Professional Engineering recognition for the UK

How do,

Not sure if people have seen this petition regarding the use of the description Engineer in the UK. In essence it is suggesting the German system whereby Engineer is a description of a job where, like doctors and lawyers, qualification and accreditation are required to use it.

It's one of these words that's rather lost its meaning and I think giving it some professional standing would be a good thing. If you do too, please sign the above.


I don't know, I don't think any of the qualifications I've seen for software test engineer are meaningful.

I also know piles and piles of developers who are self taught and don't have any official qualifications. They're still "software engineers," though.

I guess I can't really support this.
Re: Hmm.
I suppose it comes to the question of what an engineer is? I don't know if the BCS cover that area of computing or not...

At present anyone can call themselves a Software Test Engineer. Depending on what they know and what they can do this can devalue the title, which is essentially the problem the petition is complaining of.

If such a thing were to come in place many professional associations would set up to accredit titles and jobs which are currently not covered, but I think it would actually provide for meaningful qualifications and methodologies.

As for Software Engineers; people who program are programmers, Software Engineering is about the process, not the code.
Not too keen myself. I mean Engineer is a pretty vague term. For godsake *I* am in an engineering dept (and I don't think of myself as an engineer).

There are plenty of qualifications you can get with varying degrees of pointlessness in engineering -- but it seems a bit much to get one qualification which will cover a software engineer, a nanotechnologist, a transport planner and a mech eng type.

I've worked with a lot of engineers with various qualifications some competent and some not so -- I don't think a bit of paper saying "engineer" is helpful.
The fact you know lots of engineers of varying quality surely increases the need for only those suitably qualified to use the term?

Perhaps I'm just being a little to optimistic about how such a scheme would be implemented...
Except that, as far as I know, anyone can call themselves a doctor or lawyer -- those professional titles are not protected in the UK, although "architect" (I have an illegal job title) and "vet" are, and would have been better examples to use in the petition.

But the fact that "doctor" and "lawyer" are not protected but still command respect suggests that engineers are not respected in the UK for reasons that have nothing to do with the use of the word "engineer".
Yeah, I think dealing with having people see "engineers" as white collar labor and not blue collar would be much better. As near as I can tell an engineer here is someone with enough brains to shovel coal into a train's furnace, and is treated as such.
If proper engineers built things the way software engineers build software, there'd be a lot more dead people.
There's a reason I call myself a "network specialist" rather than "network engineer" (I have willfully left an engineering degree and I was, due to assorted oddities, loosely afiiliated with an engineering regiment, so I can quite adamantly state that I am not an engineer).

And, yes, it is a title devaluation, though I think just plain "Engineer" should be reserved either for qualified engine drivers or people currently serving in an engineering regiment, everyone else should be a "Foo Engineer".
there's one of those in portugal. basically, it's a protection scheme (as is the doctors' and lawyers'), they take your yearly fee and make it difficult for new people to become "engineers".

they also decide which degrees are "worthy". mine wasn't recognised as such for more than a decade, never mind the fact that it was, at the time, considered the best in the country and one of the best in europe. it was this new thing with computers and networks.
While I see where they are coming from, I think the danger is that training companies will come up with courses that will teach you to pass the qualification, rather than to actually *be* an Engineer, much like the early MCSE and other networking qualifications. I've heard of CCNAs that couldn't configure a router, because they only knew how to pass an exam rather than actually apply the knowledge.
Just so.

I loathe the professionalisation of everything; getting so you can't do anything unless you've been blessed by the priesthood; I'd better go and swap that living room light switch with a buggered spindle while I'm still allowed to.

Me, I'm self taught as a programmer and I've never felt any inclination to get some git with a clipboard and a wide calculator to "certify" me for any technology. Been doing it for thirty years, a fair bit of that refactoring shite emitted by certified engineers of one persuasion or another. I'm good at it.
While I like the concept (I remember when I used to live in Austria and people used to use Ing. rather than Mr. on the flat doorbells) I don't think it's something we can bring in this country as engineer is already a too general term.

My current way around it is to (as mentioned above) sort out my CEng, which is a bit higher than the general engineer that we'd need to cover everyone of the right sort of level if we protected Engineer as a title. The engineering council already provide the IEng for people who aren't at CEng level yet so there's already a noticed need for such things and work from at least some people to bring about professional qualifications for engineers.
A former colleague's father-in-law lived in Switzerland, where he got a reduction on rent if he used Dr. Prof. Ing. (I think it was) on his doorbell because it made the place look more respectable. ;)

German culture (and I include all German-speaking countries) is very status-conscious though. You only have to look at the number of NCO and enlisted ranks in their army to get a feeling for that, mind ;)