One of the reasons for this move was a growing imbalance between the academic requirements for professional recognition in Europe when compared with the UK. The UK ran the risk of being seen as qualifying a lower-level of professional.
Another reason was growing recognition that the breadth and depth of the competence requirements for chartered engineers needed to be increased in keeping with the developments in the profession, requiring a greater academic underpinning.
There are alternatives routes to becoming chartered other than holding a master's level qualification. These can be found in the ICE's 3000 series of documents, and in particular ICE 3004 Individual Routes to Membership. These can be downloaded from ICE's website.
DAVID LLOYD-ROACH, director of membership, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA