7.2 The professional engineer
It has been suggested that there are four main criteria that identify a profession:
Custody of a clearly definable and valuable body of knowledge and understanding associated with a long period of training.
A strong unitary organization which ensures that the profession generally speaks with 'one voice'.
Clearly defined and rigorous entry standards, backed up by a requirement to register with the professional association.
An overriding responsibility to maintain the standards of the profession for the public's benefit.
Collins, Ghey and Mills (1989)
It is the role of the professional engineering bodies (Institutes, Institutions and Societies) to ensure that there is a focal point, and to coordinate the profession. A key issue within this role for a professional body is the support of the continuing professional development (CPD) of its members. This is vital for keeping pace and ensuring safety in a world where new technologies are developing daily. As a contribution to that process this course is aimed at extending your knowledge and awareness over a broad range of engineering activities.