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|Formation||27 November 1981|
|Legal status||Registered charity|
|Purpose||UK regulatory body for the engineering profession|
|Professional engineering institutions (PEIs)|
|Alasdair Coates BEng (Hons) MSc CEng FICE MCIHT CMIOSH|
|Board of Trustees (Chairman - Professor Chris Atkin CEng FRAes)|
|Affiliations||EngineeringUK, SEMTA, National Apprenticeship Service, FEANI, SEFI|
The Engineering Council (formerly Engineering Council UK; colloquially known as EngC) is the UK's regulatory authority for registration of Chartered and Incorporated engineers and engineering technician, holding a register of these and providing advice to students, engineers, employers and academic institutions on the standards for registration and procedures for registration. It is also responsible for the accreditation of educational and training programs, delegating this responsibility to licensed member institutions.
Professional engineering institutions in the UK began in 1818 with the formation of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The IMechE was formed next in 1847. The IEE was formed in 1871. These three are known as the Big Three institutions since together they represent 80% of registered UK engineers.
The Joint Council of Engineering Institutions was formed in 1964, which later became the Council of Engineering Institutions (CEI) in November 1965, which had a royal charter. This provided all the main functions that the EngC now provides, but was more ineffectual. Around this time, 33% of the UK's GDP was in manufacturing, lowering to 29% in the early 1970s.
A royal commission, from the committee of inquiry into the engineering profession, chaired by Sir Monty Finniston, was set up in 1977. It looked at the formation and registration of engineers, producing the Finniston Report - Engineering our Future in 1980. Engineering institutions thought they may have lost their autonomy. There was also the possibility of statutory licensing (direct government control) of engineers, as other professional practitioners such as doctors and architects, but the work of engineers is more confined to work with other engineering companies, providing a nominal level of inherent professional self-regulation against misconduct. Keith Joseph at the DTI chose not to have a statutory body, but have a royal charter.
From its recommendations, the Engineering Council was established in 1981, watching over 54 separate institutions. It gained a royal charter on 27 November 1981. The first chairman was Sir Kenneth Corfield, followed by Francis Tombs, Baron Tombs in 1985, Sir William Barlow in 1988, Sir John Fairclough in 1991, Dr. Alan Rudge in 1996 and Dr. Robert Hawley in 1999.
It formed the WISE Campaign in 1983 to encourage women to become engineers. In 1996, the diamond logo was replaced by a circle.
Engineering Council is recognized by the British Government as the national representative body of the engineering profession in the United Kingdom, working in partnership with other engineering institutions. The Engineering Council regulates the professions of chartered engineer, incorporated engineer and engineering technician in the UK. These professional titles are recognized in Europe with the Directive 2005/36.
Professional registration in the UK
UK legislation is generally 'permissive' and, as such, the title engineer is not protected by law therefore anyone can call themselves an engineer or professional engineer or registered engineer and many semi-skilled and unskilled trades adopt this title. However the 'professional' titles awarded by the Engineering Council are protected by law. Registration as a chartered and incorporated engineers or as engineering technicians is voluntary and candidates are required to demonstrate a high standard of professional competence acquired through education, training and responsible experience in order to register. There are four categories of registration:
- Chartered Engineer (CEng)
- Incorporated Engineer (IEng)
- Engineering Technician (EngTech)
- Information and Communications Technology Technician (ICTTech)
Assessment for registration is typically carried out on Engineering Council's behalf by a licensed member institution.
The Engineering Technician (EngTech) may obtain the Licentiateship (with post nominals LCGI), a City and Guilds award comparable to a level 4 qualification. The Incorporated Engineer (IEng) may obtain the Graduateship (GCGI) in engineering, comparable to a level 6 qualification. The Chartered Engineer (CEng) may obtain the Membership (MCGI) in engineering, comparable to a level 7 qualification.
Licensed member institutions
- Chartered Association of Building Engineers
- Institute of Acoustics
- Royal Aeronautical Society
- Institution of Agricultural Engineers
- Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
- Institute of Cast Metals Engineers
- Institution of Chemical Engineers
- Institution of Civil Engineers
- British Computer Society
- Institution of Engineering and Technology
- Energy Institute
- Institution of Engineering Designers
- Society of Environmental Engineers
- Institution of Fire Engineers
- Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
- Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management
- Institute of Highway Engineers
- Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
- Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
- Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
- Institute of Measurement and Control
- Institution of Mechanical Engineers
- Royal Institution of Naval Architects
- British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing
- Nuclear Institute
- Society of Operations Engineers
- Institute of Physics
- Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
- Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering
- Institution of Railway Signal Engineers
- The Institution of Royal Engineers
- The Safety and Reliability Society
- Institution of Structural Engineers
- Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
- The Welding Institute
Engineering Council is a "designated authority" under the implementing regulations for Directive 2005/36/EC. It is a member of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI). Engineering Council has relationships with many similar organizations worldwide. It has responsibility for the UK sections of two international registers:
- FEANI's register of European Engineers
- The International Register of Professional Engineers (IRPE/IRoPE)
European Engineer registration entitles the holder to use the European-style prefix title EurIng; International Professional Engineer registration entitles the holder to use the suffix IntPE (UK). The qualifications required for international registration are similar to those required for CEng registration.
- Engineering Council - News. Engineering Council rebrands to reflect global standing. Accessed on January 5, 2010.
- Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. EU Europe Open - EU to UK - Regulated Professions in the UK. Archived 2008-03-27 at the Wayback Machine Accessed on June 11, 2008.
- Directive 2005/36
- "The European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015". Her Majesty's Government. 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-11.
- Chapman, Colin R; Levy, Jack (2004). An Engine for Change A Chronicle of the Engineering Council. London: Engineering Council UK. ISBN 1-898126-64-X.