What's holding you back from applying for Professional Registration?

At the IET we often hear from those applying for Professional Registration that they've been meaning to apply for years, but haven't quite got around to it for a variety of reasons.

If you've been meaning to apply but haven't yet, tell us what's holding you back.  

  • Based on some research I did a couple of years back, you could also add:

    • I don’t understand the competencies (possibly the same as its too daunting)
    • It isn’t worthwhile / has no benefit.
    • It isn’t recognised (specially by the persons employer)
    • It will cost me too much money (this has overlap with worthwhile/benefit)
  • I voted "I don't know where to start". There's loads of information on your website, but what is specific to myself is I'm not sure how to apply my current role or prior experience to the process. For that reason I've hesitated doing it.

  • Thanks for your input Mark - I agree. Delivering our Professional Registration courses throughout my career at the IET, I hear all of the reasons you have added too.

    We discuss all of these on our courses and do a lot of 'myth busting too. Many members find having a Mentor really helps them through the process. At the IET we can arrange this through our Mentoring service. Apply for a Mentor (theiet.org).

    Our Preparing for Professional Registration course really helps applicants to gain a clear understanding of the process as well as the UKSPEC competences. Professional Registration courses (theiet.org). Common feedback following our courses is "I wish I had done this years ago!"

  • Thanks for your comment rownie23. This is a common reason for people being put off of applying for Professional Registration. You may find our Preparing for Professional Registration course useful for this. Preparing for Professional Registration (theiet.org)

    We also have our Professional Registration Engagement Manager, Lucy. Lucy would be more than happy to have a 1-1 chat with you about your experience and how to apply this to the application. You can email Lucy & her team at profregengagement@theiet.org 

  • Thanks for that Louise. I have been considering applying for a mentor, but maybe I'll reach out to Lucy first.

  • Great to hear. Lucy will guide you to the support that will work best for you. 


  • I have been an IET (IEE) member for quite a few years. I joined when I felt that I had reached the required level of competence/responsibility. The process at this time was fairly simple, the main problem was finding sponsors and seconders.

    As I was working for a major electric wire and cable manufacturer at the time this was a little surprising but I think it highlights one of the main problems:

    IET membership is not actually relevant to most industries.

    I am not aware of anything I actually need to be MIET CEng to do. I have to have my radiation safety qualifications otherwise my employer is not allowed to operate the facilities. This requires me to have a science or engineering degree. Others will need specific (usually safety) qualifications to carry out various tasks but MIET is not a requirement.

    In other lands there are specific ‘Professional Engineer’ requirements but these don’t seems to apply in Europe.

    How could I persuade a bright young engineer to take the time to apply for IET when she/he is building up their career, dealing with buying houses, starting families, etc. What is the relevance?

  • i agree with this and this is a conversation I've had many time, and not just with young engineers.

    Ultimately the Engineering Council and the professional institutions need to work on the perceived value of professional registration. There are a few niche areas where a CEng is required. But otherwise, its a nice to have. For many companies is largely irrelevant. Its only when you get into consultancy areas, where a client might ask about the profiles of the engineers that are proposed to work on the project, that the desire for professional registered staff tends to drive employers to better support/encourage it..

    At this point, we are largely in the personal benefits, such as how it tend to make you think about how you develop yourself and how you present yourself. But those sort of skills can be developed without professional registration.

    I'm firmly of the opinion that the horse has already bolted on the subject of making engineer a protected title - which seems to be many peoples answer to the problem.

  • Inclined to agree- I do not belong, and it has not been any hindrance in a long and varied, and still ongoing consultancy career.  It is not something on the customer RADAR,. Folk ask about the qualifications, sure, and the sort of recent jobs and publications stuff (more of this and less of the qualification stuff as you get older). What bodies do I belong to ? Never been asked. (I've been asked to show my driving licence more often and that is only a few times this century... maybe my driving has calmed down.)

    If the IET had a profile like the BMA it would be different. but when is the last time someone from the IET was on the 6 O'clock news offering the opinion of the profession after some accident or other, or to comment on the results of  the latest research ? I lack a reason to shell out to join an  organization not many folk have heard of - except on here of course ;-)


  • Thanks for your post Roger. I think there are two parts to this. Firstly, being an IET member (MIET) and secondly applying for Professional Registration. If you are looking for ways to encourage your engineers to join the IET or become professionally registered - this may help.

    Being a member of the IET gives you a 'home' with likeminded people to enhance & develop your skills and knowledge. Having access to events, seminars, training courses, communities, mentors, Career manager, and many other resources to support you in your career. With a focus on CPD, being an IET member is a great way to remain informed and  up to date. Having the post nominals of MIET or TMIET also adds credibility, displaying your commitment to the industry.

    IET members and their immediate family also have access the IET benevolent fund – Foothold. Foothold provide support in many aspects of life which could be beneficial to people going through big life changes, some of which are mentioned in your post. Take a look at some of their case studies to see the amazing support they provide to our members. Foothold and the IET - Foothold (myfoothold.org)

    Once you are an IET member, you can then look to apply for professional registration if you so wish.

    Professional Registration (CEng, IEng, EngTech & ICTTech) allows you to demonstrate the high level of competence you have achieved in your career. As the Engineering Council set out & maintain the UKSPEC, anyone achieving professional registration is showcasing their competence, commitment, and expertise in their field to the high standards that are required to be evidenced. Being on the Engineering Council’s register also backs up that credibility and professionalism. Standing out in the industry opens up more opportunity for progression either within your organisation or in a new role elsewhere.

    Finding supporters for professional registration has been simplified a great deal over the last few years. The criteria is now to have just 1 supporter with direct knowledge of your roles & responsibilities – such as your line manager. You can chose to have up to 3 supporters if you wish.  Supporters no longer need to be working at a senior level to you either – often peers are the best people to verify your work.


    Becoming professionally registered is really a personal choice. It may not always be required in your role, however is is a personal achievement to be proud of. I hope this help to encourage your engineers to think about becoming professionally registered in the future. All the best.