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Members discuss Chartered Infrastructure Engineer title in open forum event 

08 October 2021

An online audience heard a range of views about aspects of the proposed new title in a discussion chaired by ICE President Rachel Skinner.

Members discuss Chartered Infrastructure Engineer title in open forum event 

ICE President Rachel Skinner has chaired a discussion about the proposed new Chartered Infrastructure Engineer title, hearing a range of views from across the membership.

‘Professionalising the whole industry: The Chartered Infrastructure Engineer discussion’ saw a panel of ICE members field questions sent in from the assembled audience on several aspects of the proposal.

The proposal offers an opportunity to make the engineering industry more inclusive, according to a senior exec at Tideway.

Speaking at the discussion, Tideway’s programme manager Andy Alder, who is also an ICE Trustee and Council Member, said that the title “is about broadening” access to the industry.

Creating a more inclusive industry would mean that the institution could “speak as one voice, across infrastructure,” he said, which would help ICE to deliver best practices.

Concerns around confusion a “red herring”

But panellist Frank Marples, ICE Fellow, raised concerns that clients and the public may struggle to understand the skillset of an engineer using the post-nominals ‘CEng MICE’, which proposed Chartered Infrastructure Engineers would be permitted to use alongside Chartered Civil Engineers.

This, said past-President Paul Jowitt, is a “red herring”, explaining that the vast majority of clients do not assess the competence of an engineer based solely on their post-nominals, preferring to verify an engineer’s expertise based on their CV.

He also pointed out that ICE’s professional conduct regulations require that members do not undertake work for which they are not qualified.

Members of the panel agreed that a clear communications plan was required to explain the introduction of the new title, with panellist Tina Gunnarsson, a chartered civil engineer at Balfour Beatty, stating that there would need to be a “cohesive message across the whole institution”.

‘We need to stop thinking of ourselves as an exclusive club.’

Although the discussion attracted a range of views from across the institution, the panel largely agreed that ICE needs to accommodate the changing skillsets that modern infrastructure projects demand and position itself, in the words of ICE Past President Professor Paul Jowitt, “as an inclusive institution”.

ICE graduate member Georgia Thompson said her own experience at BAM Nuttall, working alongside electrical engineers, had demonstrated that engineers who are not chartered have valuable technical knowledge to contribute to civil engineering projects.

The final member ballot on the decision to introduce the new CIE title will take place in February 2022.

Get the facts

If you would like to know more about the proposed Chartered Infrastructure Engineer title head to ICE’s Governance Updates portal.

Watch the webinar

Watch a recording of ‘Professionalising the whole industry: The Chartered Infrastructure Engineer discussion’ at the top of this page.

  • Simon Barney, head of communications at ICE