Trevor began his presentation by saying that becoming a Chartered Member is a two-stage process: becoming a Corporate Member (i.e. FRINA or MRINA), and then registering as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Engineering Council.
Applicants for Corporate Member are required to demonstrate that they have achieved minimum standards of professional competence, are committed to maintaining that professional competence, and will act at all times with professional integrity. Registration as a Chartered Engineer provides an addition, generic qualification which applies to all engineering disciplines. Applicants for registration are required to demonstrate the same standards of professional competence, commitment etc. as for Corporate Member.
The Engineering Council is the UK’s regulatory body for the engineering profession, and maintains a register of Chartered Engineers. RINA is a Licensed and Nominated body of the Engineering Council and can therefore place Corporate Members on the CEng Register.
From the above, it should be apparent that Chartered Member of RINA is equivalent to election as a Corporate Member plus Registration as a Chartered Engineer (eg MRINA CEng)
Application for registration as CEng may be made with the application for Corporate Membership, or subsequent to election. Members applying for registration after election are required to submit an updated application form and Professional Review Report.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding which RINA has with Engineers Australia (EA), Corporate Membership of Engineers Australia entitles you to immediate Corporate Membership of RINA The MOU also recognises that registration as CEng with the Engineering Council is equivalent to registration as CPEng with Engineers Australia.
Milestones along the route to Chartered Membership are
• Academic qualifications
• Professional competence
• Professional review (which comprises both a report and an interview)
The exemplifying academic qualification in Australia is a four-year accredited engineering degree (or, in the UK, an accredited integrated MEng degree or an accredited BEng degree plus an appropriate accredited master’s degree). Applicants with this qualification follow the standard route to Chartered Member.
However, there are two alternative routes for those who do not meet this requirement:
• Individual Route: Applicants whose qualifications meet the exemplifying standards of knowledge and understanding, but were gained through academic course(s) which are not accredited by the Engineering Council, may provide documentary evidence of the content of the course(s), obtained from the university, i.e. transcript of studies, course syllabus and abstract of the final year project.
• Extended Professional Review Report Route: Applicants who do not have the exemplifying academic qualification for CEng in full or in part, but who can offer experience in lieu of formal academic qualification, may apply through the Extended Professional Review Report Route, by demonstrating that they have achieved the same level of underpinning knowledge and understanding as a candidate with the exemplifying academic qualification.
Chartered Members must show that they are professionally competent by way of their education,, training and experience to:
• use a combination of general and specialist engineering knowledge and understanding to optimise the application of existing and emerging technology;
• apply appropriate theoretical and practical methods to the analysis of engineering problems;
• provide technical and commercial leadership;
• demonstrate effective interpersonal skills; and
• demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards, recognising obligations to society, the profession and the environment.
The standard of professional competence required for registration as CEng is defined by a number of generic, high level competencies, i.e. applicable to all engineering disciplines. It is difficult to demonstrate in the Professional Review Report that these competences have been achieved. RINA has therefore mapped these generic competences into 34 specific Professional Development Objectives relevant to the activities of naval architects, and it is easier to show competence meeting these.
The Professional Development Objectives cover activities in design, engineering practice, and management, and set the required level of ability for each Objective, i.e.
• Having knowledge or being aware of an activity’s existence and the reason for it.
• Having understanding of the reason for an activity and being familiar with how it should be carried out.
• Having the skill to be able to carry out carry out an activity competently and without further guidance.
The Professional Development Objectives are listed in the Initial Professional Development (IPD) Logbook available on the RINA website. If you record various items as you go then, when it comes time for your application, you will be able to refer to the IPD logbook to flesh out your documentation. The IPD logbook itself does not have to be submitted, but is an invaluable aide memoire for the application.
There are four parts to the application for corporate membership and CEng:
• Application Form
• Documentary evidence of academic qualification
• Professional Review Report
• Supporting information
There are twenty members of RINA’s Membership Committee, and they meet five times per year, and consider about 100 applications each time.
There are two parts to the Professional Review: the Report, and the Interview. The Report (only) is required for Corporate Membership, but the Interview is required by the Engineering Council for CEng registration.
There is no prescribed format for the Report, but the following structure is recommended:
Part 1. Introduction
A summary of your career to date, i.ee dates, company/organisation, position, and nature of employment.
Part 2. Training and Experience
Activities which have contributed directly to your professional development, e.g.
• Nature of the activity, e.g. purpose, technical content, etc.
• Duration of the activity, e.g. start/completion, accumulated time.
• Resources involved, e.g. manpower, financial, etc.
• Personal involvement and level of responsibility, e.g. who you were accountable to, number of staff responsible to you.
• How the activity contributed to achieving your professional development objectives, e.g. the knowledge, understanding and skills gained, etc.
Part 3. Professional Activities
Activities which have contributed indirectly to your professional development, e.g.
• Attendance at training courses and conferences.
• Preparation and presentation of engineering papers or articles.
• Participation in Institution activities, e.g. Division or Section technical meetings.
• Future professional development, e.g. CPD Plan
The interview will be by a panel of two or three Chartered Members who have been trained and qualified to conduct Interviews. The venue will be as close to your work or home as possible, depending on who is on the interview panel. It may require to be conducted via Skype. The duration may vary significantly from, say, 10 minutes to 45 minutes – do not read anything into the time!.
The interview will assess the following:
• Level of responsibility.
• Professional judgement.
• Communication and presentation skills.
• Role and responsibility of the engineer in society.
• Commitment to CPD
The outcome of the interview will be either a Successful or Unsuccessful report by the panel to the Membership Committee, i.e. Recommended/Not recommended for registration. If Recommended, then you are home and hosed, and will be informed by the Membership Committee that you are entitled to use the post-nominals MRINA (or FRINA if that is what you applied for) and CEng.
If the Panel does not recommend registration, then the applicant will be informed and advised of the areas where the requirement for professional competence was not demonstrated. The Membership Committee will not set a time for re-application since that will depend on how long it takes to fill in the professional competence gap(s).
An applicant has the right of appeal against the decision of the Interview Panel, but such an appeal will normally only be held where additional information not previously available to Membership Committee can be provided, or where the applicant can demonstrate that he/she did not receive a fair hearing at the interview.
However, where the Membership Committee does not accept the decision of the Panel, it will ask the applicant to undertake another Interview.
Further information on election as a Corporate Member and registration as CEng can be found in the Guidance Notes on Corporate/Chartered Membership on the RINA website at https://www.rina.org.uk/membership.html You may also find useful the Chartered Membership in the Australian Division — Q&A available on the Australian Division’s page on the website.
If the documents there cannot answer your queries, then please contact RINA’s Professional Affairs Manager, Lisa Staples, by phone +44-20-7235 4622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chief Executive fielded a number of interesting questions.
A resume is not a replacement for the Professional Review Report, although it may form the basis of the Report. You may include your resume as supporting documentation, but the Professional Review Report is required.
There is no minimum (or maximum) time before you may apply for Chartered Member, but experience shows that four or more years’ experience after (first) graduation is the norm. If you have achieved the required professional competence, then you can apply.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Alan Taylor.