What is Chartered Status?
According to the official IChemE website, a chartered engineer is defined as…
“a competent practitioner committed to the highest professional standards”
Becoming a chartered Chemical engineer with the IChemE is something that all Chemical engineers should strive for. Most companies recruiting graduates want to know whether they intend on seeing the process through to chartered status. The question remains as to why would you want to reach this goal?
Here are a few reasons why getting chartered can propel your career…
- Career development & increased salary.
- Peer recognition within industry.
- Professional pride & commitment.
- Employer expectations.
- Widely recognised globally.
The natural progression of Chemical engineering students should follow this pathway. Beginning with a student member, and becoming an Associate member after graduation. It is important that students have a strong foundation when graduating, which is why we have created an extensive range of courses that will help ensure you are fully prepared for being a Chartered Chemical Engineer.
How Can You Become a Chartered Engineer?
There are several stages to become a chartered engineer. Some more obvious than others. Here we have highlighted the steps required in chronological order to help you fully understand and navigate your way through the process.
The main categories of the entire process are the “Knowledge & understanding” and the “Professional Experience”.
Stage 1: Graduating with a Bachelor's or Masters Degree
Finding a fully accredited degree should be your first step and is a crucial stage in the process. While most universities within the UK are accredited, some around the world aren’t. This means that if your degree is not accredited then you will have to go through a rigorous full assessment of your knowledge and understanding.
There are several different standards that the IChemE can issue for acceditation.
- Qualifications accredited at M-Standard meet the full academic requirements for Chartered Member (MIChemE) and Chartered Engineer (CEng).
- M-Standard recognises integrated degrees that provide both the solid academic foundation (in chemical engineering) of a first cycle (or B-Standard), plus the advanced chemical engineering knowledge and skills of a second-cycle degree (F-Standard).
First cycle degrees accredited at B-Standard meet the full academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer (IEng).
Second cycle degrees (eg an MSc) accredited at F-Standard meet the Engineering Council’s Further Learning requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng).
An accredited qualification at B-Standard may be supplemented by an IChemE accredited qualification at F-Standard to meet the academic requirements for Chartered Chemical Engineer.
You can read more about this section here.
Stage 2: Professional Development
Now that you are a fully qualified Chemical engineer, you can now progress to stage 2. This stage is where you begin your training and it’s based on your experiences and industry knowledge. You must complete and submit an IChemE Accredited Company Traning Scheme (ACTS), you can find the application form here. To begin you must be an Associate Member.
There is another way in which you can apply. This is through a “Self-managed Initial Professional Development” scheme (IPD). This can be a difficult route to pursue. You can read more about the requirements of IPD here. Essentially this is another way for the IChemE to validate your knowledge and understanding to ensure you are competent and able to attain the status of chartered engineer. There is an excel spreadsheet available whereby you record your training and work experience as a means of verification to help your case.
Stage 3: The Review
Finally the dreaded interview stage, after the hard work of university and the personal growth path you have undertaken, it’s time to bring everything you have learned together. Stage 3 is broken down into 2 subsections.
- Review of the documentary evidence submitted by you in stage 2.
- The interview stage.
There are several sections of the documentary evidence which is a report called the “Competence & Commitment (C&C) report” you can view the document here. The report is typically around 2,500 words and is centred around your practical experience where you can provide examples of situations and training that helped improve and enhance your knowledge.
Helpful tip: As soon as you graduate keep a record of your achievements, events, training etc as this will make filling this section a breeze.
You should also include some references in this section.
Lastly, it has all come down to this daunting and final stage… The interview. I can’t think of a single person who actually enjoys an interview, but don’t worry the intent of this interview is to give you the opportunity to showcase your talent and demonstrate you meet the requirements of Chartered status.
The interview is typically held either online or at a place of work and is conducted by two professional reviewers; chosen by the IChemE. The interview is based around your C&C report, in which the reviewers will usually ask you to expand on a few of your evidence. This process usually lasts around an hour.
Its Decision Time
After the interview is complete, the election panel decides whether you have satisfied all the requirements to achieve Chartered status. Sometimes you may be asked to resubmit due to a shortfall in one or more sections. However, don’t feel discouraged you will have support and guidance on how to fix the problems.
If… No, When you are successful you become a Chartered Chemical Engineer instantly. You will be given a certificate and a new title which you should wear with pride. Enjoy and embrace the new opportunities that will come your way and always strive for excellence and be an exceptional role model for the next generation of Chemical Engineers!