Chartered Engineer (UK)

Chartered Engineer (UK)

In the United Kingdom, a Chartered Engineer is an engineer registered with Engineering Council UK (the British regulatory body for engineers). Contemporary Chartered Engineers are master's degree-qualified and have gained professional competencies through training and experience. The formation process (academic + internship / apprenticeship / graduate training + peer reviewed professional practice) of a Chartered Engineer spans 8–12 years. The title Chartered Engineer is protected by civil law but the practice of engineering has no legal restrictions in the UK. With over 180,000 registrants, it is one of the most recognizable international engineering qualifications with registrants in many countries.


Qualifications required for registration

According to Engineering Council UK, Chartered Engineers "are characterised by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change. They might develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced designs and design methods, introduce new and more efficient production techniques, marketing and construction concepts, pioneer new engineering services and management methods. Chartered Engineers are variously engaged in technical and commercial leadership and possess interpersonal skills."

For registration, it is necessary for candidates to demonstrate that they are professionally competent through education, training and professional practice. Although many Chartered Engineers have honours degrees in engineering, science or mathematics, since 1997 it has been necessary to demonstrate undergraduate masters level knowledge and understanding, most commonly by completion of the four-year undergraduate integrated MEng degree, or by gaining an appropriate masters degree following completion of a three-year bachelor degree in engineering or a cognate subject. Candidates are also required to demonstrate an appropriate level of professional competence to practice, through evidence gained from records of initial professional development, and by professional review followed by Interview and Technical Presentation in front of a Professional Board. The final stage of assessment is a "professional review" (interview) conducted by two Chartered Engineers and a Chairperson at which the candidate's competence will be assessed. A full description of the requirements for registration appears at the Engineering Council's website [1]. Overall it usually takes a minimum of 8 years but usually 10 years of university education and post graduate training to achieve the Chartered Engineer qualification. Chartered Engineers are recognised as professional engineers. Other professional engineers registered by the Engineering Council are Incorporated Engineers. Chartered and Incorporated Engineers are recognised in Europe as regulated professions by the Directive 2005/36.

Designatory lettering

Chartered Engineers are entitled to use the suffix CEng after names as a means of emphasising their status with the Engineering Council. They can also make use of a logo, which is intended primarily for use in correspondence and on business cards. This is restricted to use by Engineering Council Registrants only, through approval by the Patent Office for its registration as a Certification Mark. This is written after honours, decorations and university degrees but before letters denoting membership of professional engineering institutions.

When a Chartered Engineer has more than one institution membership conferring designatory letters, the institution through which the holder is registered as a Chartered Engineer appears immediately after CEng, with other memberships following in order of the institutions' foundation dates. Engineers with "chartered" titles awarded by professional institutions (such as Chartered Electrical Engineer, awarded by the Institution of Electrical Engineers prior to 2002) are only entitled to call themselves chartered engineers and use the CEng suffix if they are registered accordingly with Engineering Council Any IEE member who prior to 2002 was entitled to be called a Chartered Electrical Engineer can still do so if still a member of the IEE, now the IET.(see IET website)

International equivalence

The level of competence required for registration as a Chartered Engineer in the UK is equivalent to 4 year Bachelor degrees in Canada and the USA. It is also comparable, to many continental European countries that require master's-level education for registration as a professional engineer. Since the Engineering Council (UK) moved to the M-Level qualification required for registration, there have been inconsistencies in the Washington Accord agreement on the recognition of academic qualifications.

Although the Engineering Council (UK) now requires a master's-level qualification for Chartered Engineer registration, the other Washington Accord signatories have not raised the level of qualification (it remains at the bachelor's degree-level see Engineers Australia. A recent International Engineering Alliance (IEA) [2] meeting brought forth these issues regarding the Washington Accord. It was unanimously agreed that all Washington Accord countries will look to follow the path taken by the UK and raise the requirement for professional engineer registration to the master's degree-level. This will mean that the UK will require a 6 year masters course to be equivalent to a North American Masters degree. In the meantime, the Engineering Council (UK) can restrict registration to those that hold bachelor's degree qualifications from Washington Accord countries. And reciprocally many current UK qualified Chartered Engineers are not eligible for licensing as Professional Engineers in Australia, Canada and the United States since they do not have accredited engineering degree level education. Licensing bodies in North America assess each Chartered Engineers application for P.E / P.Eng on a case by case basis. Licensing rigour in North America exists because of state and provincial law and legal liability requirements.

Chartered Engineers are entitled to register through the European Federation of National Engineering Associations as a European Engineer and use the pre-nominal of Eur Ing.

Bodies qualified to register Chartered Engineers

The body that maintains the UK's register of Chartered Engineers is Engineering Council UK. Authority to register Chartered Engineers is delegated to licenced member institutions:

Some of these institutions also register Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians. There are other Engineering Council UK licensed member institutions that register Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians but do not register Chartered Engineers.

See also


External links

Further reading

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