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SARTOR reforms could damage morale, warns Mott chairman

INTRODUCTION OF tougher Chartered Professional Reviews as part of the reform of civil engineering education should be delayed by a year to April 2001, Mott MacDonald chairman Tim Thirlwall said this week.

The Mott chairman was reacting to concerns expressed by the firm's graduate engineers over the impact that new Standards and Routes to Registration reforms will have on their careers.

While supporting SARTOR's aims, he believes that the speed of change is causing confusion and putting graduate engineers at a disadvantage.

The uncertainty caused by SARTOR is undermining morale and could even lead to some graduates questioning their choice of profession, concluded Thirlwall.

He said that by delaying the the new CPR - which would make wider demands of engineers - examiners and graduates would have time to adjust to the broader-based approach.

Thirlwall also expressed concern that some CPR reviewers would not make proper allowance for the fact that current graduates had spent most of their training aiming towards narrower demands.

But ICE professional development director Richard Larcombe said that the widening of the CPR under SARTOR was 'not unreasonable and not discontinuous'.

He added that many graduates had already been acquainted with the demands of the new CPR and that they had 'held no fears for them'.

As for the timing of the reforms, Larcombe said there had been a consensus among members involved in devising the SARTOR reforms that delays would damage attempts at improving standards.

(SARTOR on the road, see page 28)

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