In response to the growing importance of security in professional and personal life, the Engineering Council introduced the topic into the learning outcomes required for accredited degrees in the third edition of the Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP). Specifically, security has been added to the Design learning outcome and is relevant to the Economic, legal, social, ethical and environmental context area of learning. Now, the Engineering Council has developed a Guidance on security for engineers and technicians, a resource that Higher Education bodies may find a useful in delivering this learning outcome.
The new guidance was developed in consultation with 35 professional engineering institutions. It sets out six key principles to guide engineers and technicians in identifying, assessing, managing and communicating issues about security and their associated responsibilities to keep society safe. The document defines security as ‘the state of relative freedom from threat or harm caused by deliberate, unwanted, hostile or malicious acts’. The principles emphasise the importance of taking a security-minded approach to both professional and personal life, being aware of and taking responsibility for all security related issues.
The Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister for Security, hosted a launch event for the new guidance at the House of Commons in May 2016. It was attended by over 100 people from across the engineering profession, including speakers Terry Morgan CBE CEng FREng, Chairman of Crossrail, and the Head of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). The Engineering Council, as the regulatory body for the engineering profession, has led the way in developing this important material, with the support of CPNI and the professional engineering institutions.
Engineering Council Chairman, Rear Admiral Nigel Guild CB DEng CEng FREng, said: “A year ago the Engineering Council was approached by CPNI with a proposal to produce a document on security for engineers and technicians. The resulting, highly pertinent new guidance demonstrates the commitment of the engineering profession to protect the society it serves. We would like to thank the engineering institutions for their collaboration and support in producing this document. We now ask them to help us raise awareness and understanding of security in the context of engineering by sharing it with their members.”
The Rt Hon John Hayes MP, who gave a keynote address at the launch, said: “As Minister for Security I have a keen interest in, and responsibility for, ensuring that the UK and its citizens are protected from the range of threats that we are exposed to, as perpetrators become increasingly innovative. But I firmly believe that being security-minded is also a personal responsibility for everyone. This guidance underlines the importance for all of us to be aware of and pro-active in our approach to matters of security.”
Also at the event Terry Morgan provided insight into the importance of security for employers, drawing on his experience with Crossrail, currently the largest construction project in Europe. The Head of CPNI spoke of the link between this guidance and ongoing national infrastructure security, emphasising the need for effective and lasting systems for security governance.
Guidance on security for engineers and technicians is now available to download from www.engc.org.uk/security. In addition, the Engineering Council has produced handy wallet-sized cards for engineers and technicians, listing the six principles. These can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. This new guidance complements the organisation’s other documents on risk, sustainability, ethical principles and whistleblowing, which are all available at www.engc.org.uk/standards-guidance/guidance/