What's stopping you from becoming a Chartered Engineer?

10 July 2017
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Orla Murphy, Forward Model Quality Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

IET staff and CEng registered members address some of the more common (and often misplaced) concerns.

There are plenty of reasons for registering with the Engineering Council as a Chartered Engineer. To name a few, you:


  • show employers, peers and clients that you’ve met an internationally recognised standard in engineering
  • improve your career prospects and gain access to new roles.


So what’s holding you back? IET staff and CEng registered members address some of the more common (and often misplaced) concerns.


I’m too young


Orla Murphy, Forward Model Quality Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, achieved CEng at 27, but she says: “Being a Chartered Engineer is not about age, it is about experience and competence. Of course, to demonstrate that you have met the requirements to be considered a Chartered Engineer takes experience, and this involves a bit of time in industry to get exposure to projects and problems. But as long as you feel you have demonstrated the qualities of a Chartered Engineer and have examples to back up your claims – then my advice is not to let age stop you!”


I’m too old


“Not true,” says Paul Meenan, an Electrical and Mechanical Engineer at Transport for London. He became Chartered at the age of 38 and says: “I have met engineers who became Chartered much later in their career. In the course of my career in railway electrical contracting, I have learned and matured, taking bites at the registration process as I went.”


I don’t have a degree


Paul Meenan attained CEng status through the IET in March 2017. “The best part is I have no degree, no HNC/HND, just 20 years of experience! Your experiences and attitude are just as valuable as qualifications – including your passion, integrity and commitment to doing a great job,” he says.


I don’t line manage anyone


“I had no line management experience when I applied for Chartered status,” says Nathan Clow, Principal Engineer at dstl. "After graduating I worked for a large, science-focused organisation where there were ample opportunities to develop my technical competences. I then moved into a technically challenging role within a small organisation for developing new products. There was no opportunity to manage people in either case. My IET mentor nevertheless encouraged me to apply for CEng, recognising that I demonstrated deep engineering knowledge and strong technical leadership.”


I don’t have anyone to help me with my application


“It might feel like there is no one to help, but the IET’s dedicated Initial Professional Development (IPD) team can answer any questions you have,” says Kathryn Bain, Senior Product Advisor at the IET. “By registering with the IPD Service via our online skills recording tool, Career Manager, you can get regular updates to keep you motivated as you work towards CEng. The IET can also find you a mentor from your field of engineering or Local Network, who can support you as you develop your competences.”


I’m already registered under another category (IEng, EngTech, ICTTech)


Project Manager at the Ministry of Defence, Mark Zielinski, became an Incorporated Engineer (IEng), then a Chartered Engineer (CEng) four years later. He says: “At the time of my IEng application, I was part way through a Masters and didn’t meet the knowledge requirements for CEng. So I elected to apply for IEng, which allowed me to refine my application and gain a better understanding of the application process. The approach was certainly not a hindrance to me. In fact I’m sure it made attaining CEng more straightforward.”


I can’t find my qualification  certificates


Karen Allen, the IET’s Professional Registration Team Manager, suggests: “Contact the teaching establishment that you received the certificates from and they should be able to provide you with a copy. If you are still unable to get hold of your certificates, remove the qualification from your application so that you are not asked for evidence. You can demonstrate your knowledge and understanding through other means including informal and work-based learning.”


My qualifications are from outside of the UK, so they don’t count


“Your qualifications may meet the educational requirements for CEng,” says Antony Swift, IET Registration & Standards International Advisor. “See if your course is in our list of IET accredited programmes and check the level of accreditation it has been awarded. If it’s not listed here, it might be accredited by one of the other Professional Engineering Institutions licensed by the Engineering Council.


"Another place to check is the list of Washington Accord signatories. Your course must have been accredited by a signatory on or after the year they signed the accord. If you studied an Integrated Second Cycle Degree (SCD) programme and it’s listed on the FEANI INDEX or is EUR-ACE® labelled, then this is recognised for CEng registration too.”


Hopefully this information has swept aside some of your doubts about applying for CEng. Don’t put it off any longer - visit the IET Chartered Engineer webpage.