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In the margins of the interesting feature on David Blockley this week, mention was made of the possibility of the ICE having specialist examinations which were 'tough professional tests'.

In fact they already exist.

The ICE has five registers at present covering reservoir engineers, adjudicators, arbitrators, conciliators and expert witnesses, each of which requires members to pass a very stringent test.

These registers will be joined very shortly by health and safety specialists, specialist in land condition (SiLC) and CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Award) assessors and verifiers.

I cannot say if this trend towards specialist examinations will ultimately encourage the formation of a more inclusive engineering institution as Professor Blockley surmised. But those interested in any of the above specialist registers can contact the ICE for details.

John N Bennett, director of engineering, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA

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