At a time when engineering skills have never been more valued and sought after – as being crucial to the UK’s future growth – it is critical that we reinforce the trust that society has in the knowledge, skills and commitment of professional registered engineers and technicians.
The primary purpose of the Engineering Council, as the UK regulatory body for the engineering profession, is to deliver public benefit in line with our Royal Charter whose objects also include the promotion of industry and commerce in the UK. We maintain internationally-recognised standards of competence and commitment for the engineering profession and hold the register of over 222,000 engineers and technicians who have been assessed against those standards. We license competent institutions to champion those standards, and assess candidates for registration, for the deliverance of public benefit.
The Engineering Council is an active member of international agreements and organisations, enabling it to exert real influence internationally. This not only supports the international mobility of professionally-registered engineers and technicians but also benefits UK engineering businesses and the UK system of engineering education.
As well as maintaining high, globally-recognised standards in the present, it is also vital to be able to meet future needs. Tackling an imminent engineering skills shortage to ensure that enough engineers are available is important and this will be achieved partly through increasing diversity and inclusion in the profession.
We are working to ensure that no barriers exist to anyone appropriately qualified becoming professionally registered by championing programmes that promote diversity and inclusion across the profession. Among the challenges the engineering profession faces are employers’ expectations of a skilled, competent and internationally mobile workforce. Working with employers is critical to ensuring the regulatory needs of the profession are met and we continue to explore how best to both support employers’ needs and help to meet employees’ expectations of support for their professional development, through a programme of employer engagement.
Society expects that engineers will be not only skilled and competent, but ethical in their approach. The Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering have recently revised their joint Statement of Ethical Principles to guide engineering practice and behaviour. This makes clear our belief that everyone engaged in engineering at any level, from the youngest apprentice or student to the most experienced Chartered Engineer, should be educated and encouraged to think and work in accordance with these ethical principles.
In collaboration with the professional engineering community, most notably the 35 professional engineering institutions we license to award registration, we will continue to ensure that engineers who become professionally registered with us are not only competent and committed to the profession, but are able to work in an ethical, sustainable and safe manner. Together we will continue to champion these standards and inspire the UK’s engineering workforce to strive for professionalism. We will continue to engage with all stakeholders – including those representatives across Parliament – to ensure our registered engineers and technicians remain competent, safeguard society and are inspired to develop professionally.