ENGINEERS WITH three year BEng degrees will be offered clearer and simpler routes to chartered membership under new proposals being drafted by the Engineering Council (UK) this week.
EC (UK) is making final changes to the first draft of the fourth edition of Sartor (Standards & Routes to Registration) following its release for comment to the engineering institutions last week.
Top priority for the ICE is to ensure the new document clears up the confusion surrounding the use of matching sections to help engineers meet requirements for becoming chartered.
At the moment few engineers understand how to obtain matching sections (NCE 5 December 2002) Matching sections enable BEng graduates to reach the equivalent of an MEng through work-based learning equivalent to one year's extra study.
Matching sections were introduced in Sartor 3 in 1997, when the minimum academic requirement for a chartered engineer was raised from a three year to a four year degree.
But the ICE is concerned that this move has created a route few students want to follow.
'The MEng is a very good degree, but we don't want to overly differentiate between academic levels, ' said ICE professional development director Jon Prichard.
'In the UK we have a tradition of a three year BEng followed by a period of further learning, and it is a tried and tested method.'
'That period of further learning is outstanding, so for Sartor 4 the challenge is to recognise what is already done in the workplace, apply a little more vigour, and establish how it can be measured, ' said Prichard.