I disagree with Mr Beckett's comments over essay writing as part of the Professional Review (NCE 21 October).
Having taken the examination, I found that I had to read around the set essay questions a lot further than I had anticipated and that my general knowledge of the industry was significantly improved as a result.
I would argue that you may be able to ascertain a candidate's level of knowledge during an interview, but that a skilful communicator could manipulate the conversation away from tricky questions and target preferred areas of discussion.
All engineers need to be able to write a report independently without the support of a reviewer or computer to check the grammar and spelling. This cannot be assessed purely on the basis of the professional review submissions which are checked and double checked during preparation.
J Strange (M), WSP Environmental, Basingstoke, jo.strange@Wspgroup.com