job which has just a little bit more of some competencies for one than the other then most engineers will simply try to take on board a bit more of those required for CEng and then go for that instead. It's not difficult because most engineers have a reasonable amount of flexibility of what they take on within their roles, and they only need to do it until they have CEng and then they could change again and still keep the status.

I think for IEng either 'improve' the branding or else re align it closer to the type of work which the majority of HNC holders do, overall.

Regards.

Edited: 28 August 2013 at 10:04 PM by westonpa
 28 August 2013 10:19 PM
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MosheW

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I think the issue is some people get degrees in Engineering others in Technology.

I think a person who studied Engineering should be Engineer.
A person who studied Engineering Technology should be an Engineering Technologist. a person studying Medical or Surgical technology , should be Medical Technologist . Technologist can be Chartered.At the top.

The we also have highly respected and needed Engineering Technicians. As we know they can be Electronics, mechanical or ICT, etc.

Now back to Engineer.

If CEng is the highest level then Associate Engineer (as used in Ireland for example) can be something between Technician and CEng. Or IEng - Incorporated Engineer can as it is today, but it will be branded as "middle weight" Engineer according the registration even if the person is heavy weight Engineer.

As the expectation would be, if you are "heavy weight" then register as a CEng. We know you are great Engineer, so why are you not upgrading to CEng?

In the world of degrees CEng also has BEng CEng, MEng CEng and Ph.D or Dr. Eng CEng.
 29 August 2013 09:55 AM
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roybowdler

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westonpa

There is much in your argument that I would have only minor differences with, in particular the principle that IEng perhaps has the most potential, to add personal value to someone without a degree. There are the more recent foundation degrees and the organisation that owns HNCs has placed HNC & HND at different levels, but I don't see any need to debate this, other than to accept that in academic terms these qualifications are something less than a bachelors degree.

It is reasonable to assume that the movement of the IEng benchmark to "bachelors level" was driven by some of the factors you describe including a wish to "enhance the status" of IEng. This took place around 15 years ago and I have previously argued was one of the triggers for the decline in IEng registrations. I think it was the right decision, but it faltered because there was no coherent strategy to implement it in a way, which allowed people to gain credit for learning and competence development at work . The problem is illustrated by g7jwr who has received the message that he was excluded.

Moshe's points are relevant here in the sense that two different bachelors degrees may have an entirely different syllabus and be conducted in a completely different way (full time, part-time, distance, work-based etc) both would be an engineering degree and have similar general recognition and "status". I'm not sure I understand Moshe's distinction between an "engineering" and "technology" degree, although I would recognise a difference between "applications" and "fundamental theory".

In the years since the change in the IEng benchmark, demographic factors have led to many more engineering bachelors graduates. Many should have become IEng, but for some of the reasons discussed didn't . IEng with a lower benchmark would be even less attractive to them and many of the more recent higher apprenticeships lead to bachelors degrees (although not the deeply theoretical type I hope).

If we return to what I hope is our shared objective of making IEng more attractive and deal (for simplicity) with the main benchmark qualifications. The status argument isn't going to work in attempting to differentiate between people who have studied a slightly different syllabus, got better A levels or have done an extra academic year (the average career is 40+years). Therefore the only meaningful distinction where IEng can be imbued with positive distinctive characteristics in relation to CEng, must come from the workplace and the type of work that IEng do. Given the huge variety of engineering, it is this difficult challenge that Engineering Council have and that those in The IET and elsewhere who seek to champion IEng have to make work.

There is a legitimate (in my opinion) strand of argument from the IEng community that the "burden of distinctiveness" should rest with the CEng standard. If the "mainstream" professional engineer operating nominally at "bachelors level" is IEng, then CEng should be something distinctively different. UK-SPEC refers to CEng as being characterised by "innovation creativity and change" and "pioneering", should individuals who do not demonstrate these characteristics be considered CEng or IEng?

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards

Edited: 29 August 2013 at 02:06 PM by roybowdler
 29 August 2013 12:23 PM
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kasese

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South Africa has 2 recognised levels - no real distinction between
Professional Engineer & Professional Engineering Technologist - both highly recognised depending on Degree title
They also have Professional Engineering Technician I believe.
Tim Guy
 29 August 2013 01:58 PM
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danielscott

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Originally posted by: roybowdler

I'm not sure I understand Moshe's distinction between an "engineering" and "technology" degree, although I would recognise a difference between "applications" and "fundamental theory".



In Canada you go to University to gain an engineering degree and a college to gain a technician or technologist diploma.

In the USA the equivalent to the Canadian technologist diploma is called an Associate Degree and graduates are awarded a BA or BS depending which college/university or degree you have taken.

Correct me if I am wrong Moshe.
 29 August 2013 02:58 PM
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roybowdler

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Daniel thanks for this, I was just editing my earlier post and spotted yours. What you describe seems like the UK approach of 20-30 years ago. Employed apprentices and more practically orientated students to college/polytechnic for an HNC/HND and occasionally a "vocational" BSc, mostly part-time. Academically oriented people looking for a full time university education, a more "scientific" degree syllabus. First group IEng maybe a few CEng with the degree, second group CEng with appropriate training and experience. The majority of practitioners "doing OK thanks don't need to bother" or disinterested in something which had (perhaps more in some perceptions than reality) associations with social class. Arguably this rubbed along reasonably well, as long as you were content to be defined as a sheep or a goat at the age of 11 or 16.

Our international correspondents seem to be suggesting that Engineer and Technologist are similarly sought and respected in some countries. I can't say that I encountered the idea of "a Technologist" as being anything other than "an Engineer", perhaps with an IT slant (i.e. North American) until this century. I wasn't against its use for IEng a decade or so ago when I first came across it, because Chartered (Engineering) Technologist sounded OK to me. Had it happened we would have had to educate the UK to the term "technologist" against a background of some indignant CEng interests, emphasising that it was something of lower status. Without researching it definitively, I think that there remains no understanding in the UK of the concept of a technologist, as being anything other than vaguely a type of engineer or scientist.

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
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