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Topic Title: The elitist Engineers and the Engineering Council
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Created On: 13 February 2013 10:38 AM
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 17 February 2013 10:24 PM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4490
Joined: 06 May 2002

I have always supported the fact that the word / title "Engineer" should NOT be the prerogative of only "chartered professionals".

However, whether any "Engineer" is immediately entitled to a "lofty position in society" is another discussion.

Discussions of "rank and priviledge" are entirely separate to understanding whether "IEng" is a worthy qualification.

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 17 February 2013 11:09 PM
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Brian Robertson

Posts: 106
Joined: 01 April 2006

Originally posted by: westonpa

Originally posted by: Brian Robertson

Being registered as Technician, IEng or CEng:

- Identifies you as having competences and that you have been assessed by other engineering professionals.

- Identifies you have satisfied and met requirements for that grade.


As does having national engineering qualifications, for which you are assessed by engineering professionals, and having relevant work experience which is assessed each and every day by your employer(s).



Regards.


Yes I agree with all you have said, but professions I have listed previously have a registration process, with a national register, they do not seem to have any hangups or issues.

I want to know if I go to a Doctor, they are a registered qualified doctor.

I want to know if I go to a Pharmacist, they are a registered qualified Pharmacist.

I want to know if I go to a architect, they is a registered qualified architect.

and so on

We all know anyone can call themselves an engineer, with a national online register it would be an easy check.

I think registration is a good thing and I have no issues with it.

Brian
 18 February 2013 12:10 AM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4490
Joined: 06 May 2002

Originally posted by: Brian Robertson
I want to know if I go to a Doctor, they are a registered qualified doctor.
... of Philosophy, of Engineering, of Laws ?



I want to know if I go to a Pharmacist, they are a registered qualified Pharmacist.
A specialism of the "Medical Profession" ?



I want to know if I go to a architect, they is a registered qualified architect.
Systems Architect? Interior Design Architect?



and so on
indeed.



We all know anyone can call themselves an engineer, with a national online register it would be an easy check.
As illustrated, Pharmacis asside, people can call themselves "Architect" and "Doctor" for different reasons too.

What next, the "Royal College of Tree Surgeons" ?

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH

Edited: 18 February 2013 at 12:24 AM by gkenyon
 18 February 2013 01:22 AM
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Brian Robertson

Posts: 106
Joined: 01 April 2006

The professions I mentioned in the first post you must be registered to practice in the UK. You cannot work in these professions, you must be registered.

People may call themselves whatever they like, but registration is a check process.

- Identifies you as having competences and that you have been assessed by other engineering professionals.

- Identifies you have satisfied and met requirements for that grade.

Brian
 18 February 2013 07:30 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

This forum has gone in a slightly different direction than I expected, with some interesting posts and a broader sense of perspective. Personally, I warmed to Jim Fraser's post, I went past the last Concorde to be built last week which partly makes his point.

On this issue of the award, I understand that the discussions between Engineering Council and The Worshipful Company of Engineers addressed the issue of a possible mixed message around membership v awards. They decided to proceed jointly with an award for IEng. I have never dealt with the Worshipful Company, but if they want to express their support of IEng, we shouldn't be negative or criticise them for that.

Engineering Council have recently issued best practice guidance to licensed professional institutions, which suggest that Incorporated Engineers should always be full (i.e. equal) members. However we should understand that membership bodies are entitled to operate their own rules under their own charter. Engineering Council can only control the standards and regulations for registration.

However the debate does highlight the problem of an unnecessarily divided profession, which struggles to gain voluntary engagement from many good practitioners. I don't think that wide-ranging compulsory regulation would be either desirable or feasible, If for no other reason than the cost/benefit analysis just doesn't make sense.

Much greater voluntary engagement could be achieved, but especially in IEng and Technician territory we have failed to enthuse new entrants to the profession and disgruntled many more established ones.

If we examine the UK-SPEC registration standard we find three different broad types of professional practice are codified. If it were instead to describe the relative social status of each type of registrant and specify criteria for who should be "first", "second" or "third" class, then it would be regarded as an amusing historical anachronism by many people. It is disappointing that nearly 50 years on from the Cleese, Barker, Corbett sketch, some Engineers are still perpetuating a slightly evolved version. A social scientist might hypothesise that the issue has moved slightly from family background to educational one, but it seems pretty recognisable.

Unfortunately it has become almost impossible for someone to mention "Chartered Engineer", "Chartered" or "Chartership", without it being assumed that this excludes Incorporated Engineers. Often drawing in return some ill-feeling based on feeling unfairly excluded or diminished. An Incorporated Engineer has achieved "chartership" but uses a different professional title to avoid confusion with CEng as defined by UK-SPEC . Numerous Incorporated Engineers have also achieved Chartered recognition and Fellowship of significant professional bodies.

I would hypothesise that the changes to academic qualification benchmarks (usually treated as "absolute" requirements) from 1999 were intended by the regulators to make IEng "mainstream" and CEng "exceptional". Unfortunately the traditional pathway to IEng became very heavily restricted and most graduates didn't embrace IEng, as they were led to expect CEng as their "entitlement".

If we want a new generation to engage in voluntary professional activism, then perpetuating social distinctions and "one-upmanship" will fail - it already has!

At present graduates of accredited programmes who pursue an engineering career are moderately well-engaged with CEng, but mostly ambivalent to negative about IEng. The IET and a few other institutions have worked hard to encourage Apprentice membership, Technician registration and to rebuild IEng registrations. However it is clear that for IEng in particular we are currently appealing mostly to those in mid-career with 20+ years of experience.

If I (as a hypothetical person) am embarking on a Higher Apprenticeship which will provide me with work based learning and higher level qualifications, will I aspire to professional registration and why? Is IEng (the obvious pathway) something that will bring me professional respect? If in a few years when I have a successful engineering career with management responsibility. I'm deemed "second best" to someone with an MEng, then the joke is on them and not me, I just won't bother registering!

We can choose to seek unity and mutual respect within the profession or we can pursue an internecine squabble for relative status, at a time when deference is almost dead and communication democratised.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 18 February 2013 09:24 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

I will say this, most non registered engineers do not feel that the IET is a CEng elitist institution and if fact I do not think they are concerned at all, instead they are just busy getting on with their engineering jobs and earning a crust. I tend to think that those who feel inferior more often than not need to respect and appreciate themselves a bit more before they ask others to give the same.

I think the IET has lost the plot in a few areas but I think that is more down to those who run it rather than their professional status, i.e., they would be the same people no matter what their status. That said I do not choose to try to run it myself and so am I any better? I tend to think that if we want to complain then we should get off our butts and run for office and then when we are in power do something about it.

I may not agree with Roy on many things but at least he is trying to do something from the front and I am not and so in that respect I cannot complain.

Regards.
 19 February 2013 08:59 AM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

Thanks for your comments and we agree that activism is desirable. I was disappointed to note how few IEng and Technician members are standing for the current IET elections. The person should be much more important than the "category", but I think diversity of experience (and therefore perspective) is important.

Historically it was only possible to exert influence by turning up at meetings, but these forums and other mechanisms, provide an opportunity to contribute ideas and arguments. Agreement isn't necessary or sometimes even possible, but respect is deserved for reasonable argument and fair criticism.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 19 February 2013 01:37 PM
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MAWilson

Posts: 48
Joined: 22 February 2006

The professions I mentioned in the first post you must be registered to practice in the UK. You cannot work in these professions, you must be registered.

People may call themselves whatever they like, but registration is a check process.

- Identifies you as having competences and that you have been assessed by other engineering professionals.

- Identifies you have satisfied and met requirements for that grade.

Brian


Brian, I'm sympathetic to your arguments though I don't fully agree with the premise that registration adds benefit in ensuring Engineering/technical competencies are clearly met.

Registration as I see it provides a recognised 'status' reviewed by your peers of sort given credence that you have been working to a suitable level in attaining the recognised title. This is a good thing and should be encouraged but the level of scrutiny is not such where I would say full competence can be judged. Engineering is to diverse, for example I know Mechanical Engineers that are brilliant at structural/vibration analysis but pretty much dread Thermodynamics, Fluid Systems. Electrical Engineering a decade or 2 ago was split into Electrical & Computer Engineering (at least State side across the pond) and these fields now have specialities within the specialities. It would be impossible for single institutions to keep up with all competency models and at the same time persons like myself fall foul from a defined competency model being a multi-discipline Manufacturing Systems Engineer with a core discipline and develop secondary disciplines defined by Engineering grade.

Acts of parliament suitably address competency such as the H&S act which defines what an authorised person is with legal underpinning which all companies have to adhere to. I would much rather work with a person with Senior Authorised Persons badge on High Voltage networks than any body that simply says 'Hi, I've got a CEng'.

M Wilson BEng (Hons) MIET
 05 March 2013 04:09 AM
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Brian Robertson

Posts: 106
Joined: 01 April 2006

Registrant Logo

From Engineering Council

New individual registrant logos are now available for all those on the Engineering Council registers of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), ICT Technicians (ICTTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) and Chartered Engineers (CEng).

Registrants are encouraged to use the logos to demonstrate their professionally qualified status.

https://ws.engc.org.uk/logoorders/
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