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My degree hasn't been accredited by IET have I joined the wrong Institution?
Question
I am looking to start applying for CEng and joined the IET as my work place is advising on this institution. But when I searched for my MEng degree it doesn't appear to have been accredited by IET. However other institutions IMechE, RAeS and IEE have accredited it for CEng.
Does this mean that I need to leave IET and join on of these three institutions instead?

Finally I am confused on what exemplifying qualification means. In the UK SPEC, the competency and commitment for CEng A to E. Does the MEng exemplify an applicant from any of these or does it just give you the ability to simply apply?

Thanks
26 Replies
mbirdi
1035 Posts
I'm sure the IET wouldn't wish to see you join another PEI especially as they are the embodiment of the former IEE and IIE. 

If you go to the following link you can check to see if your MEng degree is accredited on the  Engineering Council website. It doesn't really matter if it's IEE, or IMeche, and you don't really need an accredited degree nowadays to achieve CEng (or IEng) registration.

https://www.engc.org.uk/education-skills/course-search/recognised-course-search/

Hope that helps.

 
Roy Bowdler
820 Posts
The IET used to be IEE, so any IEE accreditation was before 2006. The IET values all degrees from reputable universities throughout the world. When assessing for professional registration (eg CEng), any degree accredited by an Engineering Council licensed institution is treated in the same way.

Academic Accreditation shows a strong relationship, between professional institution (s) and the course. This provides any prospective student greater confidence about the content and is also an additional quality assurance mechanism.   

An accredited MEng removes the need for any additional assessment of underpinning knowledge and understanding when applying for CEng. Competence is demonstrated in the workplace. This can include within an academic environment, because some engineers pursue academic type careers.          
 
Andy Millar
1763 Posts
Engineer74656:
I am looking to start applying for CEng and joined the IET as my work place is advising on this institution. But when I searched for my MEng degree it doesn't appear to have been accredited by IET. However other institutions IMechE, RAeS and IEE have accredited it for CEng.
Does this mean that I need to leave IET and join on of these three institutions instead?

Finally I am confused on what exemplifying qualification means. In the UK SPEC, the competency and commitment for CEng A to E. Does the MEng exemplify an applicant from any of these or does it just give you the ability to simply apply?

Thanks

Hi,

Hopefully the answer to the second question will answer the first one: The degree provides some evidence that you have the underlying knowledge and understanding to meet the competences, but most of it will be shown from your work experience. If you don't have an IET accredited degree then the assessors will look for slightly more evidence from your work experience to show that you have the same level of understanding as someone with an accredited degree. Certainly not something to worry unduly about.

Plenty of applicants achieve CEng through the IET with no degree whatsoever! And probably the majority of IET applicants I advise don't have an accredited degree.

Cheers,

Andy

Roy Pemberton
346 Posts
There are a number of aspects of your question that are puzzling. 

Firstly,  and directly relevant to your first question is the fact that your degree is accredited by other Institutions but not IET. 
The delegation by Engineering Council for accreditation is, sensibly,  on a sectorial basis, - in other words,  the qualification has to be relevant and sufficiently rigorous to demonstrate knowledge & understanding relevant to the domain covered by the engineering institution involved. To be absolutely clear,  it is no more nor less than that - a means of demonstrating k&u. To illustrate with an extreme example,  would you expect the requirements of k&u for an electrical engineer to be met by a M.Eng in Civil Engineering?

So,  to state what may appear obvious,  a degree in Mechanical Engineering may have no relevance to an application associated with Electrical Engineering and vice versa. 
You don't tell us what your M.Eng is, but if it's accredited by I Mech E, but not IET, this suggests it has more relevance to mechanical engineering than to electrical engineering or other related disciplines covered by the IET. 
So, depending on  what that degree is,  the simple answer may be that, yes,  you have chosen the wrong Institution if your area of practice is more aligned to those of a different Institution (e.g. I Mech E) than to IET. 

However,  as your employer has pointed you in the direction of the IET, I can only assume that your area of practice is more aligned with that of the IET. 

So, the acid question is whether your employer's guidance was correct or not  - are you practising in an area not covered by the IET, e.g. mechanical engineering, or are you practicing in an area covered by the IET?
if you're not practicing in an area covered by the IET,  then the simple answer is that your employer's guidance was wrong,  you have joined the wrong institution. If not,  then I suggest the important question is how relevant your degree is to your area of practice.  The accreditation of qualifications is much more than a tick in box exercise.  If it does not demonstrate knowledge and understanding relevant to your area of practice and that for which you are seeking C.Eng accreditation then you will have to provide evidence of knowledge & understanding in other ways.  That means that you have to make the choice - pursue C.Eng via an Institution that accredits your degree but which may appear irrelevant to your area of practice (though if you're not practicing in that body's area of relevance,  you are likely to fail) or provide evidence of knowledge and understanding relevant to practice in an area relevant to the IET in an alternative way than the exemplifying qualification. 

The good news is that the exemplifying qualification is not the only means of evidencing relevant knowledge and understanding.  Knowledge and understanding may be evidenced by diverse means without reference to how that k&u has been attained.
For instance,  I have known people who attained their degree in a wholly unrelated subject but have then diversified to practice in a wholly unrelated area (in sine cases not even an engineering degree) and have gained their k&u by on- the- job learning.  That is completely acceptable providing it can be evidenced.  Possession of an accredited qualification only brings the benefit of not having to provide further evidence of k&u.

So, this brings me to my second area of puzzlement  - when you mention other institutions that accredit your degree,  you mention IEE - the IEE has not existed for more than 20 years.  The IEE merged with other institutions (e.g. the IIE) to become the IET. This makes me wonder about the currency or efficacy of your information on which institutions accredit your degree. 

This brings me to what I consider the most important aspect of your questions,  your second question.  The exemplifying qualification is no more than a means of evidencing k&u. C.Eng is massively more than k&u. If it weren't,  what value would it offer? K&u is no more than a starting point,  a baseline. Hence there is no way that the exemplifying qualification is going to be sufficient alone. The answer to your second question is neither of those options.  The possession of an exemplifying qualification does not exempt you from the need to evidence how you meet the other competence categories in UKSPEC.

We need to know how you apply your engineering knowledge to your engineering practice

As UkSpec makes very clear, among other factors,  to attain C. Eng,  you have to provide evidence that you hold the theoretical knowledge to solve problems in new technologies and, very importantly that,  in your engineering practice you successfully apply that knowledge to deliver innovative products and services and/ or take technical responsibility for complex engineering systems. Additionally, you have to demonstrate that you carry accountability for project,  finance and personnel management,  including managing trade- offs between technical and socio- economic factors,  that you hold the skill sets necessary to develop other technical staff,  provide effective interpersonal skills in communicating technical matters,  that you deal effectively and consistently with matters of safety and sustainability and that you do all of the above ethically. Little of this will be demonstrated only by holding a M.Eng degree, whether accredited or not. 

The IET offers Professional Registration Advisors (PRAs), volunteers who help you understand the requirements and prepare your application.  Based on your question,  I would suggest you are in strong need of this guidance,  so would urge you to request that you be allocated a PRA if you intend to pursue registration. As a registration interviewer,  I find that candidates who do not avail themselves of that opportunity often have difficulty demonstrating that they meet the requirements.

C. Eng is the Gold Standard for engineering professionalism with International acceptance, not a tick in box exercise. You are already entitled to use the designatory initials of M.Eng and MIET, to add C.Eng requires a much stronger demonstration of practicing professionalism and if it didn't,  it would hold no value. 

 
Andy Millar
1763 Posts
Hi Roy,

My degree shows on the current link (under Mehmood's post above) as accredited by the IEE. I assume that if a degree programme ceased to exist before the IET was created then that's all the EC can show as the accreditation. So it's quite likely the OP is in the same position.

I half agree with you and half disagree re "is the IET the right home for someone with a degree with mechanical engineering". I think as you say, everyone has to look at what the institutions offer them and make their own choice. The IET aspires to cover all areas of engineering, but as that's a very broad field (and many engineers are multi disciplined anyway) it's a case of whether the particular service they offer is what is needed for particular individuals. In any case, for many or most of us the fields of engineering we work in only bear a passing similarities to our degree. (It's a moment of delight for me when a question arises in the day job that relates to electronics these days! I'm just as likely to be looking at mechanical issues which was most definitely not my degree.) 

Let alone the fact that many people only join a PEI to get Chartered and aren't too worried what else they offer...the PEIs may not like that but out in the real world it's often what happens.

Cheers,

Andy
 
Roy Bowdler
820 Posts
An undergraduate degree in engineering is usually designed to prepare a teenager for their subsequent career, including an academic career.  Traditionally the majority are focussed in a particular direction, often aligned to the territory of a professional institution who may be asked to accredit the course.

However, in many cases a significant proportion of graduates “leak away” from pursuing a specialist career that is closely aligned to the degree focus, either immediately or after a few years by moving into more general management roles.


The IET was intended to include the IMechE in a “broad church” of overlapping practice, but at the last minute an IMechE member’s vote went in favour of staying independent. I understand that ICE was also interested, since different specialist groupings within an umbrella organisation, would arguably be more efficient and influential?  The IIE was already a merger of predecessor Electrical and Mechanical institutions. It had CEng members and a licence to register CEng.

Degree Apprenticeships involve university and employer partnerships intended to train someone to carry out a specific type of job role, with ideally a close association between “theory” and practice. Therefore, participants are more likely to follow a specific career pathway.

The business model of some employers may offer narrow specialisation, but the fortunes of employers, or even whole sectors of employment (remember Coal Mining?) can fluctuate. Some domain knowledge remains relatively steady, whereas some is hopelessly outdated within a few years. 

Some employers of graduate engineers have long bemoaned in IET surveys, that their recruits lack important basic skills. This is because they expect a degree to have been a “training programme”, when the academics were just trying to “educate” their students.    
 
Thank you all for the replies, it is much appreciated. 
Ok it seems there is much more to it that I need to consider...I definitely need to seek advice from a PRA.

In terms of my degree accreditation, I just did a search via the engineering council and it stated IEE, IMechE and RAeS so id didn't realise IEE no longer existed. Ref 1524 Aerospace MEng University of Liverpool.

My employers suggestion to join IET seems correct as I work in the electricity distribution industry however with my degree being Aerospace (which did contain a lot of electrical modules) I may need to provide more on the job K&U evidence based on your replies.

Thanks for clearing this up for me. I just thought having an exemplifying qualification might have meant I did not need to demonstrate parts of the competences i.e. A1. Such as people with accountancy degrees don't have to take all of the chartered accountant exams. But it seems that isn't the case logically speaking as there's much more to it.

Overall it seems I may have joined the correct institution because its directly related to the industry I am working in. its just my degree isn't.
Roy Pemberton
346 Posts
Hi Andy, 
Yes,  I agree.  I think,  for that reason,  I deliberately said it MAY not be the right institution,  especially if it makes the candidate's ability to meet the requirements more difficult, or means the services offered by the institution are not appropriate to their needs. 

I feel that this is the least important part of both the question and my response - as I said,  and I see others have also said,  k&u can,  and often is demonstrated by other means than an accredited degree. 

The far more important feature of the post that prompted me to respond was that of whether holding an accredited qualification removed the need to demonstrate competence across competences A to E, which,  of course it doesn't. I felt the need to convey to the OP how much further the requirements for C.Eng go beyond simply holding an accredited qualification,  and,  importantly,  the greater value it offers. I also wanted to strongly urge consulting a PRA as I felt the question indicated a strong need for that. 
Roy Pemberton
346 Posts
Glad our responses have helped.  
Yes,  if you look at the detail contained in competencies A to E, even A1, you'll see most of it would not be demonstrated by a degree.  Taking A1 as the area closest to matching what a degree would demonstrate,  even there it includes the requirement to maintain and extend your knowledge, and that includes using your understanding to introduce and exploit new technologies in your field. 

But it's good to see that you now intendto consult a PRA. I know that your PRA will make things much clearer. 
Best of luck with it. 
Andy Millar
1763 Posts
Roy Pemberton:
I also wanted to strongly urge consulting a PRA as I felt the question indicated a strong need for that. 

Absolutely!

mbirdi
1035 Posts
Andy Millar:
Hi Roy,

My degree shows on the current link (under Mehmood's post above) as accredited by the IEE. I assume that if a degree programme ceased to exist before the IET was created then that's all the EC can show as the accreditation. So it's quite likely the OP is in the same position.


The History of the IET shows that it was established in 1871. But in 1871 they were established as 'The Society of Telegraph Engineers'. So therefore the IET has 'taken responsibility' for its history dating back to 1871, and that includes the existence of the former IEE. Any degrees that were accredited by the former IEE, should therefore be recognised as being accredited by the IET without any question.

Andy Millar
1763 Posts
I'd assume you're right, but as the EC website doesn't say that on their degree search page I can see that potential applicants could be concerned (as this one was).

Unfortunately the undergrad environment does often promote the attitude that the world has a strict set of rules with pass/fail criteria, and I don't think the PEIs are always very good at getting it across that for Professional Registration generally "the code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules"!

Cheers,

Andy

 
mbirdi
1035 Posts
Andy Millar:
I'd assume you're right, but as the EC website doesn't say that on their degree search page I can see that potential applicants could be concerned (as this one was).
 


Well let's hope someone in the IET responsible for registration can raise the matter higher up the ladder so that the IET can start work with the EC to amend the database to reflect that former IEE accredited degrees are under the responsibility of the IET. The database should replace IEE with:

IET (formerly IEE)

That way the IET are accepting responsibility for maintaining the historical accreditation of degrees when the IET was operating as the IEE.

Roy Pemberton
346 Posts
MBirdi, 
That doesn't follow.  When registration requirements are changed,  you can't say that all previous requirements should continue to be met.  Like many of us older members, the institution was still the IEE when I joined and became C.Eng. At that time, membership and registration were inextricably linked,  you couldn't be a member without also becoming C.Eng. Furthermore,  I.Eng was not an option,  that was only available via the IIE. The whole scenario has completely changed since then and what may have constituted an exemplifying qualification then may might do so now. 

Although this could be looked at closely to examine whether this particular degree could be accepted as an exemplifying qualification,  I'm really not convinced that it's a worthwhile exercise from either the IET's perspective or that of the OP. I strongly doubt that it will be difficult for the OP to demonstrate k&u by other means.  I feel certain that the pre interview assessor would happily accept the degree as s starting point and seek some supporting detail to confirm k&u has been confirmed. 

 
mbirdi
1035 Posts
Hi Roy,

It's only a simple matter about an administrative anomaly found on the EC database with regard to IEE accreditation of degrees.

When the IEE changed its name to the IET, all MIEE, FIEE,and HonFIEE - as well as MIIE, FIIE, and HonFIIE - transferred over to MIET, FIET, and HonFIET respectively. In addition responsibility for degree accreditation and EC registration under the IEE (and IIE) as well as the annual payment of membership and EC registration fees would have transferred over to the IET. In another words, Andy Millar's degree accreditation and CEng registration can be traced back to the IET, (and not the IEE). I know that to be true, because he (or his company) pays his membership and CEng subscription directly to the IET (and not the IEE).

The only thing that requires change is to the EC database to reflect the fact that the IET, (and not the IEE) is the responsible administrative body for degree accreditation and CEng registration by the former IEE (and IIE), as well as under the IET.

Amending to 'IET (formally IEE)' simply provides traceability back to the IET (and not the IEE) for degree accreditation, and CEng registration. You cannot have a non-existent body (IEE) stated as the responsible body for accreditation, because then traceability is broken.
Roy Pemberton
346 Posts
Ah, ik, fair comment.  Thanks fire clarifying. 
Roy
mbirdi
1035 Posts
Cheers!

Mehmood
Andy Millar
1763 Posts
Well that's been (relatively) interesting - I've just been trying to find out whether it makes any difference at all which EC institute accredited the degree, and as far as I can see in all the IET guidance I can find it doesn't make any difference at all. I can't find anything that says "an IET accredited degree is an exemplifying qualification".

So this discussion all seems to be a moot point. Unless anyone can point me to anything different it appears that as long as it's on the EC list it's accredited for IET registration purposes. Even if it was accredited by, for example, the Institute of Fuel *.

Cheers,

Andy

* I don't suppose the IoF ever did accredit degrees, I just chose that as a) an extreme example of a long gone institute name and b) the one my dad was registered through so I thought it deserved a mention!
Roy Pemberton
346 Posts
Andy, 
in honesty,  I did think, when I saw the OP's original question,  that I recalled that the exemplifying qualification was  EC-wide rather than individual institutions,  even if the accreditation was undertaken for the EC by an individual institution. I was very close to making that my response initially,  but wasn't certain of my facts,  even after a brief internet search on it,  so didn't say it. Clearly,  your search was more thorough than mine.  Good to hear that,  based on your investigation,  it would seem my memory was still serving me well, something that's increasingly good to find out as the aging process moves rapidly on! Thanks for that. 
mbirdi
1035 Posts
The title of the thread as set out by the OP indicated their understanding that the EC database showed that their MEng degree was accredited by three PEIs  (IMechE. RAeS, and IEE); and this meant that the IET (their preferred choice) wasn't included; and therefore asked if they needed to join the IMechE or RAeS (since the IEE nolonger existed) to register as CEng? The answer is no. They can register through the IET as it is responsible for all of the previous IEE administrative decisions made, including degree accreditation. If the EC database were amended to replace IEE with IET, then other engineers who find themselves in a similar situation to the OP, won't have to go through the same situation, unless of course experienced members here prefer to be asked such questions on a repeated occurrence, perhaps in order to keep their minds active?

With regards to EC wide accreditation, they should clarify this on their website so that potential registration candidates have a clear understanding of the opportunities available to them.
I don't think that the old degrees should have their accreditation changed as the documentation regarding the accreditation will be from the IEE, not the IET. It is of course possible to state it was accredited by the IEE and add IET in brackets or similar to clarify.

However to go back to the original post, this is something I brought up with the IET a couple of years ago and the answer is much as stated above. The degrees in specialised areas such as aeronautics are left to be accredited by the appropriate PEI, but if the individual applies for registration through the IET the accreditation will be accepted in full by the IET - as long as the degree is directly relevant to the work being undertaken by the applicant (e.g. someone with an accredited degree in Aeronautics will have that accreditation accepted if they are working in the aeronautics field, but if they are now doing computer programming it will not be seen as a full exemplifying qualification).
Just a thought. Wouldn't any IEE accreditation have lapsed anyway?
mbirdi
1035 Posts
The degree in question - MEng in Aerospace Engineering (1524) was accredited by the IEE in the period of 09/1992 - 08/2006. If my understanding is correct, as long as the OP started and finished their course within that period then they are deemed to have achieved an accredited degree. If they then make their CEng application many years after the said period, then that would still be accepted as a valid accredited degree.

As for whether the Job role has to match the degree subject to qualify for CEng registration; I can give two examples that suggests the opposite case. One being Naomi Climber (first female president of the IET) graduated with a degree in Chemistry, then joined the BBC as a Trainee Engineer. The other whose name I cannot recall, but read about in the IET magazine, gained a degree in Physics and worked in the construction industry as a Civil/Structural Engineer registered as a Chartered Engineer through the IET. So I don't see why someone with an MEng degree in Aerospace cannot work as a computer programmer (preferably related to Aerospace industry) and register for CEng. Unless of course, this is not the same thing as having an exemplifying qualification?
Roy Bowdler
820 Posts
Engineering Council is responsible for Academic Accreditation carried out by Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs). The PEIs are “licensees”, or what would be described in business as “franchisees”. 

Engineering Council are also responsible for professional registration and set the rules about how accredited qualifications should be treated.

Some PEIs attach great importance to whether or not they accredited a degree, or if not how similar it was to their "requirements". The IEE used to work like that.

My understanding is that, The IET accepts all UK accredited degrees and those that can be verified as being of similar quality by a competent authority, as being valid evidence.  
   

Engineering Council rules require applicants for professional registration be defined as either “Standard Route” or “Individual Route”. Anyone without fully accredited qualifications is “individual”. Therefore, IET Staff will check every case against the Engineering Council database, including an “older list” going back 40+ years, international treaties (such as Washington Accord), or NARIC for broader equivalence to UK standard.  

A professional registration assessment by the IET, does not require an engineer’s work to be aligned to the title of their academic qualification.

Trained IET registration assessors, will each have a professional opinion about how relevant a registration applicant’s academic evidence is to their overall underpinning knowledge and understanding (UK&U). Therefore, when IET Assessors feel it necessary during the initial stage of a registration assessment, they will discuss this with the other members of a review panel.  

This initial stage of assessment requires the panel to justify why the applicant should go forward to interview, on the grounds of having UK&U and also sufficient evidence of having met UK-SPEC competences.  Being “standard route” is a common justification for having sufficient UK&U.

 
mbirdi:
As for whether the Job role has to match the degree subject to qualify for CEng registration; ........ Unless of course, this is not the same thing as having an exemplifying qualification?

Your final thought is right. To be an exemplifying qualification the degree has to be relevant to the work you are doing, but this does not stop anyone achieving Chartered status as can be seen by the many engineers gaining registration with a non-accredited degree, or even with no degree at all. I think that Roy's post sums it up quite neatly.

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