KNOWN AS the 3000 series, the ICE's recently published guide to becoming professionally qualifi d includes a few key changes to its forerunners.
These include the introduction of a two-stage option for becoming chartered and allowing specialists working closely with civil engineers to become associate members of the ICE. The 23 core objectives which need to be achieved before an engineer sits a professional review have also been consolidated and renamed the 15 'development objectives' (see box).
There's nothing to get too worried about, ' reassured ICE membership director David Lloyd-Roach. 'We're just broadening the appeal of membership and maintaining standards.' The inclusion of many flow charts and diagrams also helps to explain the options available to engineers hoping to become professionally qualified.
The optional two stage approach to chartership involves sitting an incorporated professional review, known as the Member Professional Review which will give engineers MICE IEng status. After the candidate has gained more experience, he or she can then sit the new 'chartered professional review progressive' (CPRP) to achieve CEng status. In this second review the candidate is tested only on what he or she has learned since the previous review.
The aim of the two-stage review process, which will be up and running this autumn, is to encourage graduates to become members of the ICE and get professionally qualified earlier.
Currently the modal age for becoming chartered is 28.
'We would encourage the progressive [two stage] route as you will be able to put down on your CV that you are professionally qualified earlier, ' said ICE professional development senior manager Gareth Jones. He added that the two stages more accurately refl ct the way an engineer's competence develops over time.
It should also help businesses capitalise on having more professionally qualified engineers when bidding for work.
Deciding on whether engineers sit the chartered professional review in one hit or two is entirely optional.
The two-stage approach is also intended to coax engineers who found sitting the CPR in one hit too daunting. An added bonus is that the IEng qualification allows engineers to apply for an industry health and safety Construction Skills Certification Scheme card.
Atkins supervising civil engineer Paul Brayshaw believed that earlier professional qualifi ation would give engineers experience of sitting a professional review, thus raising their odds of passing the final CPR.
He warned though that 'people might see the two-stage route to becoming chartered involving an extra hurdle'.
The main benefit he believed was that it offered engineers more fl exibility on how to manage their careers. He explained that engineers were often starting a family or buying a house around the time they are thinking about sitting their chartered professional review. This often means that the CPR gets pushed back.
'I can see the advantages of getting professionally qualified earlier - when it's more convenient - though it may not be what I would recommend. Ultimately, you need to decide, 'what is your goal-' and keep that as your main focus.' er engineers will remember that a two-stage route to becoming chartered existed in the 1970s. But that system was mandatory and engineers were only deemed professionally qualifi d after completion of the second stage review. As a consequence, those who did not sit the second stage review failed to get their achievements recognised. The current twostage review process is optional and both stages lead to a professional qualification.
Contractor Nuttall's training manager Kevin Howat said he welcomed the two-stage route to becoming chartered. But he had concerns about how much value industry would give to the halfway qualified incorporated engineers.
'As professionals we're going to have to work hard to promote the incorporated qualification as a route to achieving the main goal - otherwise it could be seen as [an] inferior [grade], ' he said.