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Topic Title: Dual Registration
Topic Summary: CEng IET IEng MCIWEM
Created On: 05 September 2012 02:18 PM
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 30 November 2012 11:12 AM
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Joined: 01 April 2010

For me, the bigger problem is that the IET seems to be confused.

At a recent meeting at Savoy Place, there was talk of "we need to cater more for apprentices and technicians" - i.e. "graduates and engineers" were one group, "apprentices and technicians" the other.

Graduate/Apprentice does not dictate whether your role is that of an engineer or a technician. Many apprentices are undertaking engineering roles for example.

I'm sure most people on the forum already know this of course but it is worrying when we see our own institute referring to them in this way.
 03 December 2012 03:58 PM
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It is certainly the case that The IET has become much more prominent in its support of high quality apprenticeships. However it would be almost impossible for even the best apprenticeship to be able to deliver IEng or CEng outcomes, without subsequent career development. The same argument applies to a degree course, although increasing numbers of university graduates who have combined work-experience with their degree are gaining Technician registration early in career.

It is always difficult to know who said what, when and whether it was misunderstood. Perhaps the person was trying to say that Technicians have an equally important role in the profession, which should be valued and respected?

My personal position is -

Different development pathways will provide more or less optimal preparation for different roles. I opine that the most productive approach is usually to combine learning and practice concurrently. i.e. part-time study (block, day or distance learning). This requires collaboration between employers and providers of engineering education or specialist training (i.e. employer investment). The part-time study approach was the predominant model in use in the UK for many years (i.e. the apprenticeship model), but learning and experience became separated as the full-time engineering degree route became more commonplace. Most of these degrees were academically excellent, so good in fact, that many of the graduates found other careers in the city and elsewhere! Those who did move into engineering practice were reasonably well-prepared for analytical or some management roles, but often poorly prepared for the more practical aspects of engineering. Vice versa applies to more practical development pathways with less theory.

There are no "black & white answers" to what makes the best engineer or technician, especially since there is such a variety of practice and circumstances. This includes the myth that only people who have followed a particular educational pathway may develop into a Chartered Engineer. At whatever career stage they are at, I would urge any IET member (i.e. someone committed to professionalism) to strive in the direction that best suits their talents and motivational drivers. I have met many happy well-motivated and well-rewarded Technicians who would be unhappy in a Chartered Engineer job (including some with good degrees). I have met many Incorporated and Chartered Engineers who began as a craft apprentice, but wanted the additional technical or management responsibility.

The numbers of IET members becoming newly registered Technicians and Incorporated Engineers has improved significantly over the last few years. I encourage these members to take pride in their registration and find a more active voice within the IET. This will go a long way to ensuring that the institution always has a well-rounded view of the issues. Personal experience and preferences will always colour our opinion. But a great benefit of an institution as diverse as the IET is the opportunity to understand and develop a respect for the perspective of others, even if we don't necessarily agree!

Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 04 December 2012 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by: roybowdler
But a great benefit of an institution as diverse as the IET is the opportunity to understand and develop a respect for the perspective of others, even if we don't necessarily agree!

Very good point.

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