Enhancing your career prospects: Getting Chartered without headaches
A few letters next to your name such as CEng, CEnv, CSci may not necessarily be the ‘golden ticket’ to a dream job and neither will it give you bragging rights at your local pub. However, in today’s competitive society, academic qualifications alone do not necessarily lead to professional recognition.
Chartership has proven to be a springboard for enhancing career prospects and provides a formal recognition from your peers and professional institutions. Although for early career materials, minerals and mining scientists and engineers, the process towards Chartership may seem daunting and its benefits may not be initially obvious.
To support the journey towards Chartership, the IOM3 Younger Members’ Committee (YMC) hosted a Chartership event with two key speakers. The speakers were Jan Lewis CEng CEnv FIMMM – Ground Risk Consultant and IOM3 Past President and Dr Sophie Parsons CEng CEnv MIMMM, Lecturer at the University of Bath and IOM3 Strategic Advisor. Both speakers provided an industry and academic perspective on their chartership journey. Jan, who is experienced in the mining industry highlighted two examples where chartership is becoming increasingly important in the sign-off of projects. Those being the oil & gas industry driven by previous disasters such as Deep Water Horizon and the mining industry driven by international reporting standards. Geologists and engineers reporting resources and reserves in the mining industry need to be a member of the IOM3 and the IOM3 hold a register of those certified to do so. Increasing engineers signing-off on reserves are expected to be CEng as well. Similarly, people signing-off elements of a reserve report would be expected to be suitable qualified in their discipline for example CEnv for environment and social specialists. Thus, the CEnv qualification is also becoming widely recognised for many engineering positions. Sophie has a background in chemistry and an engineering doctorate. When applying for a position as a lecturer in the department of engineering, she shared how the Chartered Engineer (CEng) qualification was an advantage for gaining the position as she was recognised as an engineer and not just a chemist.
Here are some key messages from the event to help you start your journey towards Chartership:
Start keeping a CPD diary:
A record of your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is required for chartership applications. The institute recommends at least 35 hours of CPD each year. Getting into a habit of keeping a CPD diary will ease the burden of filling in the application forms when you decide to get chartered. Anytime you attend an event, participate in workshops or training relevant to your professional career enhancement, you can make a record of this in a spreadsheet. Some examples of CPD records can be found on the IOM3 member profile. Additionally, on your IOM3 account you can also use the online system mycareerpath, for recording CPD.
Start building a network of potential referees:
When applying for Chartership, you are required to have two referees of the same Chartership grade who have known you for a minimum of two years. It is important to start building such connections earlier on that may serve as your referees. A good place to meeting potential referees/sponsors is by getting involved with the various IOM3 technical communities.
Take ownership of your contribution in the PRR:
You are required to have a Professional Review Report (PRR) when applying for chartership. The PRR is an extended CV that links your career development to a list of competencies. When writing the PPR some people struggle with reporting team projects or projects that required senior authorisation. While, it is understandable that your responsibility may depend on your career level, you should endeavour to distinguish your contribution to the project otherwise it may be assumed that the project was not your responsibility.
Getting chartered is based on one’s ability to demonstrate a required level of professional competency and commitment. It has the potential to enhance employability and it is highly recognised internationally. Nonetheless, it is not a qualification that can be attained spontaneously without preparation. Starting with these key messages will make it less of a daunting task. IOM3 provides an application checklist and detailed information about the application process as well as support for those working towards professional qualifications.
Cynthia Adu, IOM3 Younger Members’ Committee member and Strategic Advisor.