CONTRACTORS AND construction professionals want the Institution of Civil Engineers to broaden its entry requirements and acknowledge the professionalism of engineers following vocational training routes.
The Construction Confederation wants to see construction professionals with NVQs to have the right to become fully fledged ICE members.
Currently, the aspirations of potential ICE members choosing the vocational route are limited to becoming technician members. This contrasts with the Chartered Institute of Building which allows vocationally qualified members to progress to the highest membership level.
Construction Confederation training director Keith Aldis feels the ICE is being hamstrung by the Engineering Council's SARTOR regulations, which say that people can only become incorporated engineers if they have a minimum of an HND qualification.
'This does not reflect what's happening on site, ' explains Aldis. 'An NVQ is seen as being less qualified, but these people have a real involvement. Is the ICE a measurer of competence or a club?'
The Construction Industry Council also backed the calls.
'The attainment of NVQs is more significant now as it provides a progression through the industry, ' explains CIC's David Cracknell. 'We need membership requirements defined in terms of vocational standards.'
The ICE responded to the Construction Confederation's proposals, claiming that: 'We totally value the contribution made by vocationally qualified engineers.
'It is only recently demand for such changes has arisen. The ICE is an inclusive organisation and is actively looking at ways that NVQs can become part of the membership base for all grades, ' said an ICE spokesman.