Dr Kamtekar of Birmingham University asked why the emphasis was on academic qualifications rather than knowledge, as demonstrated through work based learning; and why technical skills were not tested more at chartered review.
Shearman considered that while competency statements could be used, it was more practical to rely on accredited degrees. However, knowledge and understanding were an important component of competence and possessing an accredited degree was a useful proxy for possession of the required knowledge and understanding.
Prichard added that it is indeed important to demonstrate knowledge, regardless of the route taken to achieve chartered status. The former age criterion for the mature candidate route - for those without MEng - has been removed in UK SPEC, allowing a choice of routes.
Jackson rounded up the discussion by asking the panel if there was any realistic prospect of Government changing policy on funding for MScs.
Shearman felt there was no evidence that any change to the funding balance was likely. There was more interest in research, and he suspected that postgraduate programmes were an area missing out on government attention.