Professional registration: unlocking the journey through IMechE
In this article, we explain the benefits of applying to become professionally registered with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
Several members of the Product Development team at Ocado Engineering recently completed the process of becoming professionally registered with IMechE. IMechE is one of the oldest engineering institutions in the UK, founded in 1847, with around 120,000 active members in 140 countries. They have four types of professional registration for engineers and technicians; Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng), Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Fellow (FIMechE).
What is the value in becoming professionally registered with IMechE?
Andrew Selim, Projects Manager in our Product Development team, quickly saw the value in being professionally registered: “After graduating from university, some people find that they stop referring back to their degree. However, becoming Chartered is a commitment to stay up-to-date and study. You don’t just leave your degree behind”.
IMechE assessors, who visited the Ocado Engineering office to assess a number of our applicants, also thought it was valuable to register. They all agreed that professional registration is a way to guarantee competency and has the a potential to accelerate your career progression and raise your profile as a professional engineer. They also mentioned companies faced ever growing safety concerns and highlighted the value of third party assessment from institutions such as IMechE. Finally they spoke about IMechE being recognized internationally, due to the defined level of competencies in the assessment.
Can I apply if I don’t have a degree from a UK university?
Andrew said: “You do not have to have a degree from a UK university. IMechE is internationally recognized, but there can be a bit of extra work to check whether degrees from abroad meet IMechE criteria.”
IMechE offer a qualification checker and aim to respond to you within two working days with information as to whether your qualification is accredited, and make you aware of any additional steps you may need to take.
What if my degree isn’t closely related to the work I’m doing now?
Some people don’t realise they can become registered with a variety of institutions, even if their degree isn’t closely related to the work they’re doing now. This is because there is standardized criteria across institutions – what becomes important is the experience of the candidate. For example, in the Product Development team, someone had a Physics degree and was still perfectly able to start the process of getting Chartered with IMechE.
How do I know if I have enough experience to apply?
At Ocado Engineering, we were lucky enough to have a number of one-to-one interviews with IMechE assessors which could advise whether our candidates were suitable for Chartership, Incorporated etc. or whether they should wait a number of months to gain more experience. The IMechE website offers a route finder tool which can guide you to the right membership grade.
What is the interview like?
Bruno Tojo, one of our Technical Leads, elaborated on his interview and said he found it enjoyable and was looking forward to getting the recognition that comes with being Chartered. Madhavi Kotecha, a Project Engineer, said “The interview wasn’t scary! I got to talk about my career, how I approach projects and the way I have dealt with projects”. The assessors aim for the process to feel like an informal conversation between a group of colleagues. This allows the engineers to relax and clearly articulate their engineering credibility.
If you’re interested in starting an application but aren’t lucky enough to have sponsors in your organisation, don’t worry. IMechE is always looking for new sponsors to support and guide members through the process!
Lucy Carr-Archer, Marketing Communications Executive