In a first for The Open University’s Engineering programme, The Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) has accredited two Open University engineering qualifications for professional registration.
The Bachelor of Engineering (BEng Hons) and Master of Engineering (MEng) degrees have received recognitionfrom the IED.
The much sought-after accreditation means that anyone considering becoming a Chartered Engineer now has a much simpler route than before, by combining an OU qualification with their professional experience.
OU Engineering Programme Director, Mark Endean, said: "The Open University has been striving towards this goal since the Technology Faculty started offering engineering courses in the early 1970’s.
"A large number of people, inside and outside the University, have worked extremely hard to achieve this result and we're all delighted at the outcome.
"The IED has always been welcoming towards OU students and graduates and we're looking forward to making the most of this closer relationship with them."
In addition to this achievement, a similar accreditation is being considered by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) with a decision due in the Autumn.
Becoming a Chartered Engineer involves a combination of education and working experience and, following accreditation, OU Engineering graduates will now find it much simpler than before to apply for registration through the IED as Chartered Engineer.
Other professional bodies are also likely to accept the IED's accreditation and discussions are taking place with a number of them to provide clear guidance to OU students aiming for CEng registration.
More details of the accreditation and much more information about the Engineering Programme are on the Engineering website at engineering.open.ac.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
An accredited BEng (Hons) only partially meets educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration An accredited MEng degree fully meets these requirements. Holders of an accredited bachelors degree will need further learning to masters level such as an accredited MEng or MSc.
There are 36 professional bodies licensed to register applicants as Chartered Engineer (CEng) but only one database of accredited qualifications. Accreditation from one can be recognised by the others, although some require more specialised subject coverage than the OU can offer at present.
The Open University is in the process of talking to each of the other institutions to establish which of them will accept this accreditation as it stands or impose only a few additional demands.
OU Engineering students hoping to become registered as Chartered Engineer, or those who have graduated since July 2007 (MEng) or January 2008 (BEng (Hons)), you will now be able to apply for registration through IED, who will review their professional development record against UK-SPEC.
If students would prefer to apply through another engineering institution, they should contact them to establish whether they will recognize IED's accreditation or whether they want to specify additional requirements.