ENGINEERS THIS week slammed plans to allow employers to award professional qualifications to their own staff, saying that they would fatally compromise the existing qualification structure.
Plans were unveiled two weeks ago by the Engineering & Technology Board (ETB) - which replaced the Engineering Council earlier this year - to introduce a 'chartered technologist' qualification, awarded by firms to staff completing inhouse training schemes (NCE 19 September).
But last weekend the UK Association of Professional Engineers (UKAPE), the trade union for chartered and incorporated engineers, voted overwhelmingly against the proposal in an emergency motion at its biennial delegate conference. It will now lobby the ETB to abandon the plans.
'UKAPE views this development with the deepest concern and believes that all sections of the Engineering Council UK Register - Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician - and the qualification processes of the engineering institutions are fatally compromised by these proposals, ' said UKAPE vicepresident Ken Paterson.
'Quite frankly I'm astonished.
This qualification is of no added value and this approach displays a conflict of interest which is completely unacceptable, ' he added.
ETB chief executive Alan Clark said: 'A major change in the industry is bound to cause a reaction but I'm glad to say that on the whole the reaction has been very positive and productive.'