CONTINUED DISCUSSION with the Engineering Council (EngC) over routes to membership may force the ICE to delay publication of vital new core objectives and membership documents, it emerged last week.
The new documents, scheduled for release this summer, are intended to reflect the clutch of recent changes to the membership process following, in particular, the introduction of dual corporate membership.
However, release of these documents looks set to be temporarily stalled until EngC concerns, that some of ICE's new routes to membership do not meet its higher academic standards, are resolved.
'It would be wrong to set people on a route to membership that is not approved by EngC, ' explained the author of the documents, Welsh executive secretary and regional liaison officer David Crompton, at last week's Graduates & Students National Committee annual conference.
'Therefore the new 'green book' should not be published until everything is cleared by EngC, ' he said.
The new documents will supersede the ICE's 'green book'. They take into account not only recent dual corporate membership changes but also alterations to the format of the professional review and moves to provide more encouragement to specialist sectors.
They also intend to incorporate a new mature route to membership for senior level managers for whom the traditional membership route is not appropriate, and a fast track progression for incorporated engineers which would see them becoming chartered within six years of becoming IEng.
Discussion is ongoing between the ICE and EngC over some of these new routes. Release of the new documents, now ready for publication pending final approval from the training and professional reviews panel (TPRP) in April, may be delayed awating approval.
A complete overhaul of the document in the ICE's training bible - the 2000 series known generally as the 'green book' - along with the more recent 'blue book', Developing today's professionals for tomorrow's challenges, is a vital part of the Institution's attempts to modernise and become 'all inclusive'.
The new documents will, subject to TPRP approval, feature a new approach to training and offer more encouragement to specialist sectors.
Although the current system of 23 core objectives will be maintained, candidates will now be able vary the standard required in all but a handfull of 'mandatory' objectives to allow better alignment of objectives to a chosen specialism.
'Specialists will have the flexibility to change the level of standard. They will be able to move some up and some down, provided they keep a balance, ' explained Crompton.
Guidance notes for specialist sectors will be provided alongside the new documents to demonstrate how standards may be changed. These changes will be explained in documents that will be a step change in user friendliness.
At the moment prospective members struggle with the 'green book', an array of documents comprising three 21-section documents describing the membership process for members, associate members and technicians. A further three documents then set out the core objectives.
The new book will be radically different. A single page executive summary will lead into a concise four page overview setting out academic requirements, routes to membership for those on training agreements and for those taking the career appraisal membership route, and the professional review.