In early April I completed by my Chartered Engineering (CEng) Professional Review via the Chartered Professional Review Progressive (CPRP) Submission route, which means I already had achieved Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status successfully in 2017, and I only had to demonstrate the additional attributes associated with becoming fully Chartered. It’s a big moment for any engineer to achieve a level of professional membership, and as I write this I am still waiting to hear back to see if I was successful or not…. talk about vulnerability!
You may or may not have heard from others about how hard or easy it is to achieve a professional membership. I’m going to give my opinion on the process and what it means to me. All of the information below is only applicable to Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE) applications, but there are lots of other Institutions which membership or professional qualification can be achieved with.
How long does it take and the process?
It’s a very structured process, deadlines for application dates and submissions of documents which are adhered to with little flexibility. Reminders are sent just before deadlines, but if they are missed there isn’t any leniency.
ICE Professional Reviews are only held twice a year (in Spring and Autumn) i.e. April and October. You can find the next dates HERE
You need to look at having all your attributes signed off about 6 months in advance at least, which is a challenge in itself bearing in mind how busy your Supervisory Civil Engineer (SCE) and Membership Development Officer (MDO) are likely to be. So, bear this in mind, and schedule a meeting in advance of the 6 months to be able to sign off and address any of their queries in plenty of time.
Once you’ve received approval from you SCE & MDO (through an online completion form (called IPD Online-full completion) you now have all the time in the world to complete your review. So, if something comes up, you can easily delay the process until the following review. You might have 6 months off to focus on that new job, or spend time with the family, or for some people 10 years because life just “got in the way.” Whatever the timescale I personally wouldn’t wait too long, you want to be able to talk about your ability to demonstrate your competence with a fresh mind, with information just at the tip of your tongue.
Once you’ve decided on the review month it’s time to set out a calendar of dates. You’ll need to submit your application form + report precis + evidence of qualification + IPD sign off + payment, at least 3 months before the review date, so at this point you might want to have a draft of your report in place, either that or keep your precis very broad.
Then 3 weeks before your review date (which is emailed to you) you have to submit your report and your CPD records.
On your review day you have a presentation (15 mins), interview (45-60 mins) and a written exam (2hrs). Then wait patiently for 6-8 weeks to find out if you’ve been successful!
How much does it cost?
At the time of writing the costs were as follows;
Then there is the additional cost of member subscription fees which can vary from £0 as a student to £409.00 as a Fellow. Members are at £310.75 at present. This is a cost which is reviewed (and generally increased) every year. It may be worth looking at your company expenses policy to see if they cover the cost of professional membership, after all it looks good for them to have more professionally qualified engineers.
What does it mean to me?
For me becoming a Chartered Engineer not only means that I am considered a professional engineer, but it also opens a lot of doors to other opportunities in different engineering industries and different parts of the world. CEng does come with an expectation to employers, you're telling them that you're highly capable and committed, and you need to be able to live up to those expectations.
Personally, I like the idea that I don’t have to ever complete another exam in my life – Well until the next challenge comes along!
What is next?
Who knows. I will be very happy if I successfully gain chartership and can then go on to support others by becoming a Supervisory Civil Engineer (SCE) and help others to become professional members of the ICE. I might however just enjoy the moment and enjoy being happy where I am in life and in my career.
If you’ve like any advice on becoming professionally chartered, and want to discuss it informally, send me an email and I can help you out – firstname.lastname@example.org