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Engage - March 2020

Latest progress on the Standards Review

Published: 31/03/2020

Female engineer brainstormsThe Engineering Council is coming to the end of its five-yearly Standards Review, including the requirements for registration as a professional engineer or technician. This periodic review ensures our Standards remain fit-for-purpose as engineering and the context in which it is practised evolve.

Following a series of consultations with key stakeholders, including individual engineers and the public, revisions have been made to the following Standards:

  • UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence and Commitment (UK-SPEC)
  • Registration Code of Practice (RCoP)
  • Approval and Accreditation of Qualifications and Apprenticeships (AQAA)*
  • Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP)

In UK-SPEC, the focus of revisions has been on clarifying the required competence and commitment, rather than introducing new requirements. This includes some rewording of competences to ensure that the Standard is written in an inclusive and achievable way, particularly for earlier-career candidates, while maintaining the level to be achieved. The importance of ethics was clear from consultation responses and changes have also been made to help draw out candidates’ understanding of ethical issues. There is also increased emphasis on security and sustainability, in response to consultation feedback.

In AQAH, the definition of qualifications has been broadened to include all non-degree qualifications, including non-regulated work-based programmes. A single set of learning outcomes is referenced in the revised AAQA and AHEP, to provide consistency for candidates.

Details of the transition period are being finalised with the professional engineering institutions (PEIs), but implementation of the revised UK-SPEC will be no earlier than 12 months from publication. The deadline for implementation of the revised AQAH and AHEP will be three full academic years from publication, to allow for course development.

The proposed revisions will be considered by the next meeting of the Engineering Council’s Board on 2 April 2020.

*previously known as the Approval of Qualifications and Apprenticeships Handbook (AQAH)

Image: Female engineer brainstorms, ©QEPrize