CEng application

Hi, I had applied for CEng approximately 3 months back, after reviewing my application IET came back to me by rejecting the application station I have not met the requirements for CEng. However my IET PRA stated that my application fulfills all the requirements for CEng and adeptly showcase all the required UK competency before I submitted my application. In the rejection letter IET asked me to get in touch with another PRA different to the person who reviewed my application originally for feedback and improving my application for resubmission in the future. 

Has something similar happened to anyone else and is there any advice you can give to overcome it?  I have filled the application to the best of my ability, providing clear examples . However, the conflicting assessments have left me uncertain about the fairness of the evaluation process. Another concern is IET asking me to speak with another PRA for the feedback. Given the circumstances how will I know if the assessment/feedback given by the new PRA is correct and I could get rejected again. 

  • Former Community Member
    0 Former Community Member

    Hi Kevin, sorry to hear about your application being rejected. I did actually have a similar experience a couple of years ago where I was encouraged to apply by a PRA but my application was later rejected, which is of course very frustrating after investing a significant amount of one's own time and money into it. I believe the application process is quite rigorous, so from what you've said it sounds like the PRA shouldn't have advised you to apply in the first place. Unfortunately I doubt there's anything else you can do about it other than come back to it in 10 years or so - I did look into appealing it at the time but the answer is likely to be the same.

  • Hi,

    was your original PRA named on your application? Staff will normally approach the named PRA to work with an applicant with an unsuccessful application.  It is also possible that the PRA was named and staff have approached them but due to commitments, they are not available to work with  you now. All PRAs are volunteers and fit their commitment around their normal lives.

    Working with your PRA,  it is possible to determine why an application is unsuccessful and they can access more details on the background to your case etc. 

  • my IET PRA stated that my application fulfills all the requirements for CEng


    Totally agree with Gerard's points, but one more thing - hopefully your PRA didn't actually say this. As PRAs we're like your barrister, we can help you make your best case but only the assessors can decide if you meet all the competences. It's a difficult judgement, and it needs more than one person to make it.

    how will I know if the assessment/feedback given by the new PRA is correct

    Your PRA (whether the original one or a new one) will have access to all the comments made by the assessors, so your re-application can focus on the specific areas where the assessors could not see evidence of all the competences.

    come back to it in 10 years or so

    Actually, it may be that you can re-apply immediately if there was evidence that you didn't include in your original application. More commonly, it may be that you need to get a bit more experience, which may take 6 months to a year - but it all depends on the exact reason why the assessors considered that you didn't meet the competences.

    Bottom line: If your PRA thought you were ready to apply then you probably weren't far off, so talk to one who has access to the assessors comments and then you'll know exactly where you are and what more you need to show.

    Good luck,


  • A couple more thoughts overnight which I hope you don't mind me adding - this is a really important subject.

    However, the conflicting assessments have left me uncertain about the fairness of the evaluation process.

    Actually there are only two assessments - your own when you decide you're ready to apply, and the assessment panels. For anyone who doesn't know, the assessment normally goes through three separate volunteer panels:

    1. A "pre-interview" panel, who can decide whether there is any evidence which appears to be weak or missing in your application, and can ask in writing for more evidence of specific competences.
    2. The interview panel, who will typically particularly give the applicant the opportunity to give evidence of any areas which still seem weak (by asking questions based on the comments made by the first panel). As well as, of course, checking that you can talk about what you put in writing. So that's given two further opportunities to pick up on any areas which you, your mentor, or your PRA, have missed.
    3. The final separate panel that review the outcomes of all this and make the final decision.

    (There's a bit more to the process than that, but those are typically the key decision points.)

    In my experience it's a very fair process, it is designed to give the applicant multiple opportunities to fill in any gaps they may have missed in their application, and it's based on several people's independent views.

    So back to the point about a PRA potentially saying "you'll get it, no problem".

    I hope that anyone reading this who gets their registration (EngTech, IEng, or CEng) considers applying to become a PRA. If you've been through the process you'll know how horrible it is being faced with that blank application form and wondering what to fill in. It's a really useful volunteering role to help other applicants - and, incidentally, about the only IET volunteering role where you can fit it in to your free time whenever suits you! 

    BUT, as this story shows, beware. As a new PRA you will be tempted to say to applicants "you'll be fine, you'll sail through" or "no you shouldn't apply yet, you're not ready". With a few nasty experiences you'll learn never, ever to say either of these things! Maybe 95% of the time you will be right, but the other 5% mean that it's a bad idea. It's not up to you as a PRA -  again, what makes the system fair is that a number of separate panels make that decision. Your role as a PRA (as I mentioned above) is just to try to help make sure that applicant has presented the best evidence they can that they meet the competences.

    Sometimes, in addition to my PRA role, I act as a Mentor or supporter to candidates I know well (i.e. people I've worked with closely). That's quite different. In those roles I absolutely would say "I think you're ready to apply" or "I'd suggest you get xxx experience first". Then, when I sign their application as a supporter I am saying "I think they're ready". But even then that's still only my judgement, the assessors may disagree.

    P.S. To turn this around, sometimes as PRAs candidates ask us to help them when we think they are not ready to apply. Again, it's not our job to tell them that, all we can do is to explain clearly what the competences mean and what evidence needs to be shown to meet them. But the candidate can still decide to apply. And sometimes they do get through - the panels have spotted things that we as individuals haven't. 

    So again, please DO use PRAs to help guide you around and through the process, we're really good at that and it's not always clear without that help (I'm being very polite there!). But please DO NOT ask them, or anyone else, whether you will definitely succeed. But it's fine to ask if there's any areas they think you might be weak on, it's good preparation for the interview.



  • Sorry to hear that Kevin. 

    Hopefully you have been made known on the areas you could improve on. 

    Best wishes. 

  • I don't PRA for The IET, but I do for a different institution, but I would echo everything Andy has written.

    There are a couple of pitfalls that you can fall into (and I know this from experience), the first is when you are very familiar with the exact field of the candidate so you miss to question or clarify where they have said something that you fully understand, but the reviewer who could have different experiences doesn't understand.

    The second is a bit of rose tinting because you want that person to succeed and you are invested in the effort. Ideally you want to be an independent view, but over time you build up a relationship with the candidate.

    Both of those you learn to avoid with experience, in the same way you learn any other skill. I would suspect that the original PRA could be smarting a little.

  • thanks for your feedback sam.