Engineering Council

Last updated
Engineering Council
Formation27 November 1981
Legal statusRegistered charity [1]
PurposeUK regulatory body for the engineering profession
Region served
Professional engineering institutions (PEIs) [3]
Chief Executive
Alasdair Coates BEng (Hons) MSc CEng FICE MCIHT CMIOSH
Main organ
Board of Trustees (Chairman - Professor Chris Atkin CEng FRAes)
Affiliations EngineeringUK, SEMTA, National Apprenticeship Service, FEANI, SEFI

The Engineering Council (formerly Engineering Council UK; colloquially known as EngC) [4] is the UK's regulatory authority for registration of Chartered and Incorporated engineers and engineering technician, holding a register of these and providing advice to students, engineers, employers and academic institutions on the standards for registration and procedures for registration. It is also responsible for the accreditation of educational and training programs, delegating this responsibility to licensed member institutions.



Professional engineering institutions in the UK began in 1818 with the formation of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The IMechE was formed next in 1847. The IEE was formed in 1871. These three are known as the Big Three institutions since together they represent 80% of registered UK engineers.

The Joint Council of Engineering Institutions was formed in 1964, which later became the Council of Engineering Institutions (CEI) in November 1965, which had a royal charter. This provided all the main functions that the EngC now provides, but was more ineffectual. Around this time, 33% of the UK's GDP was in manufacturing, lowering to 29% in the early 1970s.

Finniston report

A royal commission, from the committee of inquiry into the engineering profession, chaired by Sir Monty Finniston, was set up in 1977. It looked at the formation and registration of engineers, producing the Finniston Report - Engineering our Future in 1980. Engineering institutions thought they may have lost their autonomy. There was also the possibility of statutory licensing (direct government control) of engineers, as other professional practitioners such as doctors and architects, but the work of engineers is more confined to work with other engineering companies, providing a nominal level of inherent professional self-regulation against misconduct. Keith Joseph at the DTI chose not to have a statutory body, but have a royal charter.

From its recommendations, the Engineering Council was established in 1981, watching over 54 separate institutions. It gained a royal charter on 27 November 1981. The first chairman was Sir Kenneth Corfield, followed by Francis Tombs, Baron Tombs in 1985, Sir William Barlow in 1988, Sir John Fairclough in 1991, Dr. Alan Rudge in 1996 and Dr. Robert Hawley in 1999.

It formed the WISE Campaign in 1983 to encourage women to become engineers. In 1996, the diamond logo was replaced by a circle.


Engineering Council is recognized by the British Government as the national representative body of the engineering profession in the United Kingdom, working in partnership with other engineering institutions. The Engineering Council regulates the professions of chartered engineer, incorporated engineer and engineering technician in the UK. [5] These professional titles are recognized in Europe with the Directive 2005/36. [6]

Professional registration in the UK

UK legislation is generally 'permissive' and, as such, the title engineer is not protected by law therefore anyone can call themselves an engineer or professional engineer or registered engineer and many semi-skilled and unskilled trades adopt this title. However the 'professional' titles awarded by the Engineering Council are protected by law. [7] Registration as a chartered and incorporated engineers or as engineering technicians is voluntary and candidates are required to demonstrate a high standard of professional competence acquired through education, training and responsible experience in order to register. There are four categories of registration:

Assessment for registration is typically carried out on Engineering Council's behalf by a licensed member institution.

The Engineering Technician (EngTech) may obtain the Licentiateship (with post nominals LCGI), a City and Guilds award comparable to a level 4 qualification. The Incorporated Engineer (IEng) may obtain the Graduateship (GCGI) in engineering, comparable to a level 6 qualification. The Chartered Engineer (CEng) may obtain the Membership (MCGI) in engineering, comparable to a level 7 qualification.

Licensed member institutions

International registration

Engineering Council is a "designated authority" under the implementing regulations for Directive 2005/36/EC. It is a member of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI). Engineering Council has relationships with many similar organizations worldwide. It has responsibility for the UK sections of two international registers:

European Engineer registration entitles the holder to use the European-style prefix title EurIng; International Professional Engineer registration entitles the holder to use the suffix IntPE (UK). The qualifications required for international registration are similar to those required for CEng registration.

Related Research Articles

Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to define the licensure process through which an engineer becomes authorized to practice engineering and/or provide engineering professional services to the public.

Professional qualifications in the United Kingdom are titles or awards granted by professional bodies. Many British professional qualifications are subject to the European directives on professional qualifications. Most, but not all, professional qualifications are 'Chartered' qualifications, and follow on from having been admitted to a degree. The term "professional qualification" can also be used to refer to higher-level vocational qualifications in "professional" roles.

Engineering technologist

An engineering technologist is a professional trained in certain aspects of development and implementation of a respective area of technology. Engineering technology education is even more applied and less theoretical than engineering education, though in a broad sense both have a focus on practical application. Engineering technologists often assist engineers but after years of experience, they can also become engineers. Like engineers, areas where engineering technologists can work include product design, fabrication and testing. Also as with engineers, engineering technologists sometimes rise to senior management positions in industry or become entrepreneurs.

Institution of Engineers of Ireland

The Institution of Engineers of Ireland or the IEI, is the second oldest Engineering Society on the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and was established in 1835. The institution primarily represents members based in Ireland.

British Computer Society

The British Computer Society (BCS) is a professional body and a learned society that represents those working in information technology (IT) and computer science, both in the United Kingdom and internationally. Founded in 1956, BCS has played an important role in educating and nurturing IT professionals, computer scientists, computer engineers, upholding the profession, accrediting chartered IT professional status, and creating a global community active in promoting and furthering the field and practice of computing.

European Engineer is an international professional qualification and title for highly qualified engineers used in over 32 European countries. Contemporary Eur Ing engineers are degree-qualified and have gained the highest level of professional competencies through training and monitored professional practice experience. Eur Ing engineers are characterised by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change. They might develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced designs and design methods, introduce new and more efficient production techniques, marketing and construction concepts, pioneer new engineering services and management methods.

Institution of Engineering and Technology

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is a multidisciplinary professional engineering institution. The IET was formed in 2006 from two separate institutions: the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), dating back to 1871, and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE) dating back to 1884. Its worldwide membership is currently in excess of 168,000. The IET's main offices are in Savoy Place in London, England and at Michael Faraday House in Stevenage, England.

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) is the international membership body and learned society for marine professionals operating in the spheres of marine engineering, science, or technology. It has registered charity status in the UK. It has a worldwide membership of 21,000 individuals based in over 128 countries. The Institute is a member of the UK Science Council and a licensed body of the Engineering Council UK.

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers is an international professional engineering association based in London that represents building services engineers, also commonly known as Mechanical and electrical engineers, Architectural engineers, Technical building services engineers, Building engineers, or Facilities and services planning engineers. It is a full member of the Construction Industry Council, and is consulted by government on matters relating to construction, engineering and sustainability. It is also licensed by the Engineering Council to assess candidates for inclusion on its Register of Professional Engineers.

Institution of Chemical Engineers

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is a global professional engineering institution with over 35,000 members in over 100 countries worldwide. It was founded in 1922 and awarded a Royal Charter in 1957.

The Society of Environmental Engineers (SEE) was a British professional engineering institution founded in 1959, which ceased operations in 2019. It was licensed by the Engineering Council UK to assess candidates for inclusion on ECUK's Register of Professional Engineers and Technicians at CEng, IEng and Eng Tech levels. It was also licensed by the Society for the Environment (SocEnv) to assess candidates for CEnv. The Society's Membership Journal "Environmental Engineering" was published six times a year by the Society's partner Concorde Publishing Ltd, along with the journal's digital and online editions. Members also received other technology focused supplements including Test House Directory. Members of SEE were invited to transfer membership to the Society of Operations Engineers, free of charge, in 2019.

In the United Kingdom, a Chartered Engineer is an Engineer registered with the Engineering Council. Contemporary Chartered Engineers are degree-qualified and have gained the highest level of professional competencies through training and monitored professional practice experience. This is a peer-reviewed process. The formation process of a Chartered Engineer consists of obtaining an accredited Bachelor's degree with honours in engineering or technology, plus either an appropriate Master's degree or Engineering Doctorate (EngD) accredited by a professional engineering institution, or appropriate further learning to Master's level alongside a minimum of four years of professional post graduate peer reviewed experience and the ability to demonstrate fulfilment of various skills-based criteria. The title Chartered Engineer is protected by civil law and is a terminal qualification in engineering. The Engineering Council regulates professional engineering titles in the UK. With more than 180,000 registrants from many countries, designation as a Chartered Engineer is one of the most recognisable international engineering qualifications.

Chartered Physicist (CPhys) is a chartered status and a professional qualification awarded by the Institute of Physics. It is denoted by the postnominals "CPhys".

A Chartered professional is a person who has gained a specific level of skill or competence in a particular field of work, which has been recognised by the award of a formal credential by a relevant professional organization. Chartered status is considered a mark of professional competency, and is awarded mainly by chartered professional bodies and learned societies. Common in Britain, it is also used in Ireland, the United States and the Commonwealth, and has been adopted by organizations around the world.

The Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) is an engineering professional organization in the United Kingdom, formed by the merger of following three bodies in 2000: Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE), Institution of Plant Engineers (IPlantE), and Bureau of Engineer Surveyors (BES). In 2019, members of the Society of Environmental Engineers were invited to join SOE as SEE ceased operations.

The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) is the professional institution for practitioners in highway and traffic engineering offering Engineering Council registration and professional development support.

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the professional body for the United Kingdom plumbing and heating industry. Its membership comprises approximately 8,000 individuals, including consultants, specifiers, designers, public health engineers, lecturers, trainers, trainees and practitioners.

The Engineering Council of Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka's regulatory authority for registration of engineering practitioners. It was formed under the Engineering Council Act No 4 of 2017. Engineering Council Act was passed by the Parliament of Sri Lanka with the support of Eng. Champika Ranawaka All engineering practitioners in Sri Lanka needs to be registered with the engineering council to practice. Failing to do so would result in an offence and can be convicted by a summary trial before a Magistrate with imprisonment period not exceeding one year and/or a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand.

Engineering is the most sought after subject areas among Sri Lankan students. The engineering degrees make up less than 2% of the bachelor's degrees in Sri Lanka.

The Institute of Water is the main professional association for the water industry in the UK.


  4. Engineering Council - News. Engineering Council rebrands to reflect global standing. Accessed on January 5, 2010.
  5. Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. EU Europe Open - EU to UK - Regulated Professions in the UK. Archived 2008-03-27 at the Wayback Machine Accessed on June 11, 2008.
  6. Directive 2005/36
  7. "The European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015". Her Majesty's Government. 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-11.

Further reading