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Press releases 2019

Engineering Council sponsors international framework for assessing professional engineering competence

Published: 21/01/2019

BSI and Engineering Council logosThe Engineering Council, regulator of the engineering profession in the UK, has worked with BSI to develop an internationally applicable Publicly Available Specification (PAS 525) for assessing the competence and commitment of engineering professionals. This framework defines a standard for knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to build and maintain competence within a rapidly changing profession.  It is designed to be readily implemented by international professional engineering organisations. It can also be used by government agencies, employers and insurers as a framework to support specification for engineering projects products and processes, or to guide the training of engineers

The engineers of today and tomorrow play a vital role in finding solutions to key issues facing today’s societies, including environmental protection, climate change, healthcare for all, deforestation, security and cyber-security, safety, mobility, food supply, clean water and the development of sustainable energy sources.  A robust method of assessment of competence ensures that engineers are equipped to address these challenges and provides employers, government and the public with confidence in the engineering profession.

Alasdair Coates, Chief Executive Officer of the Engineering Council, said “Factors such as increasing levels of automation, a greater requirement to work globally, skills and resource availability and the development of new forms of information technology are all changing the face of the engineering profession.  It is also crucial to recognise that engineers have a responsibility to society, acting in the public interest at all times and upholding professional standards including safety, sustainability, and ethical conduct. Therefore, in response, we have worked with BSI and international colleagues to develop this framework to share best practice in formal recognition of the necessary engineering competence to meet these demands”.

Formal recognition of competence, such as professional registration, sets individual professionals apart from engineers and technicians who are not registered. It confirms their proven knowledge, understanding and competence. In particular, professional registration demonstrates a commitment to professional standards, and a continuing responsibility to develop and enhance competence.

As well as maintaining the UK standard for professional engineering competence (UK-SPEC), the Engineering Council is active within a number of multilateral mutual recognition agreements with national engineering bodies in other countries, governed by the International Engineering Alliance (IEA). The Engineering Council is also a member of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) and the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE).


For press enquiries:    

Kate Webster, Engineering Council –, 020 3206 0567

Notes for editors:

The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit:

For more details of the international recognition agreements the Engineering Council is part of, please visit:

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the business improvement company that enables organizations to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. For over a century BSI has championed what good looks like and driven best practice in organizations around the world. Working with over 86,000 clients across 193 countries, it is a truly international business. Through its expertise in Standards Development and Knowledge Solutions, Assurance and Professional Services, BSI improves business performance to help clients grow sustainably, manage risk and ultimately be more resilient. For more information visit:

Professional registration provides a benchmark through which the public, employers and their clients can have confidence and trust that registered engineers and technicians have met globally recognised professional standards. In the UK, the Engineering Council holds the national Register of engineers and technicians: