Important news for existing and prospective CEng, IEng and EngTech, from Ian Bowbrick, IOM3 Director of Professional Development and Membership.
The beginning of autumn saw the UK basking in some unseasonably hot weather, and while many took the opportunity to catch some late sun, the membership and accreditation teams were busy preparing for the Institute’s full five-year licence reviews with the Engineering Council, Science Council, and the Society for the Environment. With the outcome deciding whether or not the Institute would be able to continue awarding CEng and the other registrations, we caught up with Ian Bowbrick, Director, Professional Development and Membership, to hear what happened and what new activities we can expect to see in the future.
Three reviews covering the last five years’ work sounds daunting, particularly given the many activity strands of the membership Growth Initiative. How did you prepare?
It actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The Institute has made some excellent progress with all of its licences over the last five years and almost all of it has been documented, so my presentation and case for the various new licences was fairly straightforward. While this part of the process is very much focused on me, the success we have had has been a team effort, and when I talk about team in this context I mean both the paid staff and the army of volunteers who give of their expertise and time. The commitment of these members is often overlooked, but without their help the Institute would not have enjoyed the progress it has. Our success in being recommended for full five-year licences by all three regulators is as much down to their efforts as it is that of my team.
That’s great news for members. What new activities are you looking to launch in the future?
There are two lined up - the first being a mentoring programme, which will focus on supporting members to achieve professional registration as a chartered engineer, scientist and environmentalist, in addition to the other levels of registration associated with these licences. This programme will be going live at the beginning of November and further information is available on the IOM3 website or directly from me. I am not only interested in hearing from members looking for a mentor, but also members who are prepared to become mentors.
The other activity is a consequence of the Engineering Council’s new requirements on continuing professional development (CPD) for existing registrants. From 1 January 2019, all Engineering Council registrants, be they CEng, IEng or EngTech, will be expected to maintain a diary or log of all CPD activities they undertake and be prepared to submit it to their registering body upon request. What the Institute will be doing next year is selecting members who are registrants and asking them either to self-certificate or provide evidence of their CPD activities. The Institute has already decided not to seek records from retired members, unless they are involved in the work of the Institute.
The need to submit CPD records sounds like it could involve quite a time commitment from those already registered, is IOM3 doing anything to make the process ‘pain-free’?
IOM3 developed a self-certification tick box form a couple of years ago, which we will be asking registrants to complete. In some cases, we will ask for additional evidence – this could be a general list of activities or supporting documentation. It will take someone a short period of time to complete. There may be some who feel this is an imposition, but CPD is part of their professional commitment as a registrant and as a member of the Institute. I don’t anticipate there being any problems – many of our members already maintain a CPD record through their employer and this can be submitted if they are asked to do so. There is also access to the mycareerpath CPD recording tool through the member login on the Institute website for those without ready access to such a tool. The Institute is being very flexible in its approach to this record sampling requirement.
Will members’ records be assessed in terms of a pass or fail?
For the self-certification sheet, there will be merely be an acknowledgement that the registrant has confirmed they are fulfilling their professional obligation. Where a registrant submits a full record, these will be peer reviewed, where the output will be guidance on the record itself and activities being undertaken. There is, therefore, no pass or fail. Anyone called upon to submit a record or self-certificate should contact me if they have any questions.