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Topic Title: Recognition of OU Degrees & CEng Status Overseas
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Created On: 02 May 2013 10:35 PM
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 02 May 2013 10:35 PM
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philsmeaton

Posts: 1
Joined: 25 July 2008

I have two degrees from the OU (BSc Hons and MEng) and I qualified for CEng via the (then) IEE in 2000.

I moved to Australia in 2004 and have been working in NSW for most of the time, then relatively recently moving to QLD.

I thought that it was time to submit my qualifications for appraisal to achieve RPEQ - Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland - via Engineers Australia. The result of the application was that I was told that my degrees were not recognised as they did not appear on the Engineering Council list of accredited degrees and as such, the application was rejected.

The IEE assessed my qualifications and deemed them to be applicable for CEng, as I had closely followed the IEE subject profile but my achievement of CEng seems to count for very little in Australia (or QLD at least) apparently, due to this aspect. Without the Engineering Council listing showing my degrees on the list, I have to take an alternative course of action to gain RPEQ whereby I am treated like a graduate engineer again.

So, to my mind, there appears to be a couple of issues:

1. The Mutual Recognition Agreement between the IET and EA does not simply look at prior 'status' and transfer across to RPEQ. There seems to be an additional evaluation of academic qualifications. Surely, if the IEE/IET deemed the qualification as worthy and therefore awarded CEng, this should be sufficient?

2. OU degrees can be wide and varied as regards their content, so I can understand the EC being reticent to list them all to do so with all permutations would be too onerous. But surely they can show generic types and state that they are based on a specified IEE/IET course profile?


I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for broaching this aspect - my apologies if not.
 03 May 2013 11:36 AM
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CelticHeathen

Posts: 46
Joined: 10 December 2012

This is a VERY valid point of discussion and I'm glad you brought it up. I did my BEng (Hons) through the OU but it is the version that is being phased out in 2014, replaced with a revamped model which is accredited with IET.

However, I was due to commence the MEng with the OU in January but due to having the soon-to-be-obsolete (ie. unaccredited) model of the BEng (Hons), I am having problems choosing the pathway that will prime me for CEng.

The whole process is so much more complicated than it needs to be, imho.
 05 May 2013 02:46 AM
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SAVIO

Posts: 343
Joined: 07 May 2002

Maybe you can apply for CEng MIET first, then RRA MIEAust CPEng!
 05 May 2013 01:09 PM
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alamatec

Posts: 73
Joined: 04 January 2007

Originally posted by: philsmeaton

I have two degrees from the OU (BSc Hons and MEng) and I qualified for CEng via the (then) IEE in 2000.



I moved to Australia in 2004 and have been working in NSW for most of the time, then relatively recently moving to QLD.



I thought that it was time to submit my qualifications for appraisal to achieve RPEQ - Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland - via Engineers Australia. The result of the application was that I was told that my degrees were not recognised as they did not appear on the Engineering Council list of accredited degrees and as such, the application was rejected.



The IEE assessed my qualifications and deemed them to be applicable for CEng, as I had closely followed the IEE subject profile but my achievement of CEng seems to count for very little in Australia (or QLD at least) apparently, due to this aspect. Without the Engineering Council listing showing my degrees on the list, I have to take an alternative course of action to gain RPEQ whereby I am treated like a graduate engineer again.



So, to my mind, there appears to be a couple of issues:



1. The Mutual Recognition Agreement between the IET and EA does not simply look at prior 'status' and transfer across to RPEQ. There seems to be an additional evaluation of academic qualifications. Surely, if the IEE/IET deemed the qualification as worthy and therefore awarded CEng, this should be sufficient?



2. OU degrees can be wide and varied as regards their content, so I can understand the EC being reticent to list them all to do so with all permutations would be too onerous. But surely they can show generic types and state that they are based on a specified IEE/IET course profile?





I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for broaching this aspect - my apologies if not.


The RPEQ is a job protection scheme that came into existance a few years ago. Its expensive, restricts talent and does nothing to promote engineering which is why none of the other states have taken it up. If you stay in Queensland you will become very frustrated by this crazy system.
 06 May 2013 01:00 AM
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ledavis

Posts: 6
Joined: 25 July 2008

Background:

The Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland administers the requirements of the Queensland Professional Engineers Act 2002 and Professional Engineers Regulations 2003. The Board was established by the Professional Engineers Act 1929 and continued under the Professional Engineers Act 1988; it is incorrect (at best) to assert that these provisions came in recently. The Act and Regulations require any professional engineering service performed in the State of Qld to be carried out by, or under the direct supervision of, a Registered Professional Engineer. Such people are required to be registered with the Board and are designated as a Registered Professional Engineer, Queensland (RPEQ) under the legislation. These requirements not only apply to people performing professional engineering services and based in Qld but also to those people working or residing outside Qld who are supplying professional engineering services in Qld.
IET members providing engineering services in Qld must either be:
o directly supervised by a RPEQ; or
o registered with the Board of Professional Engineers of Qld.
EA currently performs interviews, on behalf of the Board, to determine whether a candidate should be registered in Qld as a RPEQ. Interviews by EA on behalf of the Board continue whether or not the candidate is a member of EA or the IET.
Main point:

However, and this is the main point, IET members with CEng status are assessed under the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between EA and the IET. Accordingly, the interview process undertaken by EA on behalf of the Board should be a review of the CPD of the candidate; all other factors should be automatic, including the exemplifying qualifications (the Washington Accord refers). This has been the case for the vast majority of cases where I have had first-hand conversations with the candidates interviewed (n.b. not hearsay) for RPEQ.

It is also for noting that the link for the IET MRA on the EA web site links directly to the IET website.

Dr Lloyd Davis PhD Grad Dip (Control) BEng CEng RPEQ
Fellow and IPRA, Institution of Engineering and Technology
 10 May 2013 03:38 AM
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MosheW

Posts: 192
Joined: 14 April 2013

Here is another rout to explore.
VAE French degree.

Dan is OU UK graduate and a CEng he had issues in Australia similar to yours. He applied to University of Paris for VAE (2002 law) rout and was granted degree with registration in French Engineers Register. It was costly but it was 100% recognized by National Professional Engineers Register (NPER).
 04 March 2014 06:04 AM
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GeorgeMadden

Posts: 16
Joined: 04 March 2014

Interesting discussion.

The Engineering Council UK is the regulatory authority for registration of professional engineers in the United Kingdom. The Chartered Engineer is recognized as the professional title for engineers under the Washington Accord, while the Sydney Accord recognizes the Incorporated Engineer as the designated title for engineering technologists.

The Engineering Council of the United Kingdom has a broad definition of Professional Engineers which includes Incorporated Engineers.

A UK Chartered Engineer is a professional engineer registered with Engineering Council UK.

Chartered Engineers are master's degree-qualified and have gained professional competencies through training and experience.

The title Chartered Engineer is protected by civil law.

But don't think after all of that you would be welcome in Australia, far from it


Australia
CPEng is used as a post nominal in Australia and New Zealand for Chartered Professional Engineers.

Engineers Australia has it all sown up
If you do not have an Aus. degree you don't get CPEng and are in for a hard time

They are allowed easy passage to UK but its hard coming the other way, don't believe the reciprocal agreement MRA it does not exist.

CEng does not = CPEng they don't recognise CEng.

Also You have to be a CPEng to get REPQ - EA control that

MRA NOT WORKING FOR MEMBERS, NEEDS LOOKS AT

MRA SHOULD SAY CENG = CPENG
 05 March 2014 02:42 AM
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GeorgeMadden

Posts: 16
Joined: 04 March 2014

MUTUAL MRA WITH AUS NOT WORKING FOR IET MEMBERS, NEEDS LOOKS AT ??????? ( CEng does not = CPEng )

Can IET look into this?
I know loads of members with these issues here in Aus.

There are a number of issues:

The MRA is NOT 'Mutual' ,

Professional Engineer with a CEng applies to be a CPEng then it should be STRAIGHT FORWARD without further in-depth view and the assessment concentrating ONLY CPD documentation REQUIRED???

When Aus CPENG go to UK the path seems easier, how about hitting them up for a Masters degree or equivalent?

I know this topic is being looked at

It needs to be CENG = CPENG and CPENG = CENG both ways mutual not just one directional.
 05 March 2014 10:20 PM
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ledavis

Posts: 6
Joined: 25 July 2008

Without resorting to shouty capitals, reductionism, to simplistic equations, of a complex situation or being seen to defend any particular view; may I make a plea for accuracy? Please note the following:

RPEQ is not CEng. RPEQ requirements apply to engineering services in Queensland only (please see my post above) or to engineering services provided in Queensland but are supplied from elewhere.

There is no national registration scheme backed by legislation in Australia other than in Queensland (i.e. RPEQ). RPEQ is administered by the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland.

EA subcontracts to the Board in Qld to conduct RPEQ interviews. This is a separate function from EA's other activities, such as administering the CEng scheme.

The vast majority of applications from IET members have no trouble moving from CEng to CPEng or RPEQ. Examination of the MRA in detail would reveal that both Institutions reserve the right to review applicants from each other's Institution. A small but significant minority who have 'irregular' paths to their degrees have had some issues recently; these are being worked out between IET Qld, EA and London on a case-by-case basis.

Dr Lloyd Davis PhD Grad Dip (Control) BEng CEng RPEQ
Fellow and IPRA, Institution of Engineering and Technology

Edited: 06 March 2014 at 06:16 AM by ledavis
 05 March 2014 11:17 PM
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GeorgeMadden

Posts: 16
Joined: 04 March 2014

Here in the UK a masters degree is now required for CEng, in Aus its a bachelor for CPeng, correct.

see uk spec

The rigorous process to become a CEng here in the UK in most peoples opinion should be enough e.g. education, application, interview & presentations.

Look at original forum post Phil, a UK CEng no recognition, strange. How do Aus get CEng now?

It should be a simple registration number check both ways.

I also looked at EA costs involved can be
very expensive to IET members.

George U.K.

Edited: 05 March 2014 at 11:23 PM by GeorgeMadden
 05 March 2014 11:42 PM
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ledavis

Posts: 6
Joined: 25 July 2008

In Australia it is 4 years to get a BEng: the UK it is 3 years plus one year for the Masters. The IET has ruled that they are equivalent given the course content and length spent.

Dr Lloyd Davis PhD Grad Dip (Control) BEng CEng RPEQ
Fellow and IPRA, Institution of Engineering and Technology
 06 March 2014 01:01 AM
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GeorgeMadden

Posts: 16
Joined: 04 March 2014

Yes 3 years here in England for BEng or Bsc, other counties in UK differ, But A levels in England are more in line with most first year uni courses some would argue more schooling.

What is assumed here is
Aus BEng is a higher qualification than the English BEng, e.g. at MEng level? strange.

I would have thought MEng to be more advanced.

English 3year BEng or Bsc CEng is a Professional Engineer here in the UK and got full accreditation but a Technologist in Aus?

Either all CEng = CPEng and vice versa or MRA is flawed

Something is wrong here.

George U.K.
 06 March 2014 01:17 AM
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ledavis

Posts: 6
Joined: 25 July 2008

Is this a discussion about the facts as presented or about some Utopian engineering world? If the facts are important, please refer to the Washington and the Sydney Accords which outline university equivalences across the country signatories. Likewise, the MRA states explicitly that either organisation reserves the right to review applications from members of the other. In the vast majority of circumstances CEng does lead reasonably painlessly to CPEng/RPEQ.

If this is about what should happen to achieve something better than what we have now, appropriate representation needs to be made formally to the IET staff responsible for the MRA; noting that Nigel Fine signed the last one on our behalf.

Dr Lloyd Davis PhD Grad Dip (Control) BEng CEng RPEQ
Fellow and IPRA, Institution of Engineering and Technology

Edited: 06 March 2014 at 01:34 AM by ledavis
 06 March 2014 08:04 AM
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GeorgeMadden

Posts: 16
Joined: 04 March 2014

I am only suggesting that a CEng should be of equal standing to a CPeng and vise versa that's all regardless.

I note the head of the IET also has a 3 year Bsc and is a CEng..
Would that fall into the Technologist category in Aus?

I would have thought a simple registration number confirmation between IET & EA would be been good..

Anyway I leave to the the powers above, said my piece.

George UK
 06 March 2014 01:31 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Just putting in my 2 cents worth: for added entertainment value.

Full-time accredited degrees such as BSc, BEng, MEng, are much easier to achieve than passing professional external exams and distance courses like the one offered by OU. The reason being that full-time students receive help through direct teaching from lecturers as well as group learning and course work with other students in the class; so the end result is a good degree.

Whereas with professional exams, the students have to deal with exams that represent the entire syllabus and are written and marked by examiners who have no contact with the students. As a result not many pass their exams.

With the OU, the students have to deal with the course work entirely by themselves and with limited contact with their course tutors; not forgetting that a BSc followed by an MEng is a very long term commitment; unlike the quick and easy full-time degree course. I would imagine that not many finish their degree courses.

I support George's opinion that recognition should be a two way traffic; and I'm rather disappointed by Lloyd's (I hope you don't mind me not using Dr Lloyd) response who with a PhD should have a greater appreciation of what George has achieved and show some empathy to his situation, rather than quote rules and regs written by engineers who qualified with HNCs and BSc and never had it so good; with a computer free, internet free and email free life. This applies to Australia as well.

If George, and others like him, can't be recognised as registered professional engineers in the UK or Aus (or Queensland to be precise) with their engineering degrees and/or CEng status, then what's the point of having an engineering profession or encouraging youngsters to take up engineering?

Those running organisations, whether in the UK, Aus or anywhere else for that matter, need to pay more attention to what is involved in engineering and Technology in real world and pay less attention to their comfortable non-real world related rules and regs in their comfortable buildings financed by engineers themselves.

Speaking of the real world, show me a BSc or BEng CEng or CPEng engineer who's as famous as this youngster; even the 'world class IET', famous for showing news around the world - except their own - haven't woken up to this news. Still, I suppose they're all busy in meetings discussing regional issues and membership fee increases over their wonderful breakfast followed by lavish lunches.

Edited: 06 March 2014 at 02:46 PM by mbirdi
 06 March 2014 10:36 PM
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ledavis

Posts: 6
Joined: 25 July 2008

A careful reading of the MRA would reveal that it does encourage "two way traffic". Has anyone else in this debate actually read the MRA?

It is a shame that this is now personal but, seeing that it is; as for my experience, I started "on the trucks" with both electricity entities in Qld re-wiring substations and stringing HV transmission lines, just for starters during a computer free internet free and email free phase of the world. I earnt part of my PhD crawling around under HGVs to measure how they behave. Would that be "real world" enough (with or without computers, etc)? I am totally in awe of people who have come up the hard way. In my interviews for the IET and in my professional life I have always seen the immense value that people bring to the profession as they have progressed from the factory floor to professional engineer level. But this is not about me, as much as anyone wants to make it, it is about the rules and how they are applied, so let's get back to the main point here.

Please note that there are equivalent "mature candidate pathways" (although we don't call it that anymore) in the IET, EA and to achieve RPEQ (Qld). Those pathways are not as automatic as the exemplifying qualification of a MEng (UK) or a BEng (Aus) but they do exist; it is just more time-consuming to fill out the necessary applications forms and sit the interview.

Regarding the OU degrees, it is hard to argue "Washington Accord" remotely when the Engineering Council only recognises some of them.

I reiterate, the MRA (signed by Nigel Fine) contains the provision that both Institutions reserve the right to review applicants from each other's Institution. No, the system is not perfect but it is what we have to work with.

Dr Lloyd Davis PhD Grad Dip (Control) BEng CEng RPEQ
Fellow and IPRA, Institution of Engineering and Technology

Edited: 07 March 2014 at 01:53 AM by ledavis
 07 March 2014 04:53 AM
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GeorgeMadden

Posts: 16
Joined: 04 March 2014

I have read the MRA and respect all the feed back.

I believe the current MRA reads to be a 'Conditional' one.

i.e. Mutual ( if you meet the following conditions a & b ).

So in conclusion, I do not see this as mutual, this is an agreement with conditions attached. ( A Conditional Agreement ).

Mutual:
is common to or shared by two or more parties, unconditional.

Professional Engineers who share common titles CEng / CPEng from both institutions have already done all the work that is required to meet that status.

So if it is mutual 'common and shared'
Professional Engineer CEng UK = Professional Engineer CPEng Aus
( unconditional )

A simple registration number check is enough to confirm as titles are protected.

Interested to know what others think on this subject?

Anyway, I am off to work.

George U.K.
 11 March 2014 08:09 AM
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jamesgoodwin103

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Joined: 11 March 2014

George,

I am in a similar position as Phil above as my degree is not on the EC list, I am of the same opinion as you, I am glad someone has highlighted this issue to the IET.

Just because someone has a CEng, that does not mean that person can be mutually transferred to CPEng,
Why - conditions?

I really do not know what it like for CPEng To go to UK, I would hope not as cumbersome as the MRA.

Yes I agree ' A simple registration number check is enough to confirm as titles are protected '

I am of the a similar view to you above, should be looked at.

As Phil says above
' The Mutual Recognition Agreement between the IET and EA does not simply look at prior 'status' and transfer across to RPEQ. There seems to be an additional evaluation of academic qualifications. Surely, if the IEE/IET deemed the qualification as worthy and therefore awarded CEng, this should be sufficient? '

so true
 12 March 2014 02:34 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: jamesgoodwin103
Just because someone has a CEng, that does not mean that person can be mutually transferred to CPEng,

Why - conditions?

James, It's reassuring to know that great efforts are being made behind the scenes to ignore queries made by members who have valid concerns affecting their careers; whilst the IET require members to pay large subscription fees and expect them to vote to elect other (distinguished) members into top positions in the IET; but once elected they're not required to respond to members' queries in any way.

So it beholds on someone like me, a non-IET rep., to try and answer your question on best efforts and free of charge.

So here goes. CEng has always been linked with an accredited academic qualification; in this case a university degree. So it becomes easier for the PEIs and EC to achieve mutual recognition with other countries, who also operate on similar levels. But recently the PEIs and EC agreed to allow non-accredited graduates (including those without any degrees) to achieve CEng status. This has now affected how other countries view CEng with regards to mutual recognition.

There is also an additional factor to consider. Some overseas countries may require their registered engineers to take legal responsibility for their work and be properly indemnified against legal actions, should there be any dissatisfaction with the work or services provided by them. Such stipulation is not required in the UK, as companies take overall responsibilities for their products and services.

Therefore the stance is 'accredited degree + CEng' equals overseas title; 'non-accredited or no degree + CEng' equals no overseas title.

Hope that helps.

Edited: 12 March 2014 at 03:03 PM by mbirdi
 13 March 2014 05:03 AM
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jamesgoodwin103

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Joined: 11 March 2014

Therefore the stance is 'accredited degree + CEng' equals overseas title; 'non-accredited or no degree + CEng' equals no overseas title.


mbirdi

Yes that sums it up really.

Makes you wonder about all these UK non-accredited degrees that we pay good money for these days eg BSc, MEng, people should be informed you are about to spend years on a Non-Accredited Degree.


But

The EC web site says
' The Chartered Engineer is recognized as the professional title for engineers under the Washington Accord '

So either it is or it is not, regardless.
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