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How to become a professionally qualified civil engineer

Our qualifications are recognised worldwide meaning you could potentially work anywhere in your role.

The best way to show how much you know and can do in your civil engineering role is to become professionally qualified with ICE.

Who is eligible to be professionally qualified?

  • Anyone who has a civil engineering qualification (degree, foundation degree, diploma or higher certificate).
  • Anyone who has recently graduated.
  • Anyone working in the industry.

If the answer is yes to any of these, ICE can help to move your career forward.

More importantly, investing the time and effort needed really pays off. Getting letters after your name is a great feeling.

Plus, when you qualify you're also telling employers that you're highly capable and committed. This puts you in a stronger position when it comes to promotion and pay.

Your journey to becoming professionally registered

How do you become professionally qualified?

For most members, there are three stages to becoming qualified. This is based on:

  • Your academic qualifications
  • Your work experience (also called Initial Professional Development or IPD)
  • Passing your Professional Review

Use the options below to find out more about each of the stages you'll need to go through to become qualified.

What qualifications and knowledge do you need to become professionally qualified?

To become a technician engineer (EngTech)

If you have an approved level 3 diploma or an HND or foundation degree or above you already have the qualifications you need for EngTech.

Achieving the EngTech qualification shows your competence as a technician engineer and your commitment to professional standards.

To become an incorporated engineer (IEng)

If you have an accredited bachelor's degree, you already have the qualifications you need for IEng.

If you don't have a bachelor's degree, but you have a foundation degree, HNC or HND, you can work towards becoming an incorporated engineer (IEng).

You can either follow the technical report route or you'll need to do a period of further learning to bring your qualifications up to the level of education required for IEng, but it's definitely worth it.

The IEng title is protected by law, and becoming IEng-qualified shows your current and future employers, clients and peers that you're a competent engineer.

It also highlights that you're committed to professional standards.

To become a chartered engineer (CEng)

Chartered engineers need to be highly qualified in their fields.

The title CEng is protected by law, as is the title chartered civil engineer, and is one of the most recognisable international engineering qualifications.

This means that the educational requirements are demanding.

What qualifications do I need for CEng?

If you have one of the following, you already have the qualifications you need for CEng:

  • An accredited four-year integrated MEng degree
  • A bachelor's degree which is accredited as CEng with further learning, plus an accredited master's degree

A course is accredited after the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) formally visits the university that offers the course.

These visits ensure that courses are at the right standard and that the college or university covers core subjects - such as materials, geotechnics, fluid mechanics and structures.

How can I check if my course is accredited?

If you went to a UK university or college, simply search for your course on our online database and we'll tell you straightaway if it's accredited by Joint Board of Moderators (JBM).

You'll also find details of courses that are covered by international agreements like the Washington Accord, FEANI and EUR-ACE.

Search your course

My course isn't accredited – what now?

Don't worry, it doesn't mean that your qualifications won't count. We have another way of checking – by asking you to apply for an Academic Assessment.

Our panel of experts will assess your qualification against the Engineering Council's requirements and we'll let you know the result by email.

If your qualifications don't meet the requirements, we'll give you advice on how you can top them up, or suggest other ways for you to qualify.

I don't have a master's degree – can I still become chartered?

Yes. If you have an accredited undergraduate degree – either a BEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) – you can become chartered.

But you'll need to do some 'further learning', or you can use the technical report route.

Further learning is the extra work you need to do to bring your education and experience up to the level for CEng.

You can do this in two ways:

  1. Further learning in education – this means doing an accredited master's (MSc) course
  2. Further learning at work – this involves adding to your knowledge in the workplace. You can do this with support from your employer (ask your employer if they offer an employer-managed further learning programme). If your employer doesn't have one, you can do it independently and we'll track your progress

What is Initial Professional Development (IPD)

Initial professional development (IPD) is where you develop the special skills, knowledge and experience that help you to become professionally qualified.

Your IPD is measured against a set of 'attributes', which you can achieve in three stages:

  1. Knowledge – a basic understanding and knowledge of the attribute and how you achieve it
  2. Experience – achieving the attribute in different situations, working under supervision
  3. Ability – achieving the attribute in different situations, assisting others and working unsupervised

How do I get my IPD?

There are three key ways to complete your IPD:

  1. ICE Training Scheme – this is a structured training programme run by your employer. You'll receive support and guidance throughout your training from a supervising civil engineer (SCE), who your employer assigns to you. We recommend you use this scheme to complete your IPD. You can find out more about it in our guidance document.
  2. Mentor-supported Training – this is similar to the ICE Training Scheme but is not run by your employer. You're responsible for managing your own training with the support of a mentor, who'll need to be approved by ICE. You can find out more about it in our guidance document.
  3. Career Appraisal – you do this if you've already got enough experience to complete your IPD. Find out more about career appraisals.

How do I find out if my company has an approved training scheme?

We've created a database of employers offering training schemes.

If your company isn't listed, you can always check with your manager or the person/department responsible for HR.

Search for approved employers

How can ICE help me to complete my IPD?

Achieving your IPD is a challenge, no matter what approach you take.

If you're a member either on an ICE Training Scheme or Mentor-supported training, IPD Online helps you record and manage your training.

You can:

  • Record evidence against the attributes and get it reviewed by your supervising civil engineer, delegated engineer or mentor
  • Track your progress at quick glance
  • Complete your annual appraisals
  • Get your IPD signed off so you can apply for professional review

What is a Professional Review?

A Professional Review is the final stage in becoming professionally qualified.

This is where you prove that you’ve developed all the right skills to become professionally qualified.

The Professional Review itself is made up of three steps:

  1. Initial application – this gives us the information we need to arange your Professional Review
  2. Submission – you'll need to produce and submit a report of up to 5,000 words showing how you meet all the requirements to become an incorporated or chartered engineer and also your CPD records
  3. Professional Review – you'll then be interviewed by experienced civil engineering professionals. Be prepared to discuss your report and show off your knowledge. You will also have to complete a written exercise which is an assessment of your written skills

Can you help me prepare for my Professional Review?

Of course. If you’re already a member, we offer a wide range of training opportunities, both free and paid for, that focus on specific areas of the Professional Review.

For example, there are special training courses which are run as webinars, and we also organise courses in our UK regions and in some countries.

Many graduate and student committees across the world are also active in setting up regular training opportunities.

Thinking of becoming a member of ICE?

This information describes what we call the 'standard' way of becoming qualified, but there are many others.

Each takes into account people's different circumstances.

So if you don't think what you've read applies to you, or you're not totally sure about something, don't worry.

We've created another online membership tool, which has a series of questions, designed to assess your individual needs.

Once you've gone through the steps, we'll ask you to sign up for a free MyICE account (for the members-only area of our website).

MyICE gives you personalised information about how to achieve the grade of membership you're aiming for.

Discuss your route to professional qualification

If you need help with joining, extra advice or guidance on becoming qualified with ICE, our membership team are here to help.