Wherever you are in your career, the IET provides the relevant guidance to support its members as they aspire to awards and recognition.
Whether you’re a recent graduate, an ambitious apprentice, or perhaps you’re one of the first Chartered IT Professionals, or maybe you’ve already achieved professional registration and you’re wondering what happens next? Wherever you are in your career, the IET provides the relevant guidance to support its members, helping to define the purpose of career advancement, outlining career pathways, maintaining a CPD record and helping members demonstrate their evidence of experience and qualifications as they aspire to awards and recognition.
Achieving professional registration is a career milestone, demonstrating your engineering competence. But what happens next?
Developing the competence required for professional registration is a process of continuously reviewing your abilities in order to target your development so as to fill your skills and knowledge gaps. A development process that, by the time you achieve professional registration, you will have mastered. But why stop there?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the process by which you keep up to date with current practice. It also drives you to improve your skills and to progress into new roles, keeping you employable throughout your working life. In addition, CPD is a professional obligation for members of the IET and registrants of the Engineering Council.
Structuring your CPD will help you achieve your career goals faster as it is likely to target your development needs more effectively. However, it is also important to take advantage of ad hoc CPD opportunities that come along too, as these can also be valuable. Maintaining a CPD record requires little effort, but some self-discipline.
The IET’s online professional development tool, Career Manager, has recently been revised to provide a much more user-friendly interface and enhanced capabilities; V3 was launched in June 2013. Career Manager provides a quick and easy way to plan and record your development activities under six categories: academic study, volunteering, events and seminars, self-study, work experience, and training.
Along with improved functionality and alignment with the professional registration short form application process, improvements to the system mean that CPD activities can now be logged quickly and easily using the Quick Launch Tool. With the added ability to record reflection against your CPD activities and produce high-level or detailed CPD activity reports at the click of a button, you can easily build and maintain a meaningful CPD record.
As a young professional using the system, Joe, 24, is currently on E.ON’s Engineering Leadership graduate scheme, and commented on V3 saying: “I’ve been using it from day one really, recording all the little things I’ve got on with. Simply put, it’s a way of keeping a diary of what you’ve done during your career.”
Joe believes that all young engineers and technologists should use a system like Career Manager to record their CPD, as it’s a great way of preparing for professional registration. He adds: “It’s a no-brainer really, it basically allows you to keep track of everything you’ve achieved in your career so far...
“It’s a tool that’s there for you to use, it’s helping me prepare for Chartership,” he concludes.
The IET provides a wide variety of products and services to support members’ professional development activities, many of which are discounted or free to members, although content from any source is equally acceptable. The IET has introduced a voluntary (opt-in) CPD monitoring scheme, available to all TMIETs, MIETs and Fellows. This new scheme aims to enhance CPD support for members through improved guidance and feedback.
Find out more at www.theiet.org/cpd
In September this year, the IET awarded its first Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status to Andy Webb MIET (above) of Chelmsford City Council, followed by William King Jr MIET, based in the USA.
Developed with industry and government, and aligned to Level 5 of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), this professional award demonstrates an individual’s professionalism, competence and commitment to the IT industry.
As Webb explains: “Registering as a Chartered IT Professional is about me leading by example and demonstrating my commitment to professionalism and personal development. My teams include IET members and I lead an IET-Approved Apprenticeship programme. It’s rewarding to aim high and gain recognition through CITP registration.”
With revalidation of the Certificate of Competence (CoCC) every five years, this award becomes of huge value and relevance to employers, providing a recognised benchmark across the Information and Communications (I&C) sector. CITP status gives senior IT professionals:
• personal differentiation as an IT specialist
• improved career opportunities
• enhanced professional standing
• increased sector recognition
• demonstrable evidence of their commitment to IT professionalism
• the right to use the designatory letters CITP.
Candidates who already hold CITP with the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT) may also be eligible to transfer their award to the IET if they have a minimum of two years to run before revalidation of their CoCC.
The online application process consists of three stages enabling applicants to demonstrate skills and experience through peer assessment, together with a test of core knowledge. At every stage applicants are able to log-in and check their progress.
“It was simple to start the application and easy to check its process online. I took the breadth of knowledge test locally and completed the interview using a webcam from my PC. Communication and support from the IET and the BCS was excellent throughout the process,” Webb adds.
This new award is important to the IET and our members as it demonstrates clear commitment to the I&C sector for senior professionals and offers a clear progression route within this fast-paced, exciting industry.
CITP is of key relevance to employers in the IT industry as it offers:
• commitment to workforce development
• evidence of commitment to the wider industry
• recognition of an employer’s position to uphold industry standards and best practice
• a key motivational tool and recruitment aid.
The IET offers this professional award under license to the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
This year has seen the release of the final step in the IET Advantage membership programme – Professional Advantage. Building on the earlier parts of the scheme, Graduate and Career Advantage, members on Advantage are offered extended support for six years from graduation. In addition, IET Advantage provides stepped membership fees to ease the challenging financial transition from university into employment.
IET Advantage is available in all parts of the world with a customised programme now also developed for final year students and graduates in India as well. IET Advantage offers engineering and technology graduates tailored support, expert guidance, and knowledge delivered in a way to suit this stage of their career with direction on the requirements for professional registration.
The first part of the package is Graduate Advantage; designed to support students as they plan their move on to the workplace, helping them with job hunting, preparing CVs and getting ready for interviews. Students signing into Graduate Advantage will also have access to guidance in their final year projects and reports, together with the IET Buddy scheme (support from members who have themselves graduated in the last few years), as well as being guided towards the valuable reference material held by the IET.
The second step is Career Advantage, three years of membership continuing the theme of targeted support. Any IET member will also be able to benefit from Career Advantage with the only requirement that they completed their engineering or technology degree within the past four years. Career Advantage offers extensive guidance to graduates as they work towards professional registration and with career advancement.
Professional Advantage runs for two years and during this period members are shown how to advance their professional registration application and to use the registration resources available from the IET. Through the guidance of a goals framework, members on Professional Advantage are encouraged to build higher levels of work experience required to support their registration application.
The Advantage programme has been specifically designed to ease the passage to registration as either a Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng). The goals that the graduate has to work towards for professional registration are presented to them through regular email updates and on the IET Advantage Web pages. The IET will build on this guidance material and communicate recommended activities, many of which will be easily available through the IET member network
Support to industry
With the guidance that the IET can provide to members in their career, and with professional development, IET Advantage is an important support resource for engineering companies of all sizes. Major employers with large organised graduate schemes have seen the benefit of IET Advantage supporting their own development programmes while smaller companies have benefited by the level of training, education and knowledge resource that the IET can provide.
To find out more, visit www.theiet.org/advantage
The IET Signature programme caters for a new generation of ambitious apprentices and technicians who require and demand a dedicated membership offering from the IET.
Signature currently comprises of two new membership products to help apprentices and early career technicians advance seamlessly through the early stages of their careers with the support of the IET.
It provides apprentices and technicians with practical and professional support to build their skills as their career progresses. It is a simple and direct route for individuals to attain the level of professional competence and recognition they should aspire to achieve in their career as engineering professionals.
Apprentice Signature has been designed specifically to support apprentices throughout their apprenticeship, supporting workplace learning, college study and building key competences in line with employer expectations.
Apprentice Signature is a step-by-step action plan that will help apprentices achieve their career goals, delivering exactly the tools and support that an apprentice will need as they increase and develop their practical engineering and technical knowledge.
As Apprentice Member Rebecca Shaw comments: “I’m big on planning. It’s good to start preparing for the next steps now. Ultimately, I’m aiming for professional registrations.”
The IET has recognised that one of the key areas that it can really support apprentices is by providing them with access to its essential engineering knowledge for their key assignments.
Apprentices therefore have access to our huge knowledge resources including 90,000 technical papers, 65,000 books, 3,000 journals, with full online access.
Technician Signature is a structured programme for early career technicians designed to provide them with a framework to support them in the development of their skills and enhance their knowledge.
Technician Signature delivers the specialist knowledge, expert technical information and professional and personal support technicians need to progress through the key stages of their career faster and more effectively. The products keep early career technicians up to date with the latest technology and industry innovation to equip them for Professional Registration and beyond.
Giving technicians access to IET products like Career Manager allows them to take personal control of their on-going professional development, helping them keep a record of it which is essential.
It’s a great way to support them as they start to identify and plan for achieving their career goals.
Not only is the IET committed to working in partnership with the technician community by providing them with the necessary support, we have listened to our current members and made membership of the IET far more affordable for those at the beginning of their career.
For more details, visit the website at www.theiet.org/signature/ You can also follow us and tweet us on Twitter @IETsignature
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