My membership of the Institute of Engineering & Technology
As an electrician, you’re governed pretty much by your own agenda. There are companies out there that call themselves the unofficial regulator but in truth, they’re just a commercial organisation dining out on the industry and filling a gap that would otherwise be empty if they didn’t.
When I meet someone in the industry and they call themselves an Engineer, it’s normally followed by “and I’m also TMIET, MIET, FIET, EngTech, IEng or CEng”. They’re not trying to show off or make the person they’re talking to feel less superior, 9 times out of 10 they’re telling you because they’re proud of the achievement. The designated letters aren’t just given away you know.
I applied for my membership a few years back and the reason I did this was not really the reason I would apply today if I didn’t have membership. Let me explain.
The position I was in when I applied was a Service Manager responsible for a lot of investment, maintenance and servicing across a large Local Authority. I was required to communicate with Senior Management, Major Contractors and with Electricians day in day out. This was mostly via email. I remember receiving an email from one of my surveyors at the time and I noticed MIET after his name. I stuck the letters into google and read the requirements for these and was instantly put at ease with the comments he had made. The perception that the individual has been through a process whereby he had to demonstrate and provide details of any Science, Engineering and Technology qualifications along with a supporter acknowledgement that the individual was experienced and competent was enough to provide me with the assurance that the chap was probably right in what he was saying.
I then did a self-assessment of my skills, experience and knowledge and realised that I too could apply for membership either as Technical Member or Member. I really loved the idea of those receiving feedback from me having the same feeling that I had, kind of like a comfort blanket that the content is most probably right.
So I downloaded the application form and spent a few days pulling the detail in and then submitted my application. I received a thank you from the IET and confirmation that it had been received. I then received an email from a lovely lady called Kelly (Dec 2013) who asked for additional information on:
· Industry Analysis
· Managing Budgets/staff and contractors
· Risk Assessments
· Safety Analysis
· Training and the Management of
· Project Management
I was also asked for a letter from my employer confirming all the items in the application. I have never been good at writing about myself and “slagging myself up” (as you Southerners call it). I was disappointed that I hadn’t filled the form in comprehensively in the first Instant but none the less, I went back to the drawing board and spent a few more days detailing each one.
A couple of weeks later I received an email confirming that I had been awarded Member of the Institute of Engineering & Technology (MIET). I was extremely proud as this was a peer-reviewed application, someone who dedicates their own time and who is probably at the top of their game assessed my career and felt I was competent enough to be awarded this.
What was really interesting at this point was the realisation that I had started this process wanting to impress others but that I was now sitting at my desk with this almighty feeling of achievement. This was for me and not anyone else.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not by any means saying everyone who uses the letters is competent 100%, what I am saying is that these people have gone through a process to demonstrate competence in their sector. If they use FIET, Engtech, IEng or CEng, they’ve gone back through the process to validate further. If you manage systems or people and want to have a safety net of assurance, I would strongly recommend that the persons carrying out the work or the persons managing the work for you use one of the above.
I am extremely proud to use the FIET beside my name, not for you or for them, for me. It’s a daily reminder to keep moving forward, keep pushing for better things and achieving objectives and goals I set myself. My next step is to apply for my IEng in the new year.
If you’re an electrician and you believe you’re at the top of your game. I would strongly recommend you plan to achieve membership. Don’t do it for anyone other than yourself.
Happy to chat with anyone about this and the process if required.