Press release

Have your say on new IET code of practice on engineering competence

04 June 2015

Companies and individuals are being invited to have their say on a new Code of Practice which aims to help them assess and maintain the competence of their engineering staff in safety-critical industries.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) new Code of Practice: Competence Criteria for Safety-Related Systems Practitioners has been redrafted following a major revision. Now, a technical working group will be consulting with a wider international stakeholder group to ensure that the document is of maximum value to diverse industries from different countries that develop, maintain and operate safety critical systems.

Carl Sandom, Lead Technical Author, said: “Human factors are widely recognised as a frequent cause of safety-critical systems hazards and the new document aims to address this important issue along with many other significant changes from the original document.”

The completed Code of Practice will aim to help companies assess and maintain the competence of their engineering staff. It will set out the competencies expected and evidence required to prove competence in specific tasks and helps organisations create schemes for monitoring and measuring the competencies of its employees.

“Globalisation often leads to the use of sub-systems and components from different countries within safety-related systems architectures; this has resulted in a global requirement for competent people. The new code of practice aims to have broad global appeal to multiple industries. It is why we are inviting industry stakeholders of different nationalities to get involved in the wider consultation of this work”, says Sandom.

The new Code of Practice will be of interest to any industry where safety-critical systems are in use, including Energy, Transport, Defence, Aerospace and Healthcare. The Code of Practice will be aimed at those responsible for safety and competency in any organisation including, functional safety managers, safety engineers, chief engineers, senior safety & HR personnel, and operational managers.

The consultation is open until the end of September. For more information, or to get involved in the consultation please contact Andrew Cooney from IET Standards on email: acooney@theiet.org or on 01438 765666.

The Code of Practice will be published in January 2016.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • The Code of Practice replaces the previously published Competency Guidelines for Safety – Related System Practitioners, often referred to as the “Blue Book”.
  • The Code of Practice is produced in close consultation with the HSE and other safety related Institutions.
  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.