IET support for Armed Forces

20 October 2011
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Brigadier Tim Watts, signal officer in chief and Michelle Richmond, IET director of Membership & Professional Development signing the Special Registration Agreement

The IET’s activities with the Armed Forces have stepped up a gear during 2011, forging new relationships, strengthening existing links and cementing previous ties.

In July, the IET was invited to the Royal Navy’s annual ceremonial divisions at HMS Collingwood. Attending the event was IET Armed Forces development manager Tricia Johnson, who proposed that the IET present an annual award for best engineer at the Maritime Warfare School, an offer warmly supported by inspecting officer and first sea lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope.

Throughout the year briefings have taken place at a range of establishments within the RAF, Royal Navy, Royal Signals and REME, stretching from bases in Scotland to Army battalions in Germany. Following the publication of the Haddon Cave Report into the Nimrod Accident in 2006, the Military Aviation Authority has mandated that certain posts responsible for air worthiness now require professional registration, resulting in an increase in applications from the military.

Over the last few years the IET has forged strong relationships with the military’s resettlement offices and the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), an organisation preparing service leavers for resettlement and transfer to civilian life. IET membership is of significant value to service leavers as they no longer have access to the high quality professional development support whilst employed in the military. In addition, gaining professional registration such as Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Engineering Technician and Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Technician will greatly assist individuals in finding employment, providing external recognition of their transferable skills. 

In more recent changes, the IET announced that it is offering a special deal to those engineers and technicians in the Armed Forces facing redundancy, with redundancies officially announced by the Ministry of Defence in September. A special discounted membership package will enable former service personnel to tap into the IET’s wide-ranging support in gaining a professional engineering qualification. They will also be offered help in accessing the latest engineering and technology jobs, and as IET members will be eligible to apply for support from IET Connect, the IET Benevolent Fund. IET Armed Forces development manager Tricia Johnson said: “We wanted to get involved and help those in our Armed Forces who are facing redundancy in their resettlement to civilian life, and to recognise the debt that society owes them.”

Often referred to as the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Navy Air Engineering Branch has responsibility for all aspects of military flying at sea. IET Registration and Standards staff have worked in partnership with the Branch to develop a process for the branch to recommend candidates for IEng and CEng registration based on their career structure and competence assessment. A Special Registration Agreement was signed in August at HMS Sultan in Gosport with IET chief executive and secretary Nigel Fine and IET director of Membership and Professional Development Michelle Richmond in attendance.

Also in the news this year is the re-launching of the IET’s Churchill Medal Award with support from other engineering institutions. This prestigious award, inherited from the Institution of Incorporated Engineers, will be awarded ‘for achievement in engineering and technical advancement in support of military operations’.

Midway through the year, the IET and the Royal Corps of Signals signed a special registration agreement encouraging the take-up of professional qualifications, providing a clearer pathway for members of the Corps to achieve registration. Signed by Brigadier Tim Watts, signal officer in chief, and Michelle Richmond, IET director of Membership & Professional Development, the agreement ensures that their members gain appropriate recognition during their service.