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Topic Title: Incorporated technicians
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Created On: 05 March 2014 11:07 PM
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 05 March 2014 11:30 PM
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Zuiko

Posts: 521
Joined: 14 September 2010

if it said ITech then Incorporated Technician would make more sense.

Does the author not realize that the post-nominals are abbreviations? Where does the word technician appear in Incorporated Engineer?

BTW: According to this document, there are 15 million technicians working in the UK?

The workforce in the UK (aged 16+) is 30 million (office national statistics).


So 50% of workers in Britain are technicians?

Either this paper is utterly confused, or there is a very woolly defintion of technician, or Britain is a technical powerhouse.

Edited: 06 March 2014 at 12:19 AM by Zuiko
 07 March 2014 10:59 AM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

I think the first one is an editing error, but it could be a Freudian slip. However, both of your attention to this and critical review is valuable.
I also support the defence of IEng against anything that unfairly undervalues it. Engineering Council itself took the same position as part of the "proud to be IEng" campaign some time ago.

However in my view we should be very careful not to try to strengthen IEng by "talking down" Technician practice, as this is merely to repeat the wrongs visited on IEng.

Incorporated Engineers were at one time termed Technician Engineers. Some felt this undervalued them, as the majority were perhaps closer to Chartered Engineer practice than Technician i.e. they weren't "hands on", they were mainly "managing engineers". Of course in that era distinctions were made mainly on the basis of academic qualifications. Formal qualifications are relatively easy to place into a neat hierarchy, in a way that is much more difficult to achieve when comparing the huge variety of Engineering practice actually carried out. Especially since graduate level qualifications became more available, it is common to find degree qualified Technicians and there are Chartered Engineers with an ONC and work-based learning.

I think it is unhelpful to focus on the semantics of trying to differentiate between different types of professional practice. As I have argued in these forums before, once this becomes bound to status, it becomes something of a "zero sum game" where the commodity is in limited supply and it is tempting to "rob Peter to pay Paul". Without the sociological dimension, codifying three broad areas of practice (from the thousands) and developing methods of measurement shouldn't be especially controversial, although it is certainly a serious challenge.

If we accept that the practice set out in UK-SPEC encompasses the professional engineering community. Then the challenge set by the report (and from elsewhere) is to boost the value of IEng and Technician registration. The really difficult bit is to achieve this, without a detriment to CEng, which would harm the profession collectively. Perhaps over the years in seeking to "enhance the status of engineering", we may have arguably focussed too heavily on a relative few, at the expense of inclusion of the many? Of course we need icons and leaders, but the majority of us go about our business modestly and respectfully of others where their professionalism deserves it. We don't need the rest of society to look up to us, but we do value the respect of our peers, in addition to the value our employers place on us.

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

Edited: 07 March 2014 at 03:50 PM by roybowdler
 07 March 2014 04:32 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: pmiller2006
A recent Gatsby report into registration schemes refers to incorporated technicians. Does this mean that IEng is being repositioned as a technician grade? It seems that there is very little understanding of what IEng represents.

It's a typo mistake. The technician level is refered to at level 3; IEng is now at BEng(Hons) level or level 6 on the QCF table. Suggest you pass the doc (or link to the document) onto the EC and point out the error.
 07 March 2014 09:37 PM
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basil.wallace

Posts: 220
Joined: 01 April 2006

Originally posted by: mbirdi

Originally posted by: pmiller2006

A recent Gatsby report into registration schemes refers to incorporated technicians. Does this mean that IEng is being repositioned as a technician grade? It seems that there is very little understanding of what IEng represents.


It's a typo mistake. The technician level is refered to at level 3; IEng is now at BEng(Hons) level or level 6 on the QCF table. Suggest you pass the doc (or link to the document) onto the EC and point out the error.


Totally agree with mbirdi on this one.

The link to the qualification levels in the UK by Ofqual can be found here.

http://ofqual.gov.uk/qualifica...ls-of-qualifications/

Level 6 on the QCF table for Incorporated Engineers (IEng) is not shown on page 18 of UK-SPEC Second Edition by EC nor is it shown on page 22 of UK-SPEC Third Edition by EC.

See links below:

http://www.engc.org.uk/engcdoc...0second%20edition.pdf

http://www.engc.org.uk/engcdoc...20third%20edition.pdf

I suggest that EC reviews the third edition of UK-SPEC as there is a transition period of up to two years before February 2016.

Basil Wallace PgDip EngTech MIET
 09 March 2014 01:37 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: roybowdler
However in my view we should be very careful not to try to strengthen IEng by "talking down" Technician practice, as this is merely to repeat the wrongs visited on IEng.

This is a good point, I like it.
Incorporated Engineers were at one time termed Technician Engineers. Some felt this undervalued them, as the majority were perhaps closer to Chartered Engineer practice than Technician i.e. they weren't "hands on", they were mainly "managing engineers".

Maybe the issue was with the psychology of the Technicians or else the way society viewed technicians etc. Nowadays society seems to view celebrities as the cream of the crop so maybe we need another change so we can all feel good as engineers. I tend to feel we need to mature a little.

Technicians should have stayed as technicians and been TEng and been happy and proud with that. When I look at the craftsperson who can build a beautiful staircase out of wood I could not care less if they are not CEng, IEng or EngTech, it is their work which I truly respect and admire and pay for. It's their work which is their true value.
Especially since graduate level qualifications became more available, it is common to find degree qualified Technicians and there are Chartered Engineers with an ONC and work-based learning.

Yes and institutions cannot keep changing their status's every time a few people change from one job to another; it's up to the relevant people to re evaluate if the status they hold is correct for them.
I think it is unhelpful to focus on the semantics of trying to differentiate between different types of professional practice. As I have argued in these forums before, once this becomes bound to status, it becomes something of a "zero sum game" where the commodity is in limited supply and it is tempting to "rob Peter to pay Paul".

I think however, semantics are important, as was once said the pen is mightier than the sword (that said I would rather be stabbed by words than a sword ), and those who wish to not focus on them often seek to just move on from past/current mistakes which they made, or else were part of making. Of course this should not be the main focus, it should be balanced, but we must learn from the past so the past mistakes do not become future mistakes. Semantics matter and if they do not then I cannot see the reason for using them.
If we accept that the practice set out in UK-SPEC encompasses the professional engineering community.

True, but the engineer works in society.
Then the challenge set by the report (and from elsewhere) is to boost the value of IEng and Technician registration. The really difficult bit is to achieve this, without a detriment to CEng, which would harm the profession collectively.

But if we go back to an earlier comment where you said they felt undervalued then that would seem to be more about their 'feelings' as opposed to the work they were doing. If for example society suddenly saw IEng as the crème of the crop, then maybe the engineers would feel better. However, I do not think that is going to happen because MSc is higher than BSc and BSc is higher than ONC and so on and that is not going to change. The EC tied it's professional status's to qualifications, that was the mistake and that is what neither the IET or else EC want to admit or correct because it will show they made a pretty big error and were thus not very competent. They did this to try and give the professional status's some of the brand which degrees have, i.e., boost the status by association. If you have a decent degree you do not need to say, for example, it's equivalent to IEng or CEng because the degree already has an internationally recognised brand/value; it's only the other way around where people sometimes say my IEng or CEng is equivalent to a BSc or MSc as is relevant. Generally those with BSc/MSc will not be saying this because they already hold the relevant degree.

Degrees have a hierarchy and therefore by associating the professional status's with degree so you also got the hierarchy association.

We don't need the rest of society to look up to us, but we do value the respect of our peers, in addition to the value our employers place on us.


I actually 'think', but cannot of course speak for him, pmiller wants the value of IEng to be reflected in the terms and conditions and respect he gets in industry, and which is more to do with society, than he simply wants respect from his peers. If it was just a peers thing then surely you could just issue some semantics on a webpage and in the UK Spec etc., which said 'by the way all CEng, IEng and EngTech have the highest respect and regards for each other' and be done with it.

Regards.

Edited: 09 March 2014 at 01:44 PM by westonpa
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