The benefits of employing professionally registered engineers
There are many reasons why organisations should employ professionally registered engineers and technicians. Much of the value comes from the status of the titles themselves.
However, registrants are also required to join and maintain membership of one of the 36 Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs), licensed to assess candidates for professional registration. This membership provides numerous benefits as well.
Benefits for organisations employing professionally registered engineers include:
1. Increased technical and managerial credibility with customers
Organisations that employ professionally registered engineers or technicians can enhance their competitive advantage and thereby increase shareholder value, if appropriate. Many customers, both in the UK and overseas, will require evidence of your employees' engineering competence when tendering for new business. Engineering Council registration is an accepted way to satisfy this requirement and will increase your ability to win potential business.
2. Assurance that the employee has satisfied a rigorous assessment of their engineering competence
To gain professional registration, each engineer or technician must submit evidence of education, training and professional experience to their institution. These are scrutinised by a panel of senior engineers, including industrialists and academics. For those applying for IEng or CEng a formal face-to-face review is then undertaken, drawing on detailed real project submissions judged by the candidate to exemplify the competencies achieved.
3. Confirmation that the engineering credentials being claimed are actually held
During the registration process all documentation submitted by the candidate is verified. Evidence of academic qualifications is checked with the issuing authority. Statements of experience gained and career path are verified by at least two sponsors, who are contacted separately for private reports.
4. Internationally recognised titles enable greater flexibility in staff mobility
A key benefit for Engineering Council registrants is that the quality of the UK titles is widely recognised by the rest of the world. There are also a number of specific mutual recognition agreements and European laws which guarantee acceptance of these titles overseas.
5. Access to development opportunities that ensure your employees remain up to date
PEI membership provides access to a structured Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. As part of a staff development strategy, the PEIs’ structured CPD programmes, including mentoring, provide a potentially cost effective solution to delivering career development, either individually or alongside any internal training activities.
6. Positive impact on recruiting and retention, and indication of commitment to staff
Employing professionally registered engineers and technicians, and/or supporting your staff in achieving these titles shows a commitment to staff development.
7. Possible mitigation of potential liabilities if an accident or incident occurs
Organisations that employ professionally registered engineers and technicians can have the confidence that, should a serious accident or incident occur which requires legal investigation, they have tangible proof that employees are suitably experienced and qualified, which therefore can strengthen their case. It may also help to reduce insurance rates.
8. Enhanced company reputation through ethical behaviour
Registrants are expected to observe and keep up-to-date with the requirements of the Code of Conduct of the PEI they have joined. PEIs are obliged to respond to allegations of infringement of the code. They may suspend or remove membership and Engineering Council registration if infringement is proven.
9. A means to satisfy requirements of the Quality Management Systems standard ISO 9001:2008
ISO 9001:2008 (in 6.2.2.a) states that "The organisation shall determine the necessary competence for personnel performing work affecting product quality." Professional registration contributes to demonstrating that employees have suitable and necessary competences.
The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC)
As highlighted above, employing professionally registered engineers and technicians helps to overcome the complications and uncertainty of recruiting technically qualified staff. Without this benchmark it can often be difficult to adequately assess the depth of education and training required for a role which may be crucial to your company's success.
The Engineering Council has worked for many years with other professional bodies in the UK to develop and maintain a recognised and trusted standard for professional engineers and technicians. Since 2003 this has been published in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).
UK-SPEC provides a means of assessing and ensuring the continued technical competence and commitment of professional engineers and technicians, in reliable ways that are also internationally recognised.
It describes the value of becoming registered as an Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). It also illustrates the requirements that have to be met in order to gain these qualifications, and gives examples of ways of doing this.
UK-SPEC therefore provides employers with the ideal framework for setting up their own professional development schemes. It should enable individuals and employers to find out whether they or their staff can meet the requirements for professional registration at any of the three levels.
The ICTTech standard
In a similar way to UK-SPEC, the ICTTech standard sets out the required standards of competence and commitment for ICTTech registration.