Becoming CEng without a degree - Career Development - IET EngX - IET EngX

Becoming CEng without a degree

I am currently EngTech MIET and in the process of to applying for CEng, however I do not fill the academic requirements for CEng. I know career experience is taken into consideration so this isn’t a total show stopper. My question is…. Has anybody reading this been successful in becoming CEng without the degree? And how was there application experience? 

  • Hi Paul,

    As a PRA I have helped many engineers successfully become CEng without a degree. My main bit of advice is to contact the IET's mentoring service and get yourself a mentor. The application process is the same whether you have a degree or not, but a mentor (and a PRA when you're near applying) can help you make sure you've really clearly shown how you've gained the same level of knowledge and understanding.

    Just be clear about what technical decisions you make (not just by "following the book"), that you use an engineering process to make those decisions (not just "it's what we've always done"), and that you take responsibility for seeing them through. If you talk through what technical decisions and judgements you make with a mentor and/or PRA they can help you see which of them are CEng material, and how you should best explain them. Of course a mentor may also suggest bits of further experience it's worth getting before you apply if they think you might not be quite ready, that's sort of their role.

    I will say that I find many non-graduates' first draft applications say far too much about some things and not enough about others. A very common mistake is to treat it like an exam paper and give loads of detail about the technology to try to demonstrate knowledge. To the assessors that's irrelevant, what they want to know is what were you responsible for and what engineering knowledge and approach did you apply to solve those problems. But again the mentor / PRA will help you get that balance right.

    Hope that helps,


  • Hi Andy, 

    Thank you for your response, it’s all fantastic guidance and greatly appreciated. 

    I will be applying for a mentor tomorrow and should have one in a week or so. 


  • Hi Andy, I don't have a degree either, but do have IEng and over 20 years experience. Would your advice still be to contact a PRA / Mentor to seek CEng status? Many Thanks

  • Hi Sue,

    Let's put it this way - there's no cost in using a PRA and it will make it more likely that your application is "right first time". I regularly come across IEng > CEng applications that need a bit of work because they're based on "IEng + experience", whereas actually they need to be written slightly differently. So you may well find it helps unless you're really confident in the different competence requirements between IEng and CEng.

    It's probably unlikely you'd need a mentor, I'd tend to suggest starting with a PRA, and only if they suggest you'd need xxx experience before submitting might it be worth asking for a Mentor.

    I went IEng first and then CEng (at that time I did have a degree but it was a pretty awful one), I wish in hindsight I'd used a PRA for both, it would have just made the whole process less stressful.

    Good question!



  • I can't obviously speak specifics, but I have a mentee who is in this situation and currently putting together their application for CEng. I fully expect that the outcome will eventually be positive.

    It should be noted that I advise candidates for INCOSE UK (not the IET), but the rules are the same regardless of which engineering institution is involved. Essentially, you are expected to demonstrate that you have the equivalent of an accredited masters. This can be demonstrated with formal training courses, informal training courses, on the job learning or even self-study. There is a bit of a holistic assessment that goes into this. Which is why getting advice is a great thing to do.

    The definition of what you are trying to meet is defined in a document called "Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP)". This is not a straightforward document to interpret and you have to consider how a university would approach this.  As an example, AHEP states that the accredited course should cover ethical concerns. Most of our organisations mandate regular ethics training, this would likely be sufficient to meet the requirements of AHEP.

    I strongly second that applying for the support of an advisor/mentor is a good thing to do.