The Open University’s Engineering programme has gained further official recognition recently with another four separate engineering bodies recognising the Open University’s Bachelor of Engineering (BEng Hons) and Master of Engineering (MEng) degrees.
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE); The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA); The Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE) and The Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM) have all agreed to recognise the qualifications for professional registration.
They join the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) who were the first body to recognise the OU’s engineering programme in August 2008.
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, Michael Hush, said: "This is further good news for our engineering programme; we achieved a 91% overall satisfaction from our students in the recent Student Satisfaction Survey and now more professional engineering institutions are endorsing our engineering qualifications. We're delighted".
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 above bodies as a Chartered Engineer.
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 and who have graduated since July 2007 (MEng) or January 2008 (BEng (Hons)), will now be able to apply for registration through IED, CIBSE, RINA, IHIE or IGEM 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.