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Transferring from IEng to CEng
Question
Hello there,

I went through the whole registration process and gained IEng status back in 2013. My question is whats the easiest way for me to gain CEng status now? Do i have to re do all the application forms again like i did with the IEng or can i fast track and skip parts out?

Thanks

Matthew
15 Replies
I would not delay in the hope that somehow the application process will be 'easier'. It's it's not going to make _you_ any more or less 'competent'.

However, your previous IEng application should have helped you condense you career history (aka My Engineering Development) into a few short concise statements, so that you CEng competence examples stand out.

The key to the transition, is to show the shift from 'high tech' (working with the latest stuff, using the application notes etc) to 'leading edge' (leading into the unknown, with confidence based on knowledge and understanding). The shift can be harder for those who develop from 'the tools' because part of that shift is from working harder (a common perception for EngTech->IEng), to working smarter.

For the form, do remember it is about YOU, not the company and projects you happened to be associated with. A simple test: Add "and I made the tea." to the end of each sentence, re-read, and see if it still says what you hoped it was saying...
Andy Millar 33788107
1673 Posts
Hi Matthew,

This isn't an official IET reply at all but from experience...processes don't change quickly, and even when they do change that information has to be propagated out to the PRIs which also takes time. So if you're ready to apply now I personally wouldn't worry about waiting.

Separate to that, your career history up to your point of IEng is unchanged and still relevant, so actually most of your application is ready - it's unlikely you'll need to change any of that back story (a PRA may spot something which you could have emphasised better in your past career to support, typically, the knowledge and understanding required for CEng, but it's unlikely to be anything major if your IEng application was well written). Where your evidence for CEng is going to come from is what you've done since you received IEng - how do your roles since that point demonstrate that you now meet the additional competence requirements (particularly in A and B), and how have you made sure that your knowledge and understanding is suitable for those additional requirements? If I was doing it I would be cutting and pasting my IEng application into the career history to that point, and then adding the later section - which of course you need to write anyway. (In fact this probably is what I did when I moved from IEng to CEng - can't quite remember as it was 20 years ago!) So effectively there is a "fast track" from your point of view, in that you've already written most of your application.

That said, you will probably need to slim down the info on your last role in your IEng application, as this presumably will have been your main "pitch" for IEng, whereas now it's a step on the way to CEng. But that's only editing it down to keep the application concise and to the point, hopefully not heavy rewriting.

The usual advice:
  1. Get something written
  2. Show it to a PRA
  3. Tweak it
  4. Show it to a PRA again
  5. If they're happy then get it in!!
The biggest barrier I find to applications is candidates finding reasons to put any of these stages off for another week...and another...and another... ☺ Assuming that they are actually ready of course.

Good luck,

Andy 
Hello Norman,

Seen as the subject will be a topic in the next RG meeting is it worth me holding off filling in the paper work on the off chance the process may change?

Matthew
This topic is being added to the Dec 2019 Registration Group (RG) Agenda.

Kathryn's advice below is sound. Rather then help to dispel myths at this stage please be assured that clarification will come out from the RG meeting.

Regards - Norman
Norman J Penny as RG Chair

Moshe Waserman CEng:
As stated by previous comments in my case I was IEng and it was a completely new application for CEng, as Roy stated  “fresh case”.
While I understand the differences I still think that there should be some recognition for someone who is IEng and reduction of redundancies in SPEC if there are any to allow shortening or making easier the path toward CEng registration.
That's just my personal opinion.
While IEng is not a stepping stone toward CEng registration, I would encourage to have some preference for IEng's when applying to CEng over non IEng applicants. 
Regards,

 


If a candidate has IEng, then the PRI is pretty much biased to the differences to CEng (ie demonstrating the gap is made  up).

There can be no 'preference' as you say for the very specific reason that the EC directs that competence be found 'at the point of registration'. Interviewers are obliged to review the full career and satisfy themselves that the minimums are present. Naturally, I feel most interviewers 'take a view', but there cannot be a short cut. Because of the EC rules a fresh full application is required.
Roy Bowdler 603091
807 Posts
I agree with Moshe & Alasdair.

By long-tradition we give credit and lifetime recognition for academic achievements. Until around 2009 Engineering Council policy (influenced by IIE) was that the two types of engineers, were “different but equally valuable”. In practice that policy wasn’t accepted by those institutions who were primarily CEng. They considered CEng to be “higher” and IEng “lower”, justified mainly on academic grounds.  

It may help any reader not familiar with Engineering in the UK to think of Engineering Council as a “Parliament” of Professional Engineering Institution’s representatives. When it comes to professional registration, the franchise model is a good comparison for institution licensing, but there is much variety in the franchisees. Most readers will be familiar with UK-SPEC, but not the rules and procedures that underpin its use by professional institutions.    

From 2009 Engineering Council policy was changed and IEng became part of “progression” or colloquially a “stepping-stone”.  Therefore, if that policy has been implemented, in this type of situation (an IEng to CEng transfer)  someone with a reasonably recent IEng assessment to their credit, should have a very considerable advantage.  That they don’t is a failure to implement policy and the effect may be to, miscommunicate, mislead or even mis-sell. 

The context of this thread is a request for help from Matthew, so I don’t want to turn it into too much of a “political” or “philosophical” debate.  I hope that my attempt to explain and advise is helpful, but all of us involved in this area are trying to interpret something imprecise and uncertain.  

In its current form, it is impractical for many who would reasonably consider themselves “professional engineers” (as would their employers) to become recognised as a Chartered Engineer. However, it certainly should be possible for anyone who becomes IEng to transfer to CEng, because in practice there is a large measure of overlap anyway.  Jonathan describes how he gained coaching, help and support to make that transition successfully. I strongly supported an Engineering Council government funded initiative  http://www.engineeringgateways.co.uk/  and other MSc programmes aimed at experienced professionals.  The practicalities and costs of something like this can be a problematical and I certainly wouldn’t want to make it a “requirement”.  I have advocated a different approach with progressive “requirements” for the future, but that isn’t appropriate here.  

Returning to the main reason for this thread, the consensus of our (IET) expectations as I interpret them, for an IEng to CEng transition are not just some additional experience, but some “different thinking”. For some people this develops naturally, typically as they interface more with senior professionals who have to develop, structure and communicate their ideas (including technical ones) more strongly. Others need more support in the form of structured learning and coaching. In the context of transitioning by work-based learning, this may be hampered by the nature of the opportunities available in the work place, or the engineers role.  

We could and should be doing more to help people like Matthew and Jonathan. I know that some active IET volunteers are committed to this, but overall as an institution we should be providing better clarity and support to those members with reasonable CEng aspirations, especially those who already have a UK-SPEC era IEng.  I should note that some other PEIs have a very “closed-shop” and prescriptive attitude, in which only graduates of their preferred degree programmes are welcome as CEng. I worry, when I occasionally see these types of attitudes spilling over into the IET, although I do respect any reasonable argument for high standards, because that is what we should all be seeking, just in a fair and consistent way.               


 

Moshe Waserman CEng:
While IEng is not a stepping stone toward CEng registration, I would encourage to have some preference for IEng's when applying to CEng over non IEng applicants. 

Moshe,
Unlike yourself I went straight to CEng, but I would still wholeheartedly agree with you. I can see a number of advantages this would give, though perhaps not everyone would consider them advantages (e.g. enhancing the advantages of gaining IEng). However I can also see that this may lead to a claim of preferential treatment and not treating all applications equally so I also think it would need to be carefully managed.
Alasdair
Moshe W 1100289692
506 Posts
As stated by previous comments in my case I was IEng and it was a completely new application for CEng, as Roy stated  “fresh case”.
While I understand the differences I still think that there should be some recognition for someone who is IEng and reduction of redundancies in SPEC if there are any to allow shortening or making easier the path toward CEng registration.
That's just my personal opinion.
While IEng is not a stepping stone toward CEng registration, I would encourage to have some preference for IEng's when applying to CEng over non IEng applicants. 
Regards,

 
Roy Bowdler 603091
807 Posts
Each application is a completely separate entity or “fresh case”. IET assessors will be informed of  the outcome of any previous registration assessment, but not normally the material it was based upon. In some circumstances where it seems directly relevant, they may request sight of a recent interview report for example.

In a situation where transfer is being sought between the IEng and CEng sections of the register, then I would expect assessors to have the question in their mind; “what has changed since the last assessment”? If the IEng award was more than 10 years ago, records may have been archived and longer still may pre-date UK-SPEC.  An accredited academic qualification is always considered valid, it doesn’t “expire”.   

A comparison of the IEng & CEng competences (shown side-by-side at the back of UK-SPEC) will highlight significant differences, mainly in the A&B competences, which are underpinned by technical knowledge and understanding benchmarked at “masters level”.  There are some differences in other competence areas, but these are minor and in my personal opinion somewhat artificial, I won’t pursue that here.  The most common factors in an unsuccessful attempt to transfer are probably; failure to explain additional learning leading to a slightly different approach and failure to explain some further extension of responsibility for more technically complex issues.     

My own personal simplified interpretation of the difference between “bachelors level” and “masters level”; is that the former illustrates grasp of a body of knowledge, whereas the latter suggests an ability to research and evaluate information before making judgements about possible alternative course of action.  So this implies not just “more knowledge” perhaps gained through work-based learning, but a more “intellectually critical” approach.  An obvious “signpost” for IET assessors about growth of technical responsibility is a change of role, or “promotion”. Common problem areas are A2 & B2 competences, look at the examples given for IEng and CEng (second column)

Each Professional Registration Advisor, has different personal experiences and as a result may offer slightly different opinions in this type of situation. For example, I spoke with someone yesterday who one PRA thought should be IEng, myself and another PRA thought “obvious CEng”.  I dealt with a member recently who was a very experienced IEng and at some considerable expense completed an MSc that we recommended before applying for transfer, only to be turned down without an interview. I disagreed with that decision, but due process was conducted and that was the assessors decision (aka “jury verdict”).                                  

Most member’s applications for transfer from IEng to CEng are successful, but this superficially simple journey, has been one of the most difficult and sometimes emotive issues that I have had to deal with in my time involved with IET professional registration. There is a long tradition of the two categories being seen as “different breeds” which may influence assessor’s judgements and applicant’s perspectives.  There is much overlap in practice between those with “IEng type” and “CEng type” formal qualifications and the myriad of different circumstances in which engineers work complicates the issues further. Some of those who have been unsuccessful, became bitterly disillusioned and  cried foul, sometimes with fair reasons.  Therefore, an important aspect of seeking transfer is to remain dispassionate, make calm rational evidence based arguments about your professional competence, not unjustified assertions and opinion about how you compare with others.  Jonathan has illustrated this in his approach, rather than become angry and frustrated when his competence was questioned.

Work with your advisor(s) and focus of the quality of how you explain the nature and extent of your personal contribution in the career history. One of the most important attributes developed in a university graduate should be the ability to “present a case” and someone clearly demonstrating this attribute in their application for CEng is in a much stronger position.  A CEng is generally expected to be more of a “scientist” than an IEng and I have sometimes suggested this link as a simple guide to illustrating scientific method in an application  https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/engineering-design-process/engineering-design-compare-scientific-method    

Good Luck Matthew!


 
Morning Matthew,

As Alasdair has eluded to I didn't submit and identical application to IEng.  I used the good stuff that was still applicable to the required competency level of CEng and added examples of how I am meeting all the UK SPEC areas.  I spoke to 2 PRA's and their advise was invaluable.  Once you submit your application you want to give it the best chance to succeed otherwise that's £205 for a rejected letter.  I know someone who was instantly rejected and feel that the IET could give an opportunity for further evidence to get submitted, but not sure what the reason for rejection was could have been lack of experience as a newly graduated engineer.  I wish you good luck in you application.
Hi Matthew,
I wouldn't recommend the same application. The IEng application was assessed against the IEng competencies, not the CEng competencies so there is no guarantee that it would suffice for CEng. Another consideration is if you submit the same application then when it is assessed they may feel you are not putting in any effort to gaining CEng.
That said, if there are examples you included in your previous application that show CEng competencies (and here I would suggest being very critical - does the example show the IEng competency is exceeded!) then there is no reason it can't be recycled. However, as has already been said, speak to a PRA, who will be able to give specific guidance.
Alasdair
Hello Jonathan,

Did you resubmit your original application that you submitted for IEng or was it a completely different version and then they asked for additional information?

Thanks
Hi Matthew,

I have recently done this. It’s exactly the same process as the IEng that you need to follow. I gained IEng in June 2016 and have just received confirmation that I have successfully achieved CEng.  

I applied January 2018 so it’s been quite a lengthy process as due to work commitments couldn’t respond ASAP. I was asked for further evidence In competencies C & D and then asked to prepare a presentation on areas A & B for a technical interview at the IET in London.

After passing the technical interview I was asked to attend a PRI in Bristol and 5 weeks later got the news I was hoping for.

Wish you luck in your application. Perhaps look at areas that you was weak preventing you previously for gaining CEng and focus on them areas.  

Highly recommend a PRA who give good advice and said I would be questioned technically which I was during the process as I don’t have a masters only a BEng.  

The PRI is an informal chat trying to get out areas to prove competence to the UK Spec.
Moshe W 1100289692
506 Posts
Actually, maybe there should be a faster track for IEng to CEng progress?
It makes a lot of sense to me if such will be developed. Recognizing the years of continues development and matching it to UK SPEAK for CEng. 


 
Kathryn Bain 97869023
355 Posts
Hi Matthew,

There isn't a fast track or shortened route, so still have to complete the same application form.  If you're using Career Manager you should have this already populated in your career history so it would transfer into a new application.

You'll need to provide a full career history, so I would recommend that you focus on your most recent experience and also mention the point at which you gained your IEng in your career history.  You should try and draw examples where you have met the CEng competences as outlined in UK-SPEC.

Also, don't forget to speak to a Professional Registration Advisor (PRA) to get advice on your presentation - they can help you enhance your application when you've finished drafting it.

Kind Regards,

Kathryn

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