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Topic Title: IEng profiles
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Created On: 02 April 2013 12:17 PM
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 02 April 2013 04:47 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I agree. The head of tech facilities could well be IEng but design lead should surely be CEng.

Very odd, and not very helpful.

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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
 02 April 2013 05:53 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

There is no reason why the role profile for many mainstream engineering management jobs should distinguish between IEng and CEng, since both types of Engineer could carry them out successfully. Professional registration assesses an individual at a point in time, using the A to E competences set out in UK-SPEC. By extension some roles can also be identified as well-matched to a "typical" registrant or to embody a minimum standard.

Since the only meaningful differences between IEng & CEng are in the A&B competence areas (i.e. technical knowledge and application) a useful distinction can only be made when this level of detail is explored.

I largely agree in principle with Hamish Bell's proposition in a previous thread, but the three different types of practice described in UK-SPEC have been in use for 30+ years with some success. At the moment I can't think of a widely acceptable alternative, given all the different interests involved.

The problem as I see It, is not that we distinguish between Eng Tech, IEng and CEng, but that the value/respect/"s word" afforded to each type of recognition has diverged. I have encountered some extremely senior people such as Technical or even Managing Directors in substantial businesses, who have either dropped their IEng registration or kept it virtually secret, for fear of negative perceptions. The historic "accident" that we have to repair in my view, is that in attempting to add to the value of CEng, which is a very laudable aim that I support, we have too often caught IEng and Eng Tech in our own "friendly fire".

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 04 April 2013 08:44 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I'd certainly agree with everything you say Roy, and that applies nicely to the "head of tech facilities" role profiled here, the confusion is the "design lead" role which I would have expected to involve design and innovation leadership, which would land it in the CEng camp.

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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
 08 April 2013 01:14 PM
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ectophile

Posts: 529
Joined: 17 September 2001

I'm not sure that the EC have any idea what they are trying to achieve with IEng.

Reading UKSpec, IEng requires no management experience - only assisting with management. Meanwhile CEng requires some form of management, even if only at a team lead role.

Yet the EC seem to be piching IEng as the qualification for an engineering manager, and CEng for a practicing engineer.

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S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 08 April 2013 02:31 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

My understanding is that Engineering Council has posted versions of recent IEng registrant profiles submitted by institutions/ employers. In seeking to distinguish between the different types of registerable practice, I have in my own mind a continuum from practical to conceptual. Therefore, when trying to give guidance on the most appropriate category of registration I keep this in mind.

I would agree that design work which requires significant in-depth analysis, to meet complex requirements, perhaps of higher risk, in a new unproven way, strongly suggests CEng competence. However there is no reason why an IEng shouldn't be responsible for design, where the innovative element is more practical in nature or where compliance with established practice is mainly used to manage the risk. Risk in this context could include a number of factors, not just HS&E but also commercial and financial. Such issues may escalate up the organisation's levels of authority for a final decision, which can still be technically based, albeit less hands-on.

The great difficulty arises when we stretch the difference between registrations to require that a particular type of activity should be limited only to one type of registrant, usually CEng. I have encountered many experienced IEng registrants with technical capability beyond the average CEng, or with the ability to synthesise more detailed expert advice to make good risk judgements. I have also come across some CEng registrants who have practical skills superior to those of a typical IEng.

Taken across the extremely varied territory that is engineering and technology it often becomes difficult to justify why a particular person is IEng v CEng, especially to someone who isn't an experienced practitioner in the field of practice being assessed. We can use the approach of relying on formal qualifications or other exams ("academic" or "professional") but this approach has proved far from perfect, especially in the context of a voluntary system. The "holistic" process used by the IET comes to rational and defensible conclusions, it isn't perfectly accurate but a line of division has to be drawn somewhere. Unfortunately the implications of being either side of this line have become greatly and often irrationally exaggerated. There are circumstances in which a job profile with "CEng preferred/required" is fair and reasonable, but probably more in which "IEng preferred" or "registered engineer preferred " (CEng or IEng), would be a more appropriate and rational approach.

Engineering Council is reviewing UK-SPEC and I hope that this will result in stronger and more distinctive positioning for IEng. Not because I think there is great merit in trying to emphasise difference, but because IEng has been undervalued in its own right.

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
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