Are you an Engineer ? an Ing, Ir or CEng .. confused ?

Courtesy of Ben White
Credit: Ben White
If you are from The Netherlands, you will automatically recognize the engineering titles “Ing” or “Ir”. These are both very respectable engineering titles, from academic and technical Universities in The Netherlands.

This system runs not only in The Netherlands but also for most parts of western Europe. We have the Diplom-Ingenieur from Germany and the Diplôme d’Ingénieur from France. Both countries use the “Dipl-Ing” titles.

Various Engineering titles

Yes, but if you are from USA, UK or Asia, you may not be familiar with these European titles. You are most probably comfortable with Bachelors (BSc) or Masters (MSc) degrees. Interestingly enough, for this reason, many foreigners are more familiar with the concept of being a Chartered Engineer, CEng. Simply because skilled migrants need to understand how to present themselves in new foreign environments, as migrants often run into the risk of having their education and/or their experience, not being professionally recognised outside their home countries.

Chartered Engineer

A globally recognized accreditation, such as Chartered Engineer, is an additional title, to your current academic title. This brings the image of a professional, who has met a set of requirements, above and beyond the minimum requirements prescribed by their local education system. Obtaining the Chartered status requires several years of relevant work experience and a track record. This track record needs to be maintained, for periodic review by an impartial professional board. As such, a Chartered status, often says much more of the person than “simply having studied for a degree at University”.

KIVI Royal Institute of Engineers

Here in The Netherlands, we have KIVI, which is the Royal Institute of Engineers. This organization plays a serious role in steering the future of Engineering in the country itself. And also serving as the sole organisation, granting the professional status of Chartered Engineer in The Netherlands.

But why does the Netherlands need another engineering title? Why now? Curious? Well, read on ..

According to Micaela Ramos, Director of KIVI, “we need to understand the dynamics of the global economy, and its effect on us. Having a long trading history on goods and services, we need to understand the customer’s perspective. Having a globally recognized title for our best engineers sharpens our image and adds value to our global presence. We now compete on par with other leading nations with their Chartered Engineering programs. It is our intention to support our Engineers to use this new professional status to boost their careers globally!”

Online Professional Development Tool

With the launch of the “Online Professional Development Tool (OPD)” by KIVI, there is now a structured process to help fulfil the requirements of an engineer at all stages of their career. The link, you can “take control, set goals, move forward, and make sure you’re on the right track”. The multi-layered OPD tool is simple yet comprehensive. “It helps you learn, analyse, strategize and build your professional portfolio”. It is designed to support the further development of engineers, as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng), and is recognised internationally as the competence standard of a professional engineer.

According to Isaac Aligbeh, the Project Manager at KIVI, “we are phasing into the various industries, via our members. This is helping us to build the connections from bottom-up, and is working very well”. The OPD tool is also helping companies address their in-house competency matrix. Offers training plans for career changes for matured engineers while offering career growth pathways for younger engineers.

And lastly, a proud quote from Ignacio Vazquez, a Design Engineer at TMC, who recently arrived from Mexico, and is doing very well here in Eindhoven. Currently enjoying his challenges at ASML, which is a very prominent technological stakeholder in the growth of our region. He shares that “three years ago I stumbled upon the Chartership framework from KIVI and was immediately hooked.

He adds “here is a map of things a well-rounded engineer should aspire to have. I wasn’t familiar with KIVI nor with what the implications of starting the CEng process were, but I started finding my way through it. There is no easy way to explain why the Chartership process will make anyone who follows it, a better engineer, but I’ll give you two words anyway: initiative and ownership. I’ve got an opportunity to reflect on my past experiences and judge if the upcoming ones will contribute to my professional development, on my own!”

In one or more instances, perhaps you are Dutch engineer wishing to work globally? Or perhaps, a foreigner looking for recognition in The Netherlands? As in several countries, having the Chartered Engineer supports requests for work visas or permits. Or perhaps, you simply did not study at University, but feel you have enough professional experience and wish to feel recognised? And lastly, the companies also benefit. As with globalization, many companies now see the increasing need to create, or at least to enhance their global image. Having a string of Chartered Engineers represent your company, is certainly seen as an asset!

In any case, the Chartered Engineer status from KIVI, this a clear opportunity to grow for all sides concerned. For more information, do visit the website or email directly to … any more questions?

For Eindhoven News: Aroop Bhattacharjee

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