What is Engineers Australia Chartered Status?
No one can deny the fact that engineers are becoming increasingly important in society. From education, health sector, agriculture, construction, transportation, communication and overall development of the society, engineers have made a significant contribution in shaping the world we live in. Chartership is a professional recognition for such talented, creative and innovative engineers. Being a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) signifies their commitment, experience and talents and depicts their expertise in the industry. Engineers Australia, the most dynamic and professional community of engineers in Australia, allows its members to earn the title of a Chartered Engineer hence opening innumerable doors of opportunities for them through this internationally recognised qualification. The following article provides information about the process to obtain Engineers Australia Chartered Status.
The Membership Grades
Engineers Australia provides different membership grades namely – Affiliate, Student, Graduate, Members, Fellows, Honorary Fellow and Chartered. The Chartered Engineer status is available to the members having a grade of Fellow, Member or Honorary Fellow.
The Chartered Pathway
The members of Engineers Australia have to undergo through a 6-step process to gain the chartered honour.
- Industry Review
- Enrol for Chartered
- Chartered Evidence
- Professional Interview
- Chartered Status
I. Self Assessment
In the self-assessment step, the applicants have to determine whether their current knowledge and expertise in the industry is in accordance with the Chartered competencies provided by the Engineers Australia. The applicants have to give themselves rating out of these 4 – ‘Developing, Functional, Proficient or Advanced’ in the elements defined by Engineers Australia Stage 2 Competencies. The Engineers Australia provides 16 elements in total in the Australian Stage 2 competency standards for each engineering occupation – The Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologists and Engineering Associates.
The 16 elements are broadly classified into different categories namely –
- Personal Commitment – Demonstrating how the applicant deals with ethical issues, exhibits their responsibility in their work and develops their competencies
- An obligation to Community – It demonstrates how well the applicant works within their community that is, with their clients, higher authorities or subordinates and how well they solve the problems and mitigate risks
- A value in the Workplace – This demonstrates the abilities of the applicant as a leader, planner and initiator of Engineering activities and how well they can collaborate with people in their workplace
- Technical Proficiency – This demonstrates how effectively the applicant utilizes the engineering technology and creates innovative solutions
What do the 4 kinds of ratings demonstrate about the Engineers Australia CPEng applicant?
- Developing – This means that the applicant is learning and may need supervision while practising
- Functional – This means that the applicant can work independently without any supervision
- Proficient – This means that the applicant can work independently as well as has the ability to provide training and supervising others
- Advanced – This means that the applicant is a capable leader, can take decisions, has a high knowledge background, as well as can provide training to others
Depending upon these ratings, the applicants are given guidance about applying for the Chartered title, continuing professional development by the Engineers Australia. The applicant can undergo self-assessment process as many times as they want.
II. The Industry Review
After completing the self-assessment step and obtaining a rating, in this step, the applicants need to get feedback on their Engineers Australia Chartered competencies from their peers. The applicants cannot move to the third step until they do not hold a ‘Functional’ Rating. However, if they have obtained ‘Developing’ rating they can still begin with the Industry Review.
All they need to do is prepare evidence statements and obtain feedback from their peers. If they want to update their self-assessment rating they can do that any time and hence conduct a fresh industry review. The process of industry review is not time bound
Whom you can consider as an Industry Reviewer?
- An engineer is eligible to be an industry reviewer of a candidate if he is already a Chartered member of Engineers Australia or an Engineering Team member.
- The person should hold more than 7 years of experience in the engineering field.
- They should work in the same field as the applicant and hence should be well-aware of the applicant’s work. However, this is not a compulsion. They can be from other industry as well but then would have to provide additional documentation.
- Also, it should be their own will to provide the candidate with a review. It is not mandatory for every Chartered Engineer to be a reviewer.
- The Engineers Australia also provides complete instruction to the reviewers on how they can conduct the reviewing process.
III. Enrol for Chartered
Once the applicants have obtained a Functional or higher rating, they can enrol themselves for the chartered application. In this stage, the applicants pay the fee for the Chartered Engineer Australia; provide their CV and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) log.
The applicant must have completed their industry review by this time as they have to submit that as well. The applicant also has to provide their areas of knowledge in which they want to seek the chartered status.
What is Area of Practice?
The Area of Practice can be regarded as the ‘purpose’ of the Chartered Engineer. It simply depicts the profession the applicant is inclined to. The applicant can gain Chartered Engineer status in more than one areas of practice. Engineers Australia provides a complete list of Areas of Practice to choose from including System Engineering, Project Management, Civil Engineering, Asset Management, and Environmental Engineering and so on.
IV. Chartered Evidence
Chartered Evidence includes a collection of documents, presentations, drawings, emails, reports etc that can showcase the competencies of the applicant as an engineer for obtaining CPEng Australia. For each of the 16 competencies that you rated in the Self-Evaluation process, you have to provide a piece of suitable evidence for them. The Engineers Australia provides a complete list of which evidence would be suitable for which kind of competency. Hence the applicants should provide one accordingly.
Once the applicant enrols them for the Chartered application the assessors from Engineers Australia review all the things that the applicant has provided that is, their self-evaluation, CV, CPD log and Areas of Practice. Then, within 3 weeks time, the applicant is asked for an Evidence Discussion which is a phone based discussion.
In this discussion, the applicant gets complete knowledge of what Chartered evidence they should provide for formal evaluation. The applicant may ask questions to gain an understanding of what is expected of them. After the Evidence Discussion, the applicant can upload the Chartered Evidence documents as per the CPEng requirements. The assessment period of the Chartered Evidence documents is about 5 weeks after the submission.
V. Professional Interview
Once the assessors will review the Chartered Evidence and find it satisfactory, then the applicant will be asked to come for a Professional Interview. The professional interview session can take place within 4 weeks time from the review outcome. The interview takes about 1 hour in which the candidate may be required to give a presentation and discuss their Chartered Evidence that they have provided in their application. The interview panel would comprise of one assessor from Engineers Australia and a panel of engineers from external industry.
After the interview, the candidate will receive the outcome via an email which would include the Chartered Award and Areas of Practice of the candidate. After some time, the Engineers Australia will also provide the candidate with a certificate regarding their achievement of the Chartered Status. In case if the candidate does not receive a Chartered Status then the candidate will be provided with appropriate guidance and advice on how they can achieve the same from Engineers Australia. They will also be given a chance to include more documentation, provide additional information or evidence and then come for another personal interview. However, the candidates also hold a right to appeal the Engineers Australia outcome if they think that it is not appropriate as per their evidence.