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New UK-SPEC standards launched

The Engineering Council UK (ECUK) has released a new version of its standard for professional engineering competence, UK-SPEC.

The standard builds on the 2003 document, integrating the engineering technician, incorporated engineer and chartered engineer categories into a format that emphasises the progression possibilities for those entering the profession. It has also provided more detailed guidance on how to satisfy the requirements for registration, and clarified educational benchmarks.

Speaking at the launch, ECUK chair Professor Kel Fidler said: "The Council is broadcasting our ambition to strengthen and grow the UK’s engineering capabilities as a modern industrial nation." He emphasised that the new standard would not require additional study or experiences, but was intended to clarify and reinforce the original.

Introducing the new version, ECUK registration standards committee chairman George O’Neill said: "The revisions reflect the fact that we live in a world where lifelong learning and career development are the norm. Professional structures have to recognise this."

The new version incorporates the origami design theme of ECUK’s Next Step campaign to encourage more engineers and technicians to register. Delegates at the launch received a "kit" to build an origami aeroplane.

Issued at the same time as the new UK-SPEC was an updated version of the Council’s accreditation handbook for engineering programmes. This sets out the requirements for accreditation of engineering degrees.

The ECUK stressed that none of the required learning outcomes [which had already been adopted by QAA
for its Engineering Benchmark] had changed, but some of the guidance on procedure had been improved in the light of experience.

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