ICE introduces new CPD framework

7 Mar 22

Members of the Institution of Civil Engineers now have to demonstrate continuing professional development in specific subjects as part of a move by the ICE to strengthen its competence framework and ensure it remains relevant and robust, Brendan van Rooyen told delegates at the recent members’ meeting.  

Brendan, who is ICE head of professional services, said that a list of mandatory CPD topics has been published this year as the professional body transitions to this new regime. The topics will not only cover safety in the built environment, they will also address other key challenges facing the sector such as net zero, digital transformation, and productivity.

CPD is already mandatory for ICE members, but the subjects have not previously been specified, Brendan explained. The move has come about as a result of the ICE’s work on industry competence frameworks under the Competency Steering Group. Through the Engineering Council, the ICE and other professional bodies such as IStructE, CIBSE and the Institute of Fire Engineers have been working on developing engineering competency frameworks, with input not just on the technical details but also on industry challenges, accreditation, and the need for revalidation of individuals.

“This links directly back to the question of compulsory CPD,” said Brendan. The importance of CPD was highlighted by the In Plain Sight report published in 2018 as a collaboration between the ICE and other professional engineering institutions. “This was an introspective look at the potential for failure within the infrastructure industry, and some of its recommendations align closely with Dame Judith Hackitt’s report. These include the need to identify and communicate mandatory risk-related topics, the fact that a robust CPD regime helps maintain and improve an individual’s competence and capability over their career, and the need to review the robustness of ongoing CPD.”

This prompted the ICE to review its CPD requirement. “The obvious context was safety, but the broader context takes in other challenges. So, we came up with the idea of a framework of recommended CPD where the topics align not just with industry sectors but also with key strategic themes, such as decarbonisation and public safety, and link this back to the individual and what it means for their professional development.”

As a result, the ICE has published a framework of key CPD topics that members are recommended to cover as part of their ongoing development. The topics will be refreshed annually and the guidance currently covers all professionally qualified members – chartered and incorporated engineers, and engineering technicians – who should incorporate elements from the framework into their CPD as appropriate. 

“We are now working to further enhance the relevance of the different sub-sections,” Brendan said. “We want to gain a better understanding of the fields people work in, and we will also be looking at the cycle we recommend that people work through the topics – all the topics in one year, with new topics the next, or a set of topics over a five-year period.”

All the topics are published online, and the ICE will offer members online CPD activities in each subject. “If someone identifies a CPD need from the framework, and they can address this through some other means, that is fine too.”

In closing, Brendan stressed that the new framework is about taking advantage of the expertise of the ICE’s broad membership, which crosses a range of sectors, to benefit the membership as a whole. “We are using this expertise and insight to give the entire profession a step up and assist our members throughout their careers to ensure they remain competent.”

Read Claire Price's update to the members' meeting on the development of BSI Flex 8670.

Read Anthony Taylor's update on competence assessment for building safety managers.

Read Dawn Hillier's update on developing competence frameworks for installers.

For future members' meeting dates, please see our event calendar.

Find out more about membership.


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