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# UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

## UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

(OP)
Recently in the UK the Prime Minister has been trialling e-petitions on the Downing Street website.  One recently had 1.8 million signatures protesting against the governments proposal to introduce road charging at up £1.50 per mile.  Anyway, thats another story.

However, a petition has been started to request the government control the use of the word "Engineer" such that only professionaly qualified people can use the title. The same idea as PE in the states.

It appears UK Engineers are taking it upon themselves to do what the professional institutions see to have failed to do.  Atlas shrugged springs to mind.

If anyone is interested the link is:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Engineer-Status/

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Enter the brain drain.  I'm developing a gag reflex against going to our fair governing bodies to make anything happen.  A much more powerful position to be in is one of independence from lords of that nature.

I like what John Galt did--picked up, bought some land in a beautiful valley in Colorado, and left the scene.  Come to think of it, that's what I'm about to do. ..

Jeff Mowry
www.industrialdesignhaus.com
Reason trumps all.  And awe transcends reason.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Who is John Galt?

Cheers,
CanuckMiner

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

I read the petition. I don't see why they bash the BBC or this government to be honest. Those particular comments make the whole petition a little dubious in its purpose. The generic term Engineer may have little value but of course you can always call yourself Chartered Engineer, which is the same as PE in the US and then retain some legally protected status. Personally though I don't regard Chartered status as a professional qualification as there are no examinations for it, of those I've seen. The petition should be aimed at those institutions who grant chartered status so that it is given real value and not something you just pay fees into.

corus

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Having just returned from a trip to the near UK which is under or under advisory for governing standards and codes, I have to say that I find it very difficult to believe that UK civil engineers are responsible for both buildability and safety of the constructed project.  I would never undertake a responsibility for something that was clearly out of my hands.

Regards,
Qshake

Eng-Tips Forums:Real Solutions for Real Problems Really Quick.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

What is the point of Tony's petition website?
It was a PR exercise that produced some unsurprising results.
Not the number of people participating, and yes, 1.8million people signed up against the road pricing scheme.
And this is a lot of people. Maybe not as significant a proportion of the population as those who vote on X-Factor or who ring in to the quiz shows and maybe not significant by themselves. Still, I would have thought there ought to be some form of correlation between the number of people who actually sign up to these petitions and the total proportion of the electorate who dislike the idea.
As by far and away the most significant response to any such petition, one would like to see it has had some impact on Tony's thinking.
Alas no. What is quite unsurprising is that it all means nothing.
You can see what Tony replied here:
http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page11050.asp

So does anyone expect the engineers petition to get anywhere?

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Obviously, I don't.  I once met some guys at a hostel in Switzerland who were simply thrilled with the transportation taxes they experienced in Sweden--so thrilled they were taking their "holiday" on their 200% (or some absurd amount) taxed motorbikes throughout non-Scandinavian Europe--and simply wondering at that sort of independent (non-public) touring freedome.

This is nice:

#### Quote:

I know many people's biggest worry about road pricing is that it will be a "stealth tax" on motorists. It won't.  Road pricing is about tackling congestion.

Oh, it's about tackling congestion.  Right, so no worries about taxes then.  Glad that's settled.  In that case, I'm all for such a government program.

May I never value security above freedom.

Thanks, CanuckMiner, I actually laughed out loud on that one.

Jeff Mowry
www.industrialdesignhaus.com
Reason trumps all.  And awe transcends reason.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

(OP)
I actually think this 'petition' is more along the lines of a chain email.  I don't think it will make any difference.  As Corus stated the term 'Chartered Engineer' is legally protected in the UK but I dont tend to use it.  I think it sounds condescending to say that, if someone asks what your job is.  I just say 'Engineer' and leave it at that.  Even saying 'Civil Engineer' confuses people.

But, I signed it just in case.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Surely a Civil Engineer is one who uses a cup and saucer when having one's tea in the afternoon?

The problem with the term engineer as I see it is that it's so generic that it needs some qualification to have meaning, whether that's being civil or being chartered. If you qualify it then the likelihood is you'll be seen as having at least a degree and whatever status that brings.
Personally I'm not qualified in engieering but am called an engineer, by no choice of my own. I'd rather not be.

corus

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Corus says :-

"Personally though I don't regard Chartered status as a professional qualification as there are no examinations for it, of those I've seen."

I've been through the process to be chartered in the UK. No written exam but your whole career is examined via a written report that requires mentors of a chartered standard themselves. Then you get grilled for a few hours by a 3-person interview panel. Maybe not perfect to everyones eyes maybe but it does ensure that you reach a required standard against, I think, 30+ aspects of engineering.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Jordonlaw,
I'm not sure you have to submit a written report unless you don't have the qualifications specific to that institution. For example someone who is maybe working in mechanical engineering has no qualifications in that subject but can get chartered status by submitting a report/project and having an interview, as you say. Otherwise the only qualification is that you've managed to continue breathing for a few years after getting your degree, got someone to confirm that, paid your fees, and you're in. To my mind being chartered doesn't mean much at all other than you've done engineering for a while, but nothing special to deserve merit.

corus

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Corus,

Have a look at the following from the IEE or search the IMechE's site for the equivalent information for your own discipline: http://www.theiet.org/careers/qualifications/

The route to professional registration for someone who has not met the requirements for the academic route is not as easy as you suggest: there is considerably more to it as you would know if you had tried it yourself. The interview is pretty tough whether you follow the academic or the experience + responsibility route. I can't comment on how good (or bad) the structured training route offered to graduates by large employers such as yours is: to my mind the structured training route is easier than going it alone with the application. If people on that scheme really are being signed off almost by default then those who are running the scheme should be ashamed of themselves.

I agree with you that an exam would be a worthy addition to the application process, and I would personally like to see it as a requirement for both the academic and the experience + responsibility paths. I'm not sure that will happen though because the Institutions will lose membership revenue.

----------------------------------
Sometimes I only open my mouth to swap feet...

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

I have a chemical engineering degree and my chartership application still required a written report as well as the interview. My colleague has just had his application turned down because he didn't demonstrate enough suitable experience. Getting the chartered status isn't just the rubber stamping exercise it appears to be. Unfortunately, keeping the title seems to only be a matter of paying the fees so its easy to lose touch with industry and still claim to be competent.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

Star for kchayfie.  I was looking at getting chartered (RAeS) just before I ended up going to the states.  It didn't look that easy.

First problem was getting the recommendations.  Only one person at my firm was chartered!  Plus he'd only been there about a year so didn't know all my background.

Then after looking at it I seem to recall thinking I'd need to take at least some refresher courses on some aspects of my degree, I was thinking of getting a Masters through the OU, or at least taking some of their classes.

However, I'm now in the US where they don't even seem to have an equivalent of Chartered for Aerospace.  I'd probably have to go mechanical.  Plus they need I think 4 references, plus my degree being non US doesn't count, none of the time I spend drafting counts as experience...

Given that the industries I've worked/work in don't require PE I'm not sure I'm going to bother.  If I do I'll probably need to get a US bachelors first anyway which will cost $$. Plus my concern is still that some of the best 'engineers' I've worked with were neither degreed or Chartered/PE while at least one of the worst was! Still, if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined. ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Looking at the site http://www.theiet.org/careers/qualifications/ and their definition, I suppose it all depends on how you interpret the word 'qualification'. They seem to think that chartered is a qualification but in my book a qualification is a written and assessed piece of work or written examination that can be returned to a later date for reference. If chartered has come by a written report/disseratation that has been assessed in writing and by interview then that seems to satisfy my criteria. What I heard about MechEng is that you fill in a dairy/log book for a few years, submit it, pay your dues and you've got it. As Scotty says, it's all about revenue. Personally I know if someone has experience by looking at their background. Something hung on the wall saying Chartered Eng doesn't cut any ice with me. Sorry. corus ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street I admire your cynicism. OTOH the PE/Peng exams don't really seem to test any more than familiarity with codes, so all they really prove is that the same brain cells are still working four years after the student's final exams. Oh, OK, I haven't done the PE exam, but I did look at the SE revision questions, and to this mechie, they looked like second year theory+familiarity with codes. Cheers Greg Locock Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips. ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street My experience was that I didn't follow a mentored scheme and didn't have the 1st discipline degree for the IMechE route I wanted to follow hence my need for the route I described. Having got the qualification, or status or whatever you want to call it, it does has a value as my employers welcome it and pay the exorbitant fees. For them having a set of Chartered Engineers is also valuable to their clients. It look a load of effort to get chartered, accordingly I for one have signed the petition and I suggest others do the same. ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Ask anyone: nurses, firemen, policemen, shelf stackers and they will all say that they are undervalued by society, so what's the difference between them and engineers?? The discussion about engineers and status has gone on in the UK for over 20 years with nothing happening. Why not call yourself a Chartered Engineer - not that many people will care, since the leading engineering institutions have never done anything themselves - and if they can't do something sensible (other than collect subscriptions) who is going to be responsible for pushing this along? E-petitions will have no effect since they are so easy to setup and there will be so many of them covering all sorts of minority interests. The term bandwagon is more than appropriate in this context. The only true recognition that anyone gets in this day and age is reflected in their salary, and we can all do something about this if we feel it doesn't reflect our true value ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street JordanLaw, Corus, Fribby, I actually got my Chartership the long way, degree then experience and the school of hard knocks. It makes me more employable which makes it worthwhile to have. I know some guys who are chartered are truly awful engineers, just beyond salvage in my eyes, and many others who aren't chartered who are really talented. There's also a couple who could become IEE Fellows with little effort if they were interested in getting that badge. They have probably forgotten more than I will ever know. My primary reason for getting my Chartership is that it gives me the potential to earn more. If it achieves that aim I'm not too bothered about the kudos or lack of it which comes along with C.Eng. I'd rather be judged on my ability to do my job, not something I achieved a few years ago. ---------------------------------- Sometimes I only open my mouth to swap feet... ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Actually in the US, "engineer" is used by a lot of non PE. "Engineer" is pretty much used by whoever wants to use it. Example? Microsoft's "Software Engineer" title. Most are not PE. "Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater." Albert Einstein Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums? ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Corus The IStructE has an entrance examination which lasts around 8 hours, which is notoriously difficult and has a pass rate of around 35-40% annually - I think this examination is unique in the UK Engineering Industry as I believe the other institutions judge your competence via. Professional Review. VB ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street ScottyUK, I got my Chartership when I was about 50. 1969 - ONC Engineering, age 18 1971 - HNC Engineering, 1972 - HNC Endorsements, age 21 2000 - Bachelor Engineering 2.1, age 49 Why bother with Chartership - I was working for a company that was headed for the rocks and after 25 years of pension contributions I needed to make sure I was employable in the outside world. I reckoned that, without having a big, bright flag to wave, I'd be lucky to drive a forklift, let alone design one. And Institute memberships are expensive, for what you apparently get, but they also fall into the flag waving category, I think. By the way - ever tried explaining to people like car insurance companies what you do for a living? I was describing myself as 'an engineer' for several years until I found that I was being classified by my insurer as a motor mechanic and having my policy loaded as a result. They said I was in the motor trade' apparently. I am in automotive design. Now I describe myself as draftsman or designer, they seem to understand that one. I did try Chartered Engineer, but that 'did not compute' as they say. "Computer says, No" Bill ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street for more on this subject look here thread730-181246 ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Bill, I'm currently listed as 'professional' by my insurance company, along with teachers, doctors, the legal vermin, and police officers. In the past I've also been 'draughtsman', 'electrician', and on a couple of occasions 'electrical engineer'. I agree it is to some extent a flag-waving exercise, but as long as the big industry employers like that flag and pay a premium for me to wave it then that's fine by me. The professional fees are picked up by work - to me that seems a fair deal because I am pretty sure their insurance underwriter requires a certain number of professional engineers in the business: another example of the C.Eng flag having some value to the employers. Congratulations on the degree too - just proves you are never too young to learn. ---------------------------------- Sometimes I only open my mouth to swap feet... ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Many thanks ScottyUK. Much of what I had to do was very much similar to what I'd done for my HNC, nearly 30 years ago. There was just some of the maths that was new/more advanced. Stuff like COSMOS stress analysis was new as well. The problem in the UK probably isn't entirely unique, I suspect. There are many practical, vocationally educated, highly talented technical people in industry that don't get recognition of their worth and there are many highly academic types lacking any practical experience whatsover that almost 'walk into' professional accreditation. It's a combined social/status issue. Bill ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street Surely the problem with the UK institutions is that they are neither fish nor fowl. If they were run by professional working engineers, they would be an organistaion interested in RESTRICTING access, MAINTAINING standards and INCREASING pay. But, since they are largely run by academics and industry reps their primary focus is on ENCOURAGING access, REDUCING standards, and REDUCING pay. Cheers Greg Locock Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips. ### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street I worked for a very well-known German company at one of their US acquisitions. We followed ISO procedures. Everyone in my department was some kind of engineer. Either your title was "Mechanical Engineer", "Engineer", "Senior Engineer", "Controls Engineer", "Applications Engineer" (never did figure out what that meant) or something similar and I was the only "Structural Engineer" even though I was an EIT. After my first year I got a raise and a promotion to "Engineer" so that I could work on higher$$ projects.  My boss was too lazy to write a new ISO position for "Senior Structural" or something similar.  All those years of college getting my MSCE only to be lumped in with guys that were degreed industrial engineers, mechanical engineers, and the majority who had no degree but were ex-army.  They hired a lot of them (no offense to the army, I don't mean anything negative by this, they did their job as well as anyone) I think because they thought they'd follow directions well - my boss was a micromanager and loved people who would do exactly as he commanded.

I think that was misleading to our customers - everyone they talked to was an "Engineer" of some sort, even though about half of us had degrees, only 3 or 4 were MS's, and a lot had no college whatsoever.

### RE: UK Engineers Petition Downing Street

(OP)
This is on the Engineering Council Website. It is interesting to note that even the governing body for UK engineers realises this is never going to happen.  They suggest registering with FEANI and getting EurIng designation instead.

Why isn't the title 'engineer' protected in the UK?

The word 'engineer' has been in common use in the English language for many centuries, and is widely understood by the public to describe anyone whose work relates to engineering - particularly manufacture or maintenance. There is no likelihood that the engineering profession could obtain rights to prevent existing users using the term to describe themselves.

http://www.engc.org.uk/help_and_info/faq.aspx

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