Achieving an academic qualification is only the beginning of a member's professional career. The achievement and maintenance of professional competence, especially where it cannot be acquired solely by formal study, necessitates life long professional development. Professional development is the acquisition, maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge, understanding and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary to carry out their professional duties throughout a member's working life.
Whilst this process should be continuous during a career, it is often convenient to consider it as two stages: Initial Professional Development (as an Associate Member) prior to achieving Corporate membership of the Institution (as a Member), and Continuing Professional Development (as a Member or Fellow).
Initial Professional Development
Initial Professional Development (IPD) is that part of professional development where a member achieves the standard of professional competence relevant to their employment and experience, that will satisfy the Institution's requirements for Corporate membership.
Members may be assisted in their IPD by a Mentor.
When the Institution's requirements for professional competence have been achieved, application may be made for Corporate membership. The basis of the application is the Professional Review, through which the applicant will be required to demonstrate that they have met the Institution's requirements for professional competence and commitment to the profession.
Continuing Professional Development
During the early years following graduation, the member's focus will be on meeting the Institution's requirements for Corporate membership. However, as a member's career develops, he or she will need to identify the professional development required by their current employment and enhance their future career. Such professional development is also necessary if they are to continue to benefit from the standing and recognition they have already achieved as a Corporate member. The Institution's Code of Professional Conduct obliges all members to maintain their professional competence.
More about Continuing Professional Development
The Institution requires that all members in employment should maintain a Record of their Continuing Professional Development, which should include CPD Activities, a CPD Plan for future development and supporting documentation.
The Institution does not prescribe the format of the CPD Record which for some members it may be required to keep in accordance with a company’s required format. The Institution’s CPD Record in MSWord format is therefore not mandatory, but is recommended. It may be modified to meet a member’s individual needs.
The Institution publishes a range of IPD Log Books and Guidance Notes on professional development, application for Corporate membership and registration (with the EC), and accreditation of academic and training programmes.
Guidance Notes are in pdf format. IPD Log Books are in MS Word format.
Reporting of CPD Achievement
The Institution may request to see a member's CPD Plan and Record at any time. A member will also be required to provide evidence of CPD activity eg when applying for transfer to Fellow or subject to disciplinary action.
The Engineering Council requires that members registered as CEng, IEng or EngTech routinely report their CPD achievement over the previous 12 months to the Institution. Members will be advised when such a Report is due and they are required to complete and return the Report Form which will be forwarded. Alternatively, members may submit their Report online.