Professional registration frequently asked questions (FAQs)

This section covers frequently asked questions relating to professional registration.

What is competence?

Competence is the combination of knowledge, skills, attitude and behaviour which leads to an individual being able to perform a certain task to a given level. In terms of developing competence to become a professionally registered engineer, competence (and commitment) will be developed through a combination of:

  • underpinning knowledge and understanding, generally acquired through educational programmes;
  • professional development and experience.

These elements, or parts of them, may be integrated or undertaken simultaneously. Professional development is the route to building and maintaining competence; through recognising and applying the learning you have gained to help you do your job better and plan to fill any skills gaps you may have.

What is underpinning knowledge and understanding?

It is the technical/engineering knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin professional competence, or in general terms, the technical "know how" to do the job. Many candidates develop this "know how" through formal study, such as by taking an IET accredited course. Under the current UK-SPEC Regulations, however it is possible to acquire and demonstrate underpinning knowledge and understanding to the appropriate level without formal qualification, but through (experiential) on the job learning.

Who can help me with my application?

You can contact a professional registration advisor if you have any questions about your application. PRAs are members with detailed knowledge of the requirements and routes to professional registration. They are able to review individual cases and advise on whether a candidate is ready to apply to the IET for professional registration. They will also be able to advise on the presentation aspect of making a formal application.

Who can support my application for CEng or IEng?

You will need to choose two supporters who have detailed and up to date knowledge of your work so that all the information in the application can be verified.

Please see below who may act in the role of supporter:

  • Engineering Council or international equivalent registered engineer, who is a member or Fellow of the IET or another professional technical or scientific organisation of equivalent standing, working at a senior level to you, preferably for at least two years, and with direct knowledge of your role and responsibilities;
  • Where a registered engineer with direct knowledge of your work is not available, the current line manager, or employer, may act as supporter;
  • A third supporter signature is optional and may be necessary, for example, if you work on contracts, as an additional signature to enable adequate verification of periods for your employment.

Who can support my application for EngTech or ICTTech?

You will need to choose a supporter who has detailed and up to date knowledge of your work so that all the information in the application can be verified.

Please see below who may act in the role of supporter:

  • Engineering Council or international equivalent registered engineer, who is a technician member, member or Fellow of the IET or another professional technical or scientific organisation of equivalent standing, working at a senior level to you, preferably for at least two years, and with direct knowledge of the your role and responsibilities;
  • Where a registered engineer with direct knowledge of your work is not available, the current line manager, or employer, may act as supporter;
  • A second supporter signature is optional and may be necessary, for example, if you work on contracts, as an additional signature to enable adequate verification of periods for your employment.

If I don't have exemplifying qualifications, how will this affect my application?

Formal education is not the only way of demonstrating the underpinning knowledge and understanding. The IET will make a balanced overall assessment of any formal, informal and work-based learning to establish your underpinning knowledge and understanding to the appropriate level as outlined in the Engineering Council Regulations for Registration [new window].

I've been told that I need to provide a certified copy of my qualification(s) certificate(s) with my application what does this mean?

You will need to provide a copy of your qualification(s) or work-based learning certificate(s) which should be signed as a true copy of the original by one of your supporters.

I have already had my academic qualifications assessed as satisfactory by the IET, do I need to complete any further study?

Provided you remain a member of the IET, you should not normally be required to complete any further academic study.

I want to become registered but I've only just started work what should I do?

You can use Career Manager, the IET's professional development recording system, to plan and record your professional development and competence against professional registration frameworks.

Tell us that you are working towards professional registration by registering your intention on Career Manager or download an intent to register form.  Once your information has been received, you will receive information about professional development and how we can help you to achieve professional registration. You will also receive regular information and updates relevant to your development until you are ready to apply. 

I'm not currently working can I still become registered?

If you have either become recently unemployed or retired, or have moved into a marketing, finance or senior management role, your case will be considered on its merits, exactly as per any other case. For a candidate to succeed it is necessary for them to demonstrate that they are maintaining their competence in all areas. Those involved in the assessment process should apply the test ‘would this person be able to work competently, and at the required level, if they took on another engineering role’. Discuss your situation with a professional registration advisor.

I've been working as an engineer for several years and have only recently realised that I ought to apply for professional registration. When do I create my portfolio of evidence?

You can put together a portfolio of evidence at any time in your career; however, if you need to put it together retrospectively for registration purposes, you only need to record the best examples of your experience and, since the key to registration is demonstration of competence, these will probably come from your most recent employment within the past couple of years. If you have moved into a primarily management or non-technical role, you may need to refer back to earlier experience to provide evidence of how you demonstrated the technical competences.

What will I need to do in preparation for the interview, and what will I need to bring with me?

For full details of the PRI, please watch this short Professional Review Interview video which will give you an insight into the process and read what to expect from your professional review interview.

Please bring a copy of your completed application form and your current development action plan with you as the interviewers should refer to these during the interview.

You are advised to arrive a little early for the interview and spend some time reading through your application so the details are fresh in your mind.

All candidates must present valid photo identification at the interview. The following forms of identification are acceptable: a valid passport, a valid Government issued National Identity Card or a valid driving licence with photo.

How will I be notified of the decision about my application?

Decisions on all applications for professional registration are made by a registration panel and you will be informed of its decision by letter.

Could I be considered for a different category of registration than the one I originally applied for?

If your application indicates that a different category of registration might be more appropriate than the one you originally applied for, the IET will let you know. You will then be able to consider if you wish to pursue the recommended registration category.

If I accept the recommended registration category, do I have to pay the application fee again?

The application fee is payable for each registration application you make. If the IET has advised that you may be eligible for an alternative registration category and you accept this recommendation, you may transfer the application fee to this application.

If unsuccessful, what should I do next?

If your application for professional registration is unsuccessful, you are recommended to consult a professional registration advisor as detailed in your letter. They will have a copy of your application and will be able to give you additional helpful guidance on why your application was not accepted and what you need to do now. You should consider carefully any advice you have received and make sure you have positively addressed any competence or further learning recommendations. For example, if you have been told that you need to move into a role that would enable you to gain the appropriate type of experience, there would be little point in reapplying if you had not changed or expanded on your existing role.You are advised to consult your professional registration advisor prior to making a re-application to the IET. Effective consultation with your PRA will maximise your chance of success.

Is there a minimum period between two applications?

There is no minimum time limit on re-applications, however you will need to complete any competence development that was recommended. You should also continue to maintain a portfolio of evidence and discuss your progress with your mentor or supporter.

There is a reduced fee if you re-apply within three years.

Assuming I have been successful, how long will it take to receive notification of my registration from the Engineering Council?

Registration with the Engineering Council usually takes place up to six weeks after you have paid any registration fees requested by the IET. The Engineering Council will inform you directly of your unique registration number, after which time you may use your professional title. Please note that any requested fees must be paid before registration can be finalised.

If my application is unsuccessful, am I able to appeal against the decision?

In certain circumstances, you may appeal against the decision. Appeals may be submitted that identify:

  • personal mitigating circumstances that caused you to under-perform at interview (CEng or IEng) - perhaps as the result of a family or travel problem, or affected your ability in some other way (EngTech or ICTTech); or
  • a fault within the IET's processes or mishandling of your application which interfered with your ability to present your case.

Any appeal must be received within three months of receipt of the letter advising you that you are not eligible for registration. If you request an appeal, you will need to write to the IET, clearly and concisely setting out the reasons for your appeal, together with any evidence of your claims. There is an appeal fee, which is refundable if the appeal is successful.

If I want to transfer my professional registration from another institution, what do I need to do?

If you wish to transfer your professional registration to the IET from another institution, you will be required to submit either an application form, or a good quality cv. This should be verified by a supporter who is preferably a registered engineer, or if one is not available, someone who is familiar with the content of your work, such as your line manager. Your application will be reviewed by a registration panel and if any further information is required, you will be contacted by a staff member. You will also need to ensure that your Engineering Council subscription and membership payments are up to date with your current institution. A fee is payable for transfer of registration. If the panel decides that a professional review interview is necessary, to help them understand your role in greater detail, a further administration fee will be requested.

If you were initially registered through the IET and decided to transfer your registration to another institution, but now you would like to transfer your registration back to the IET, then provided your fees have been kept up to date, you may transfer your registration back to the IET with no assessment. No fee will be payable.

Need help?

We will do as much as we can to support you with any aspect of your application, so please get in touch if you need help and advice.

 

Tel: +44 (0) 1438 767 333
Email: profreg@theiet.org