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HOW IPRA/PRA is recorded / recognized
IPRAs and PRAs are supporting candidates every time, there is place to enter PRA details in the application form.
Is IET keep record of IPRA/PRAs, who supported for how many candidate and when?

In my view, this is one of the record IET need to maintain and recognize PRAs around the world, usually once we support candidate and review, after that there is no communication in relation that application. We prefer to have that communicated
7 Replies
This question has been raised before and the answer as far as I can determine is 'no'. The IET does not record or do any QA stats on PRA's. Part of the problem is that there is no mechanism for recording the level of involvements a PRA has or their advise (for very good reasons).

I am of the opinion that there are some PRA's (keep seeing certain names), who only PRA and their advise appears to be rather less useful. I am of the belief that unless a PRA does occasional assessments or interviews they cannot really grasp what it is the EC are looking for to the same depth (controversial view I know).

You should not crave recognition. This is about quietly giving back and supporting the next generation and whiles I would welcome a means (on say RPS) for a PRA to record their views, I am wary of undue influence on the process.

In the end, we PRA's offer advise, perspective, a level of understanding of the requirements. I expect a professional Engineer to be able to listen, comprehend, ask questions, do their own research and make their own decisions. We are their to offer support and no spoon feed them.
Roy Bowdler
847 Posts
I understand that if you are using the on-line application process, there is a place to name the PRA/IPRA and to give any summary comments they may have made. There may be versions of the application form out there which don’t have that space, or people may have overlooked it in “career manager”.  I wouldn’t disagree with Graham’s perspective and there is room for improvement in this area. Nevertheless, when we take into account that advisors are volunteers, their collective contribution is impressive.     

I would observe that for “straightforward” applications, where the member has strong evidence from qualifications and career achievement, some basic fundamental advice about presentation is usually sufficient.  However, there are many situations, where enhanced expertise of the process can really make a difference. The IET is very broad in scope, so advisors may often find themselves trying to empathise with activities outside their direct personal experience.  Because the IET places strong emphasis on competence, UK-SPEC has to be interpreted in a wide variety of different circumstances by expert assessors. Therefore, an Advisor with good experience of assessing in the relevant type of work, should understand better some of the subtleties and nuances of current assessment practice.  This does like engineering itself, evolve with time, although certain fundamentals like explaining your personal achievements clearly and succinctly don’t really change.                

Graham Prebble:
I am of the opinion that there are some PRA's (keep seeing certain names), who only PRA and their advise appears to be rather less useful. I am of the belief that unless a PRA does occasional assessments or interviews they cannot really grasp what it is the EC are looking for to the same depth (controversial view I know).

There is a lot of sense in what you say here and in other posts, but (as someone who only PRAs) I would take an issue with your 'controversial view'. I am not going to completely disagree but rather say that it is more difficult and may take longer to grasp what the EC are looking for. I was greatly assisted when I started by the fact that my employer had just switched to a competency based appraisal and I had therefore undergone intensive training to be able to carry out such appraisals. I hate to think how I would have coped with the PRA role without that in my back pocket. However a PRA of long standing may have a better in depth understanding than an interviewer in his/her early days.
The real problem with being a PRA is the lack of feedback - if a candidate is successful at interview was it because of your advice or despite it? If a candidate is unsuccessful they are often passed to a second PRA, which has the advantage of providing a second opinion but prevents the first PRA from finding out the reasons for decline. Interviewers and assessors work as part of a team (two interviewers and I am not sure how many assessors) and so there is inbuilt peer review. However the one big advantage the PRA has is the ability to discuss potential problems in an application with others (other PRAs or, if contacts are known, with interviewers or assessors). I have done this in the past such as where I had an opinion about one aspect of the application which I felt would be rejected as suitable evidence by Assessors and Interviewers but asked a friend who is an interviewer for his opinion (which was pretty much exactly as mine - I did have to anonymise the question just in case my friend ended up as the interviewer). However there is no official network set up to allow this to happen.
(Edited to change to 'his/her' - did not mean to be sexist)
Roy Bowdler
847 Posts
Alasdair’s post reminds me of the importance of not becoming too insular, or a “closed community”. Experienced experts like him acting as advisors can speak up for members who might be disadvantaged by certain assumptions which inevitably creep in, perhaps led by influential or persuasive individuals.  The nature of registration assessment means that it can never be perfectly precise, but like the legal jury system it needs to be well-organised, calibrated and fair.  It may be that an advisor who isn’t also an assessor identifies an issue of relevance and we should make every effort to capture this.  The member led committee which supervises assessment and advisory practice needs constant feedback to function effectively.     

unless a PRA does occasional assessments or interviews they cannot really grasp what it is the EC are looking for to the same depth

Graham's observation is interesting in relation to maintaining familiarity, competence and relevance to the process.  I wanted to be able to contribute to professional development and registration of engineers.  My personal professional journey is relevant but to summarise my IET professional registration activities, I started as an assessor.  This experience has provided me with the opportunity to see a considerable number of applications across numerous sectors.  I also learnt a lot.  The knowledge and experience has helped me to offer guidance and support to candidates.  I have completed mentor training and subsequently trained as a PRA.  I have participated in all stages of the process apart from interviews.  Observing some interviews is something that I want to undertake and I continue to reflect whether I should consider applying to volunteer for PRI.  This returns to my initial observation - I think I maintain broad relevance - not subject matter expertise.  Supporting lifetime professional development is a particular passion and having been accepted, I'm looking forward to EngTech assessor training - a return to my roots, where I think there is now better recognition and support.

Really happy to see good comments, feedback and concerns, these are good and would be discussed with IET RSSU.
My intention was to see how IPRA/PRA are getting meaning full existence in IET and how there counted

I usually get approached by two to three candidates every month and I spend fairly good amount of time to explain process and also review/feedback after they prepare the career history.
Its fully useful and I make sure candidates are happy and get the full infor.

In my view, PRAs need to do a full meaning full job not less job and IET should count their support
Andy Millar
1784 Posts
Hi Lisa (assuming you're watching this) - should this be on the profession registration community forum instead?

I've written a long reply to Graham's point but actually I don't think this is the most appropriate place to post it.




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