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News Archive 2014

Engineering a 21st Century Profession

Published: 21/05/2014

At a House of Commons reception yesterday, hosted by Sir Peter Luff MP, representatives from across the profession came together to celebrate professional engineering standards and the role they play in delivering value to the economy.

The UK currently faces a number of challenges in delivering security, prosperity and wellbeing for future generations.Engineers and technicians have a vital role to play in underpinning the solutions that are, and will continue to be, required for many years to come. In order to do this well, high professional standards of knowledge, skill and personal commitment must be met and maintained right across the profession.The standards set and maintained by the Engineering Council, through partnership and collaboration with professionals representing all of the engineering disciplines, are central to achieving this.  Standards documents provide a common framework that ensures consistency across the different fields of engineering.

The event also marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC), recently reviewed and republished alongside the Information and Communications Technology Technician (ICTTech) Standard and the related standards for the Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP).  A number of VIP guests from government, employers, professional engineering institutions, academia and trade associations attended. 

UK-SPEC and the ICTTech Standard provide professional engineering institutions with the means to assess the competence and commitment of individuals for professional registration as Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng), Chartered Engineer (CEng) or ICT Technician (ICTTech).  AHEP provides a framework for assessing the standard of engineering degree programmes.  

In his welcome speech to guests, Rear Admiral Nigel Guild CB CEng FREng FIET FIMarEST MIMA, Chairman of the Engineering Council, said: “Society rightly places great faith in the engineering profession, trusting engineers and technicians to regulate themselves on its behalf.  This trust can only be delivered through collaborative working by the engineering community to ensure that we maintain the high standards for which UK engineering is globally recognised.  The achievement of Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer, Chartered Engineer or ICT Technician status, and use of the related post-nominals, publicly demonstrates the commitment of individuals.”  

Sir Peter Luff MP responded: “I’m delighted to see the importance of standards properly articulated by professional engineering institutions, and taken up so keenly by industry.  What we need now is: world class registrants who proudly display their titles after their name; and companies who recruit them because they know that the titles EngTech, IEng, CEng or ICTTech represent a benchmark for the 21st century capabilities they need to succeed.” 

Speaking on behalf of industry, Chris Allam CEng, Engineering & Programme Management Director MAI for BAE Systems, said: “Professional registration means a great deal to industry and is highly regarded by employers such as BAE Systems. It motivates, engages and inspires our engineers and technicians to continually improve and develop their competence, and that will always be good for our bottom line and for industry.” 

During 2013 all three documents were reviewed and updated, based on feedback from a wide range of stakeholders representing the breadth of the engineering community, to ensure that they remain up to date and relevant to the evolving challenges faced by the profession. 

Since its introduction UK-SPEC has enjoyed support from across the professional engineering community, including employers and academia.  The third edition builds on the strengths of the original, adhering to its fundamental principles and aims.  It includes new topics such as security, risk management, health and safety, equality and diversity, and cross references Engineering Council guidance material on risk, sustainability and ethics. 

Closely aligned to UK-SPEC, amendments to the ICTTech Standard have been designed to make it more accessible, relevant and attractive to the wide range of professional technician roles in the ICT sector. 

Changes to AHEP include a re-ordering of the content and the provision of more clarity for MEng learning outcomes, which are now presented as a discrete set. The overall standard for the award of accredited degree status has not been changed.

The Standards documents can be downloaded from:

Hard copy documents can be obtained from