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Register for competent structural engineers

Plans to establish a register of engineers deemed capable of signing off structural designs across England and Wales progressed this week.

The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) has urged the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to implement the proposals as part of its consultation on the future of Building Control.

"Scotland operates a register of chartered engineers who are experienced and qualified to design building structures to the Building Regulations," said IStructE chief executive Keith Eaton.

"Many other countries around the world have similar registers of structural engineers; unfortunately they are often instigated only after a major structural collapse and the resulting loss of public confidence in the local building regulations."

It is likely the register will be based on the model implemented in Scotland, known as the Structural Engineers Registration (SER) which ensures that engineers are up to date with their CPD records and professional indemnity insurance. Engineers must also have at least five years experience post-chartership.

The IStructE has been working with the ICE on the proposals.

"Under present arrangements, anyone – including someone completely unqualified – may submit plans to building control bodies in England and Wales," said ICE deputy director general Hugh Ferguson.

"We have been working with IStructE since 2001 on proposals to establish a register of chartered members of ICE or IStructE to certify designs."

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