I have been working on writing my CEng application for the past year and the more I read and research into the how's and what's of the application the more confused I get. I understand that this is probably due to the fact they are all different, but it really does not help.
I have sent my application to a couple of different PRA's, one said I had enough more than enough experience, but recommended I changed the format.
The other said I did not have enough experience and should wait another couple of years.
Some sources say it is quality not quantity, then others say you show it best if you have worked on multi million pound projects.
How does anyone know if they should apply or not?
All I find myself doing, is delaying my application and becoming ever more despondent with the whole process.
You are obviously getting very confused and understandably considering the conflicting information you describe. First I will say that getting wildly differing information from your PRAs is unfortunate but without knowing what their thinking was it is impossible to say why they advised as they did.
With regard to the amount of experience, it is not a matter of how much experience you have but whether you are achieving the UK Spec competences. Someone who has six months experience but can demonstrate meeting the competences will be awarded CEng while someone with 20 years experience who doesn't meet the competences will not. The important issue is whether from your experience you can pull out examples that show how you meet the competences.
Also the absolute value of the projects is not a good way to measure them. The Third Edition of UK Spec only says (C1) “Plan for effective project implementation” so this could in theory be a very small project. The Fourth Edition (which is what will be used for applications from the end of this year) says “Plan the work and resources needed to enable effective implementation of a significant engineering task or project”. Note that this does not put a specific value on it and I have heard it suggested that within a small company a £250,000 project may be much more significant than a multi-million pound project for a multi-national company.
If you have been working on the application for a year then I would suggest getting the application in is probably the best option, and I will wish you all success.