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Initial professional development (IPD)

IPD usually refers to the workplace development that takes place before becoming professionally registered as EngTech, IEng, CEng or ICTTech.

This is when aspiring professionals learn to apply their knowledge and understanding, develop their skills and competence, and begin to apply professional judgement. IPD enables engineers and technicians to demonstrate the necessary competence and commitment to become registered with the Engineering Council.

Many carry out their IPD through structured programmes such as an apprenticeship or a graduate training scheme.  These employer schemes may be accredited or approved by one or more of the professional engineering institutions. This means that the programme or scheme’s objectives align with the standards for professional registration (UK-SPEC and ICTTech Standard). It also means that any professional development that takes place during the programme will be recorded, which is crucial for demonstrating competence at professional review. Our IPD Policy Statement explains accreditation and approval, and the process professional engineering institutions undertake in considering schemes for accreditation.

You can ask your professional engineering institution about IPD programmes that they approve or accredit, and get advice on how to record your professional development. However, you may choose to carry out your IPD independently of a formally structured programme. If you are looking to take this approach, familiarise yourself with the Standard for your chosen title. You should also make your employer and institution aware that you are looking to work towards professional registration as they can support and guide you through the process and the type of development records to keep.

Whichever route you take, it is good practice to plan, record and review your IPD activities as this will smooth the process of applying for professional registration. While some institutions offer their own forms, or online planning and recording systems, others offer the Engineering Council’s mycareerpath® Professional Development System.

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