The Engineering Council, regulator of the engineering profession in the UK, has worked with BSI to develop an internationally applicable Publicly Available Specification (PAS 525) for assessing the competence and commitment of engineering professionals. This framework defines a standard for knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to build and maintain competence within a rapidly changing profession. It is designed to be readily implemented by international professional engineering organisations. It can also be used by government agencies, employers and insurers as a framework to support specification for engineering projects products and processes, or to guide the training of engineers.
The engineers of today and tomorrow play a vital role in finding solutions to key issues facing today’s societies, including environmental protection, climate change, healthcare for all, deforestation, security and cyber-security, safety, mobility, food supply, clean water and the development of sustainable energy sources. A robust method of assessment of competence ensures that engineers are equipped to address these challenges and provides employers, government and the public with confidence in the engineering profession.
Alasdair Coates, chief executive officer of the Engineering Council, said “Factors such as increasing levels of automation, a greater requirement to work globally, skills and resource availability and the development of new forms of information technology are all changing the face of the engineering profession. It is also crucial to recognise that engineers have a responsibility to society, acting in the public interest at all times and upholding professional standards including safety, sustainability, and ethical conduct. Therefore, in response, we have worked with BSI and international colleagues to develop this framework to share best practice in formal recognition of the necessary engineering competence to meet these demands”.
Formal recognition of competence, such as professional registration, sets individual professionals apart from engineers and technicians who are not registered. It confirms their proven knowledge, understanding and competence. In particular, professional registration demonstrates a commitment to professional standards, and a continuing responsibility to develop and enhance competence.
As well as maintaining the UK standard for professional engineering competence (UK-SPEC), the Engineering Council is active within a number of multilateral mutual recognition agreements with national engineering bodies in other countries, governed by the International Engineering Alliance (IEA). The Engineering Council is also a member of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) and the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE).