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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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 17 April 2012 10:25 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: pmiller2006
I am very impressed with the quality of new IEng registrants, but I don't think the profile of the typical new IEng fits the strategy being adopted by the Engineering Council, who see the continuum of Eng Tech, IEng, CEng as being all important. The average age of a new IEng last year was 45, against 37 for a CEng, so it seems the EC strategy is at odds with the real world.

What is your primary concern, age or numbers? If the average age is 45 then that suggests that on average the IEng have a lot of work experience. If the average age was say 25 then it would suggest significantly less work experience. I think we should be more concerned about the quality instead of just trying to make up the numbers, because from a high quality foundations we can build a high quality status. I think it is relatively 'easier' for people to have experience which meets the competency requirements of IEng but less so for CEng, and hence more older and experienced engineers at IEng status, but I do not see this as a problem.

Regards.
 18 April 2012 09:51 AM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

As with most statistics there are various interpretations. It is very pleasing that IEng is appealing to experienced professionals and in particular their employers. The current high age profile also counters any argument of lowering of standards. I hesitate to predict the future but I think that the average age of new registrants will fall, which would be desirable. In trying to revitalise IEng we need experienced exemplars, role models and mentors who often could have registered earlier. There will always be those who reach the standard in mid or late career, but many should be able to do so within ten years rather than twenty plus.

There are differences in emphasis between Engineering Council licensed bodies. The IET wishes to be an inclusive body and offers equal respect to all categories of professional registrant. Some other institutions mainly or only value chartered professionals and see Technician or IEng as "associates" or as a "progression".
Provided that the standard is not compromised, the existence of some variety and therefore choice seems healthy to me.

A recent IET members working party emphasised the importance of viewing IEng as a distinctive and valuable career path in its own right. However some people who achieve IEng will pursue a career path that enables them to demonstrate CEng competence at a later stage and should be fully supported in doing so.

At present most new IEng and Technician registrants come to registration when they are well above the threshold standard. Many will have comfortably reached the threshold in their twenties. Looking at Engineering Council statistics for new registrants in 2011, there is encouragement. The most represented ages for a new IEng were 28,29 & 30 with 26 &27 in the top ten. The overall age profile rose because of a strong cohort of mid-career professionals. There is an element of "catch-up" as well as some sector specific factors.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 18 April 2012 11:37 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
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Why do engineers take so long to achieve IEng and CEng registration when medical Doctors (who spend 7 years qualifying) achieve registration in their 20s?

I'm sorry, but are we saying that engineers need to be like boeing 747 pilots? Sort of need to be flying for 30 years before getting to be captain of a 747? And is the pay and status of registered engineers worth it after all the effort? Most engineers retire in their 50s.

I'm sorry but some engineers are living in cloud cuckoo land.

This is what happens when you let old guys (and I'm not exempt from it) run an engineering organisation. They've turned it into an elite and un-attractive place for young talented engineers to want to join.
 19 April 2012 08:28 AM
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ectophile

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Originally posted by: mbirdi

Why do engineers take so long to achieve IEng and CEng registration when medical Doctors (who spend 7 years qualifying) achieve registration in their 20s?


The problem is that CEng and IEng are much woollier than the other professions. All the other respected professions I can think of have a structured training programme, consisting of on-the-job training and examinations. If at the end you pass the exams then you are qualified.

However, the BEng and MEng degrees don't contain enough practical work, so it requires post-graduate employment to make that up. Plus the engineering institutions allow you to apply with an alternative degree and a longer period of experience.

It's as if a nurse could upgrade to a doctor because they have a nursing qualification and they have worked in a senior position at a hospital for 10 years.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 19 April 2012 08:52 AM
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Gazzer83

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Whilst its great to see all the talk about IEng and CEng. What about Eng Tech. I would like to become an IEng but trying to get guidance and a clear path is like trying to find hend teeth. I am self employed (not through choice) and cant afford course and time off, i work all the hours i can get. There does not seem to be any consideration for those want to take the next step. It would be nice to go to a registration meeting, but time, distance and cost do not seem to be factors in the IET. Some of us live in the real world were we would like a hand not have the hand taken out of us. We seem to be the forgotten and only remeberd went the fees become due each year. I am giving serious consideration as to weather it is worth it anymore as there seems to be very little (almost nothing) in it for me.
 19 April 2012 09:34 AM
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DavidParr

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Gazzer, can I ask where you live?

There are regular registration clinics held by IET local groups all over the country, and the ones I am involved with treat EngTech as equally important as CEng or IEng.

If these are not an option to you, drop me a PM and I will be glad to help you in my capacity as a PRA.

Best Regards,

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 19 April 2012 12:11 PM
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Brian Robertson

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Originally posted by: mbirdi

And is the pay and status of registered engineers worth it after all the effort?


To be a registered IEng or CEng professional engineer is well worth it in my opinion and I would encourage it.

In regards to pay & status I think they both would improve if engineers had to be registered with the UK engineering council.

For example
just look at job web sites in countries like USA & Aus where a professional registered engineers salary is much higher by far than UK.


I think problem is that registration is optional in the UK and therefore allows anyone to call themselves engineers.

Brian
 20 April 2012 04:58 PM
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roybowdler

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Legitimate concerns both. Good overall numbers are important but competence and commitment (a familiar slogan) is more so. The value of IEng in future will be what holders make it and there has been a very healthy increase in new registrants who can potentially take on the challenge.

Engineering Council regulates the standard but can't prescribe how professional bodies market it. I note that the CIOB (outside Engineering Council regulation) now also use the term "Incorporated". There is actually much more variety in the types of people using the designation "Chartered", but this is rarely raised as a "vagueness" problem. The IET and now also I understand the IMechE (nearly 50% of total registrants) treat IEng as full professional members.

My main concern about alternative "progressive" type approaches is that the holders of IEng may value it less. However why shouldn't an IEng be ambitious and become a CEng, or otherwise Chartered if this is the path they choose. It has been suggested by some that IEng could be retained by those who currently transfer to CEng rather than subsumed. I understand that it is technically possible to be in different sections of the register at the same time. Perhaps also some subtle changes to the IEng standard could emphasise the distinctive "practicality" of IEng registrants, which might make it desirable to those with a more academic background. This would be reinforced if more employers also valued the IEng distinctive contribution. We already have Incorporated Engineers (and Technicians) with good degrees including masters. Why should they be seen by some as "under achievers" when they are enjoying successful careers?

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 21 April 2012 01:36 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: mbirdi
Why do engineers take so long to achieve IEng and CEng registration when medical Doctors (who spend 7 years qualifying) achieve registration in their 20s?

Sometimes I smile at your questions because you ask them and yet know the answers before you ask them....such a tease you are.
A doctor has to be registered to practice as a doctor and so the system is set up that way. An engineer does not require IEng or CEng to practice as an engineer. If the engineer did require this then the system would be set up to accomodate it and they would all have to obtain the status in their early 20's, or thereabouts.
I'm sorry, but are we saying that engineers need to be like boeing 747 pilots? Sort of need to be flying for 30 years before getting to be captain of a 747? And is the pay and status of registered engineers worth it after all the effort? Most engineers retire in their 50s.

No because a 747 pilot is a pilot and an engineer is an engineer, assuming of course that one is not doing both jobs.
I'm sorry but some engineers are living in cloud cuckoo land.

And where are the cuckoo's living?
This is what happens when you let old guys (and I'm not exempt from it) run an engineering organisation. They've turned it into an elite and un-attractive place for young talented engineers to want to join.

Maybe they could do something along the lines of IOSH and introduce Grad Eng.

Regards.
 21 April 2012 01:58 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: roybowdler
My main concern about alternative "progressive" type approaches is that the holders of IEng may value it less. However why shouldn't an IEng be ambitious and become a CEng, or otherwise Chartered if this is the path they choose.

But this sends again the message that IEng is below CEng which means IEng holders may value it less. Sorry but I do not see CEng as the pinnacle but rather I see it as a status which is aligned with a persons chosen career. IEng and EngTech are also aligned with a persons chosen career. People may get different salaries and carry out different work tasks but all are required for a successful business and quite often if the 'top' person leaves it does not have anywhere the same effect as if the EngTech leaves, because the EngTech persons skills and experience are not so easily replaced.
Perhaps also some subtle changes to the IEng standard could emphasise the distinctive "practicality" of IEng registrants, which might make it desirable to those with a more academic background. This would be reinforced if more employers also valued the IEng distinctive contribution. We already have Incorporated Engineers (and Technicians) with good degrees including masters. Why should they be seen by some as "under achievers" when they are enjoying successful careers?

But if they already have successful careers, and good degrees, then why do they require IEng? What does it add? Answer that and then use it for the marketing campaign. I think it will be better for IEng to stand out as something distinctive and stop trying to be all things to all people.

For me IEng is an engineer who incorporates the high level of practical and technical competencies required to deliver a professional and world class standard of engineering and which is underpinned by ethical standards and academic acheivement. An incorporated engineer also maintains their level of competency by continued professional development which is regularly reviewed by their institution. Bla bla bla.

Regards.
 21 April 2012 02:03 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: pmiller2006
My concern is the Engineering Council's strategy for IEng which I believe not be successful in the longer term. Roy is correct that IEng is seen as a 'professional' level qualification by the IET, but other PEI's see it more as an associate award. I believe this vagueness in what IEng really means is a real problem in terms of marketing the qualification. Notwithstanding the fact there has been a slight increase in new IEng registrations, the overall numbers are in steep decline and the demographic trend means that there could be less than 10,000 incorporated engineers in 5 years time.

How do you think it should be marketed then, in order that it is less vague?

Regards.
 22 April 2012 08:36 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
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Originally posted by: westonpa
Originally posted by: mbirdi
Why do engineers take so long to achieve IEng and CEng registration when medical Doctors (who spend 7 years qualifying) achieve registration in their 20s?

Sometimes I smile at your questions because you ask them and yet know the answers before you ask them....such a tease you are.

Reminds me of Dick Emery in one of his sketches, dressed in drag: Oh! you are awful.....But I like you. Followed by the hand bag routine.
 23 April 2012 07:14 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
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Originally posted by: roybowdler
The IET and now also I understand the IMechE (nearly 50% of total registrants) treat IEng as full professional members.

The IET recognises all members (MIET, EngTech, IEng and CEng) as professional engineers, including those who aren't in the IET. The reason for this is simple.

The IET recognises that science, engineering and technology are rapidly advancing and that registered engineers aren't the only group who can be described as professional engineers. This has been stated in many documents prior to the IEE and IIE merger, including statement in the MIET section.

So what makes IEng and CEng different to non-registered professional engineers? To understand this one has to appreciate what the word engineer and engineering is?

Engineering is the application of pure scientific principles (Maths, Science) to practical problem solving. Or to put it another way, it is the art of scavenging knowledge to solve practical problems. That is to say, engineers take knowledge from the Mathematics, Physics etc to help come up with solutions to solve practical problems that otherwise hammers and chisel couldn't solve .

Chartered engineers can be described as the highest form of knowledge scavengers, because they in addition, take knowledge of Business and Management to help lead teams, market products and run companies.

Not all professional engineers adopt all of the knowledge in carrying out their work. Most use only technical skills and leave out the management and business skills. And so do not meet the requirements to qualify for CEng status. Unless they have academic qualifications above BSc. I.e PhD or Professorship.

To summarise, all involved in engineering to various degrees are professional engineers, because they use some of the knowledge to solve practical problems at various stages. In future, engineers will scavenge from other subjects in achieving solutions to solving practical problems.

Perhap future CEngs will need Political skills to enable them to actively influence the go-ahead of engineering projects, on the media. Appearence on Question Time perhaps, explaining why wind farming would be beneficial to the country's prosperity etc. Present CEngs lack this skill which is why they never appear on the media and thus not enjoy the kind of status other professions take for granted.

Edited: 23 April 2012 at 07:35 PM by mbirdi
 01 July 2012 08:18 AM
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olcay

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Originally posted by: pmiller2006

How do you think it should be marketed then, in order that it is less vague?


The engineering council have commissioned market research into addressing the vagueness problem but appear to have ignored the advice given.


The Engineering Council is not interested in promoting the Incorporated Engineer . The promotion compaign is just a white-wash.
If EC really wanted "IEng" to have a respected status should have withdrawn from Sydney Accord and stopped describing "IEng" as "Technologist" internationally.
Yes EC declares "IEng" as professional engineers in UK , but ignores the rest of the world .
Many people in the middle-east and also USA now does not consider British BSc holders as "engineers"
The EC has to first accept that it has failed in "International" recognition.
It is not too long that Europian Union will also not accept British first cycle degrees as "engineers" . Just look at the latest proposals to changes of directive 2005/36EC .
The EC should stop like acting as if "rest of the world" doesn't matter and really promote and protect British first cycle degree holders and "IEng registrants" .
We "IEng registrants" can't help feeling neglected and degraded by EC international policies. Seems "IEng" will be sold down the river eventually.
WITHDRAW INCORPORATED ENGINEER s FROM SYDNEY ACCORD.
After all perception prevails everything else.
 04 July 2012 07:52 AM
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thewaverider

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As some others have said here it appears despite 3 people I know who have applied for Ieng all have failed and been offered EngTech (I was the 4th person) None of us have degrees or have worked in a design department. Yet all of us got to the PRI stage on the merits of our support documents.

We are all EngTechs now and view it as a consolation prize as it was better to come away with something than nothing. But it does ask the question does having a degree make you a better engineer? I do not think so but IET blantantly thinks so. Maybe thats why the numbers are dropping?
 04 July 2012 08:25 AM
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DavidParr

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Achieving IEng requires a balance of formal qualifications and further learning/competences. Having less formal qualifications means that more confirmation of underlying knowledge and understanding will be required.

Not having a degree doesn't exclude anyone from achieving IEng or CEng - this wasn't always the case, but it certainly is now! If anyone at the institution is taking this stance then they are going against stated policy.

Hope this helps!

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 04 July 2012 04:00 PM
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thewaverider

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David

My advisor said to me it was very strange to get to an interview without having the right qualifications ie a degree. I applied for Ieng the supporting documents were of that level yet I was awarded the EngTech. I was told I had more of a "working engineering approach".
 04 July 2012 06:24 PM
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DavidParr

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I would disagree with your advisor because, since 2009, it isn't strange at all! Nor should it be in my opinion, providing you can demonstate further learning - each case is treated individually. I don't know the details of your indvidual case of course, so cannot comment on your final sentence.

Originally posted by: thewaverider

David



My advisor said to me it was very strange to get to an interview without having the right qualifications ie a degree. I applied for Ieng the supporting documents were of that level yet I was awarded the EngTech. I was told I had more of a "working engineering approach".


-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 05 July 2012 07:29 AM
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thewaverider

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Thats the problem I have with IET and from speaking to others as well there seems to be very little consistency. But I digress from the OP. When I told my company I was applying for Ieng they looked at me blankly and asked what it was why I would want to do it.

Unless you are in those "circles" the Engineering awards are not well known. Everyone knows Ceng but the other awards go unheard.
 08 July 2012 02:54 PM
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kasese

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Waverider - Looks like the Degree is all important
Around 15 years ago I applied to IMechE for CEng and was turned down - I took advice and put right all they said was wrong - approx 5 years ago I applied to the IET (Best option for my job/requirements) - Just missed CEng on points - again took advice and did as was asked - last year applied again and lost by a mile - just been give the same advice as 5 years ago continue in job and reapply after 2/3 years.
Reason given at each interview
1st not Graduate level - not capable of Graduate level thesis
2nd - Not full HSE responsibility for whole site (Only full engineering responsibility) also time as Consultant in previous position - O&G maintenance - "no responsibility" - panels words)
Last time after advice - not enough responsibility. ALREADY TURNED DOWN BY IMechE
At the time full PSSR responsibility, budget c £1.2m capex c£800k Mods and change, authorisation level £25k - small department c15 men.

Given up this time (Maybe's try IMechE or SoE)

Find PRA advice is conflicting / poor and totally unbelievable

Tim Guy
MSc MBA HND(Engineering) DEM (Hons) IEng MIET
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