IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: New IEng registrants
Topic Summary: The level of new IEng registrants appears to be declining
Created On: 14 December 2012 09:36 AM
Status: Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
1 2 3 Next Last unread
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 14 December 2012 02:25 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

From an IET perspective we are delighted with the resurgence of IEng registrations over the last couple of years. Recent applications for IEng registration are now running at a ten year high.

There were certainly issues around 2006-2008 when the IET (post-merger) deserved criticism, although there were many other factors that contributed to the decline of new IEng registrations from 2002. However it should be noted that the numbers of prospective new Incorporated Engineers seeking registration is now close to level to Chartered Engineer applications at that time. The numbers of new Technicians is also strong. I very much hope that these newer registrants challenge any negativity they may encounter from the very few people who are stuck in outdated one-upmanship. Many Chartered Engineers have transferred from IEng at some stage and a significant proportion of IET Fellows began their careers as apprentices.

There are numerous examples in more recent times of strong public support from the IET for the full range of Professional Engineers and Technicians. Also importantly for the wide range of potential development pathways including apprenticeships. Many schemes include higher level study (up to and including degrees) and many degrees include work experience, leading in both situations to a potential opportunity to demonstrate Technician competence at an early career stage. Subsequent professional practice may provide opportunities for IEng and/or CEng depending on the role and responsibility. I'm not sure if this is what is perceived by some people to be represented by the shorthand "progressive"?

The IET exists in large part to allow Engineers & Technicians to "progress" their careers. This progress may lead to some people choosing to register in more than one of the categories at different times. Personally I have been IEng for 25 years and I frequently meet people who have been Technicians for their whole career. Neither they nor I have "failed to progress", because the engineering profession doesn't need everyone to be Chartered Engineers, it needs strong professionalism across the wide range of different practice.

Longer term the numbers of registrations will be influenced by many factors. Including the economy, social attitudes, marketing and other forms of engagement with existing unregistered practitioners. If we want new entrants to the profession to become registrants, then we need to offer clear and accessible pathways which they will value into the future.

The primary focus should be on professional standards. Although it is certainly a desirable objective to increase the numbers joining the professional community, quantity should never override quality. As far as IET IEng registrations are concerned the resurgence has been led by experienced engineers of a very high standard. It may take a little longer for new pathways and fresh ideas to bring people to IEng slightly earlier in career without reducing that high standard.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 17 December 2012 10:17 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mayfaces

Posts: 12
Joined: 25 July 2008

I'm thinking its probably because people have realised that IEng isnt worth the paper is printed on. Apart from the recent rather lackluster campaign (which I found slightly childish and patronising), the IET has done nothing for IEng, probably hoping it would die a quiet death.
I've been an IEng since 2008, and can count on two hands the number of people that actually knew what it was.
If the IET were genuinly interested in making IEng a credible standard, they would have done so a long time ago. It just seems to hover in a twillight zone between EngTech and their precious CEng.
CEng is a great standard to aspire to perhaps later on in your career when you're done with the "hands-on" engineering. In my experience, CEng tend to be more desk-bound, lacking practical skills, and IEng the practical people out in the field. Thats obviously only from my experience I hasten to add, but in ten years I haven't seen any different.
Here, graduates are taken in, and over a period of years processed through several departments to gain managerial experience, and then pressured into attaining CEng. There is no interest in exposing these youngsters to practical Engineering skills, which is why we all became Engineers in the first place isn't it? It seems a shame to me that IEng isn't even offered as a choice. Certainly I would have been bitterly disappointed if I were on that scheme as I became an Engineer to get out there and do stuff!
Maybe in the fututre when I've had my fill of getting my hands dirty CEng will become a possibility. But at present, I have no interest in it at all. Graduates shouldn't be pushed into CEng postitions, certainly with little or no experience. The IET may counter that and say they have to sit through the interview & provide evidence etc, but it happens all the time, trust me. They provide a lot of evidence for different competencies, but only spend a short time in all of the positions they're in. Certainly not long enough to be genuinly experienced, just enough to get past the IET.

But I digress! IEng should be promoted more towards the practical Engineers. I know it kind of is, but the IET could do more to promote the public/industry preception of the standard. Ask any member of the public if they have heard of Chartered Engineer and you'll get a big response. Ask about Incorporated Engineer and you'll get blank looks.
It seems a real shame, as IEng has a proud history, but seems to have slipped into obscurity since the creation of the IET. I am indeed proud of my IEng, and consider myself a successful Engineer. However, I doubt very much that I would be successful in a job application over a CEng, even if it were for a practical position. And there lies the problem: employers see CEng and assume they'll be getting an excellent all-rounder. Whereas IEng is an unknown, all they know is that its lower than CEng, so must be bad. If I were looking to fill a practical position, I would look for IEng, not CEng.
And I'm not here bashing CEng, I do hope to achieve CEng later on in my career. I'm simply venting my frustration as we as IEng are still being held back.
I'm not a big poster on these forums as you can tell as I've been jumping from one issue to another etc...
 17 December 2012 07:31 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: mayfaces I've been an IEng since 2008, and can count on two hands the number of people that actually knew what it was.

Let me guess? You and the IET

CEng is a great standard to aspire to perhaps later on in your career when you're done with the "hands-on" engineering. In my experience, CEng tend to be more desk-bound, lacking practical skills, and IEng the practical people out in the field. Thats obviously only from my experience I hasten to add, but in ten years I haven't seen any different.

CEng is essentially an engineering manager title. The lack of practical skills should imply the so called CEng is effectively useless as an engineer and well past their best. You wouldn't go to see a GP who cannot diagnose or a Surgeon who cannot do operations, because they have moved on to greater things, would you? So why would you recognise a CEng, who is desk bound as 'a great standard'?

But I digress! IEng should be promoted more towards the practical Engineers. I know it kind of is, but the IET could do more to promote the public/industry preception of the standard. Ask any member of the public if they have heard of Chartered Engineer and you'll get a big response. Ask about Incorporated Engineer and you'll get blank looks.

The public haven't heard of Chartered Engineer, but they have heard of Chartered. So Chartered anything could imply professional at something or another.

It seems a real shame, as IEng has a proud history, but seems to have slipped into obscurity since the creation of the IET. I am indeed proud of my IEng, and consider myself a successful Engineer. However, I doubt very much that I would be successful in a job application over a CEng, even if it were for a practical position. And there lies the problem: employers see CEng and assume they'll be getting an excellent all-rounder. Whereas IEng is an unknown, all they know is that its lower than CEng, so must be bad. If I were looking to fill a practical position, I would look for IEng, not CEng.

The only qualifications you need is your common sense. Any engineer worth their salt can beat a CEng to the job if they can explain their strengths over that of a CEng.

And I'm not here bashing CEng, I do hope to achieve CEng later on in my career. I'm simply venting my frustration as we as IEng are still being held back.

Nonsense. You are not held back. You just think negatively. There are people out there with only a couple of GCSEs to their names who have gone on to become successful millionaire Entrepreneur. Just look at the Dragon's Den. None of them are graduates. I remember seeing a couple of Chartered engineers leave without any offer, with their tails between their legs.

Edited: 17 December 2012 at 07:39 PM by mbirdi
 17 December 2012 10:02 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for DavidParr.
DavidParr

Posts: 242
Joined: 19 April 2002

OK, I'll bite!

You really believe CEng's "lack practical skills", and are "effectively useless as an engineer and well past their best"?

Such a pity that you have this experience of the profession. It certainly doesn't reflect my personal experience. OK, in some cases I have had to work to get engineers interested, but many of our best, practical, key engineers are now registered - a recognition of what they can do!

And please read again what Roy has written below about just what the IET are doing to promote IEng. I know Roy, having had the pleasure to be involved with him in Registration events, and can vouch for the tremendous effort that he and many others are putting into this campaign. ALL types of professional registration are important to the IET and both staff and volunteers are working to ensure that it is a success.

Sorry to get on my soap box again!

Sincerely,

-------------------------
David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 18 December 2012 08:39 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: mbirdi
CEng is a great standard to aspire to perhaps later on in your career when you're done with the "hands-on" engineering.

CEng is essentially an engineering manager title. The lack of practical skills should imply the so called CEng is effectively useless as an engineer and well past their best.

As David says, these statements take an interesting and challenging approach to reality

When I got my CEng I was definitely not a manager, I was working as a design engineer. Every engineer I have supported through CEng since (and there's been a fair few now) has been in the same position. It is true that probably a minority of CEngs walk around in overalls carrying greasy spanners, but there is rather more to professional engineering than that...

Yes there are big problems with IEng, it is not at all clear whether this is a standard that companies find helpful to demonstrate their staff's expertise - and if it isn't, it's dead in the water. (But it ought to be useful for that!) But not recognising the real differences between professional IEng staff and professional CEng staff is not helpful.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 18 December 2012 11:40 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Generally I'd fully agree with this. The problem is it still doesn't answer the question of what benefits IEng brings to those who would qualify for it, or to their employers.

If we compare to CEng, there are two situations where I have seen CEng add value. One is for consultants, who are likely to need to demonstrate a level of personal credibility. The other is for those taking personal responsiblity within a company for signing off systems / projects / products for safety / quality. In both cases it's for those situations where you are basically saying "you are going to have to trust my judgement on this".

Now, the point of CEng is supposed to be for those leading innovation, with IEng for those leading implementation. In innovation you regularly have to make decisions based on best judgement because there is (by definition) not a lot of experience to base it on. I think the question is, in implementation are there situations where customers need to be reassured that individual engineers are competant to take personal responsibility for their actions? If so, then those engineers should be IEng and their employers should be shouting about that.

Whether somebody is practical or impractical, and a manager or not, is - to my mind - irrelevant for both CEng and IEng.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 18 December 2012 04:26 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mayfaces

Posts: 12
Joined: 25 July 2008

Originally posted by: amillar

If we compare to CEng, there are two situations where I have seen CEng add value. One is for consultants, who are likely to need to demonstrate a level of personal credibility. The other is for those taking personal responsiblity within a company for signing off systems / projects / products for safety / quality. In both cases it's for those situations where you are basically saying "you are going to have to trust my judgement on this".



I do that all the time, as an IEng! ;-)
 18 December 2012 09:43 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: DavidParr
Sorry to get on my soap box again!

However, I am sure this soap box was well constructed using your fine practical skills!

Regards.
 18 December 2012 09:49 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: mbirdi
I'll say more later on.

Have you been taking lessons from Donald Trump?

Regards.
 18 December 2012 09:57 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

EngTech and CEng are at both ends of the spectrum whereas IEng is somewhere in between and I do not believe the IET have the funds to change that perception. I tend to think if there was a good sales pitch for IEng then it would have already been found. When something already has high value it only needs supporting whereas when it is in a rut in needs a really good sales pitch to raise it up and I think that is somewhat hard with IEng because there is not enough in it. It is rather like the old saying that you have to work 10 times harder to recover a lost customer than you do to keep them in the first place. CEng only needs to be kept whereas IEng needs to be recovered.

Regards.
 19 December 2012 10:26 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: mayfaces
Originally posted by: amillar
If we compare to CEng, there are two situations where I have seen CEng add value. One is for consultants, who are likely to need to demonstrate a level of personal credibility. The other is for those taking personal responsiblity within a company for signing off systems / projects / products for safety / quality. In both cases it's for those situations where you are basically saying "you are going to have to trust my judgement on this".

I do that all the time, as an IEng! ;-)

If you are saying you sign things off where there are not rules and procedures governing how you have come to that decision then maybe you should be applying for CEng?

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 19 December 2012 12:18 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

I can find some measure of agreement with many of the comments - and some measure of amusement from the rest! I'll leave you to infer which is which

I have also accepted that understanding of and recognition for IEng, declined significantly in the years to 2008. The reasons are many and mostly the result of unintended consequences. For example it could be argued that the changes to regulations at the end of the 90s were intended to strengthen the concept of IEng as the "mainstream engineer".

IEng never has had the same degree of recognition as CEng, especially by the public, but also within the profession. By the same token every member of the public recognises the term "doctor" in a medical context but has very limited understanding of the wide variety of professional practice it embraces. I don't know if there is a similar internal debate within that profession based around who is "most prestigious", but since such arguments are always relative someone else has to be "less prestigious" in return.

The difficulty for the professional engineering community, is that many people call themselves engineers. Some don't meet our professional standards and some very nearly do (including at CEng standard) but have not chosen to voluntarily engage. Since engagement is voluntary, the main incentive for many is recognition (a powerful motivator!).I think it is unrealistic to expect the general public to understand or value semantic distinctions between different types of registered professionals. It is sufficient to define as the IET does, "Professional Engineers and Technicians". Those within the professional engineering community should understand and value the differences. The unfair negativity perpetuated by a minority towards IEng, which unfortunately includes some who seem to have accepted victimhood, obviously undermines the concept of recognition by professional peers.

CEng is and should remain a renowned benchmark of engineering expertise and responsibility. However a CEng who doesn't understand of value the distinctive contribution of other types of engineering and technology professionals is out of touch, as are those who imagine that everyone with professional aspirations, should be aiming for "progression" to CEng. Some will, some won't and I would encourage those holding Technician or IEng registration to see themselves as "full members" of the profession.

The recent resurgence of IEng registrations is great news and the spread of employing organisations has been enormous, with hundreds of different employers (including many well-known names). The challenge is for IEng members new and old to become more influential within the profession and to encourage professional peers to register. We have "stopped the rot" but as a membership organisation we are our members and we are also our standards, guarded by our members. An important part of our efforts is to promote registration, but we are not flogging soap powder, every IET IEng is a walking, talking advert for the standard and I hope a countervailing voice to any negativity.

The IET will be aiming to sustain new IEng registrations at the current healthy level through 2013, growth if it comes would be great and any dip a disappointment. We value all our professional registrant members and increased the number of new registrations for the 4th successive year in 2012. As far as new IEng are concerned we should pass a rolling three year total of 1000 in the first half of 2013, which is a ten-year high. I believe that some of the structural factors which previously hampered IEng registration are moving more favourably and I'm cautiously optimistic that we can maintain momentum, despite the difficult times.

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

Edited: 19 December 2012 at 01:06 PM by roybowdler
 19 December 2012 01:35 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Hi Roy,

Many thanks for taking the time to post a very clear reply. Unfortunately I still feel we're missing a point here. Even if we all agree (which we should) that IEng is "equal but different" to CEng, it still doesn't answer the question "what do I get for my £200 per annum?" Yes, it's nice to feel valued by our peers, but is it worth £200 p.a. to get a warm feeling inside?

So my real question is: Is the IET seeing any progress in the acceptance by employers of IEng? If we can start seeing job adverts saying "posessing or working towards IEng" them I am sure a rise in registrants will follow.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 20 December 2012 09:52 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ADB

Posts: 5
Joined: 15 July 2003

I'm now the holder of I.Eng. - although I can honestly say I didn't apply for it...

I was offered, and accepted I.Eng. as a consolation, because I was considered unworthy of the C.Eng. that I applied for - although the reasons that seemed strange given that five out of my then team of seven were already C.Eng. registered.

And the IET Certificate of Recognition I received recently, and is on my office wall, acts an icebreaker, as I'm repeatedly being asked to explain what an Incorporated Engineer is...

Never mind, C.Eng. gives me something to aim for still...
 20 December 2012 12:16 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

Unfortunately "equal but different" or "progression" are both oversimplifications. The standard makes it possible in most circumstances to achieve competence as a Technician before IEng and IEng before CEng. The exemplifying qualifications which underpin each type registration are also "progressive" in educational levels of learning. The standard is further designed to provide an advantage in achieving accredited qualifications. Historically (and still in many countries) these qualifications were seen as the primary (or only) factor.

The standard itself doesn't say that the alternate types of registration are of more or less inherent value.Therefore whatever "spin" we choose to put on the standard, institutions should register people who meet the competence requirements.

People who meet the IEng standard are well suited to a range of engineering and engineering management roles.The majority of quality employers recognise and value IEng (and Technicians) especially where these roles are important to their business model. However for many historic reasons, relative to CEng, the perception of value added by registration is weaker. In an ideal world being a registrant would be the main added value, with the particular category of registration being a significant advantage for certain roles.

CEng has built a strong position relative to other registrations, but against the option of non-registration has been weak in many sectors. Part of the problem was that most engineers in some major sectors didn't go to university and therefore weren't welcome. The promoters of CEng frequently suggested (or inferred) that IEng was "second class" so competent practitioners just didn't bother engaging. To illustrate, a very successful and innovation focussed businesses has registered fifty Chartered Engineers in the last few years, all of a very high standard, who weren't previously welcome.

Most modern businesses aren't interested in a proposition which is about one-upmanship amongst different types of engineers. They can see the value in benchmarking professional competence and driving personal development through engagement with the IET. The business which supported the registration of more IET Incorporated Engineers than any other this year, registered even more Technicians and a few Chartered Engineers. This reflects the nature of their engineering workforce and they are already seeing tangible business benefits from professionalising everyone, not just a few leaders.

Occasionally there may still be statements and actions which appear to devalue IEng. If so, these are contrary to the policy of the IET which is the "Professional Home for life for Engineers and Technicians" with a mission to support all our professionally practising members in achieving excellence.

New IEng registrations are around double what they were in 2008 and the IET increase is around three times, admitedly from a low base that should quite justifiably be heavily criticised.

There are demographic issues right across engineering and technology, as well as many other professions. I'm afraid even the many great brains within the IET have failed to abolish retirement or prevent death from old age (yet), although many an actuary might be happier if the two events were much closer together.

Seasons greetings to all contributors and my best for wishes for a successful 2013 - thanks for the opportunity to debate these issues!

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 23 December 2012 02:17 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Good point pmiller but what would you suggest as a possible solution?

Regards.
 25 December 2012 10:28 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



olcay

Posts: 73
Joined: 03 July 2007

Originally posted by: roybowdler


Occasionally there may still be statements and actions which appear to devalue IEng. If so, these are contrary to the policy of the IET which is the "Professional Home for life for Engineers and Technicians" with a mission to support all our professionally practising members in achieving excellence.

;


The greatest blow to IEng is unfortunately the international description given by The Engineering Council UK .Degradation is implemented with the international description of IEng as the "Technologist" as accepted by EC(UK) .

The IET and The Engineering Council UK [EC(UK)] should withdraw IEng from Sydney Accord.

The action of degradation does not stop there either.

All first cycle degree graduates from other countries are registered and accepted as equivalent to British CEng and may apply and can be registered as EurIng. However only British second cycle degree holders(Masters) are eligible to apply for EurIng. Unless IET or EC (UK) can solve this PARADOX all British 1. cycle degrees and graduates are all degraded as natural outcome of this EC(UK) policy.
It is This PARADOX and the international "Technologist" title that degrades IEng.
I am under the impression that rather than solving the problem they are waiting for slow death of IEng .
I wonder if British are aware that other counties are now questioning the British BSc degrees. It is now not regarded as an "engineer" qualification.
 25 December 2012 11:43 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

I like that suggestion pmiller because it limits the scope of CEng and creates a place for IEng. One of the primary issues for IEng has been that CEng has been allowed to represent a much wider range of things to a much wider area, probably in some attempt to get more registrations and more revenue, and this has made it more difficult for IEng to find its place. To give a poor analogy CEng rather than be an electrical engineer in which case IEng was a mechanical engineer CEng has been allowed to become a multi skilled engineer and now employers cannot see the need for the mechanical engineer anymore.....if that makes some sort of sense.

Put CEng back in its clearly defined place and then allow IEng to have its clearly defined place. Hard to do I think because I am sure the IET and co will not want to limit the scope of CEng.....I think they like that it represents more things to more people.

Regards.
 26 December 2012 05:44 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: pmiller2006
I suggest that IEng is repositioned as the best qualification for operations and maintenance engineering roles and CEng is restricted to engineering design roles, i.e. if you work in the design function it would not be appropriate to register as an incorporated engineer and if you work in operations you could not register as a chartered engineer. There would be a clear distinction between the different roles.

I'd roughly agree with this, it depends what you mean by "role" and "function", within our design team roughly half would be eligible for CEng and half for IEng: some are experts in innovation and some in implementation. Of course the boundary is a bit fuzzy.

At the moment IEng is really quite meaningless as a measure of competency as the criteria is vague and it is applied across a spectrum of different STEM careers from audio and music technologies to agricultural engineering.

Can't comment on the first, but I don't quite understand your point on the second. I've worked at CEng (and IEng) level in both the music industry and the railway signalling industry. That's the fun of engineering!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 03 January 2013 06:23 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: pmiller2006
My point is that professional qualifications should be indicative of your capability. Everyone understands what a chartered accountant or a chartered quantity surveyor does. Incorporated Engineer could mean anything!

That's only half true. The job titles and professional titles of accountants and surveyors match exactly. For example, an accountant has a chartered status and also works as a chartered accountant.

There are no chartered or incorporated engineer job titles in industry, only CEng or IEng titles awarded by the EC. Job titles range from Technician to company director.

Edited: 03 January 2013 at 06:55 PM by mbirdi
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.