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5 Key Deliverables for CEng MICE

As per my Book (How to Pass the CEng ICE Professional Review), here Im going to describe
what I see as the 5 deliverables you need to hit on your way to achieving CEng MICE. Ive
called them deliverables call them what you wantstage gates, milestonesit doesnt matter
just realise that they are important and you should be aware of what is required for each, and
what they release or represent when completed.

Before you read any further, there are a couple of things you should know. This list assumes:

1. you have a recognised MEng degree and work for a company that has an agreed training
scheme in place with the ICE
2. you are undertaking the direct route

These assumptions shouldnt rule out many applicants, as I believe the majority follow this route
I would call it the standard route. If it does rule you out, then you should consult ICE3001A
and ICE3004A guidance which sets out all the variations (for example if you have a BEng
degree or other educational base). But even if this isnt the route you will take, I guarantee there
will still be some useful tips that can apply to you!

This puts you on a route to CEng whereby your company and the ICE actively track your
progress, normally annually or possibly more frequently. This is a good thing because it means
that you are assigned a mentor at your company usually called a Supervising Civil Engineer
(SCE) and you also have meetings with the ICE which puts you on their radar.

The training agreement costs your company money so it should incentivise both you and your
company to develop you as an Engineer whether this is through training courses, mentoring,
secondments, non-project experience or anything else.

If you are not on a training agreement (but lets say you still have the appropriate educational
base I.e. MEng) then you will be required to progress through a Career Appraisal. The difference
here is that because the ICE have had less visibility of your development since graduation, when
the time comes that you think you are ready to apply they then need to see evidence of this via a
Career Appraisal.

When youre part of a training agreement you should be working to demonstrate competency
against development objectives. These are defined by the ICE, and they describe the level of
competence required. In my case, my company added some company specific objectives too.
This process of on-going development towards Chartership is called Initial Professional
Development (IPD).
The basic principle of the objectives is that when your SCE and the ICE are satisfied that you
have the relevant competencies for ALL objectives, you are then eligible to be signed-off.

Sign-off is captured on an ICE3144a form, which must be signed by your SCE and an ICE
Membership Development Officer (MDO).

The generally preferred method of demonstrating your development is to write quarterly reports
for your SCE to review. This helps them to understand what you have been doing (your SCE
probably wont be working on the same project as you) and can highlight where any gaps are
appearing. Importantly, your SCE will be a reasonably senior figure that can report back to upper
management if there are certain opportunities you need to be given in order to tick off all
objectives. Note that Ive said quarterly reports it can be anything, as long as your SCE agrees
to the material/evidence and frequency at which you produce it.

In terms of demonstrating your readiness to be signed-off by the ICE, you should find that if
youve been in regular contact with an MDO and your SCE has given you sign-off, they will be
satisfied that all is in order. As Im sure is fairly obvious, the less the ICE know of you and the
less evidence you can show or have shown over recent years, the more questions they will ask
when you request they sign the ICE3144a form.

If youre signed-off and ready to apply, then this is the moment where you go from being able to
sit the CPR review whenever you decide, to having to sit it in around two months time. Until
now you were demonstrating that youve achieved the specific development objectives, but from
now on (in your reports) you must demonstrate how you are competent in the nine ICE

The application is actually the easy bit. Heres what you need to send for a successful

Completed application form ICE3103

Evidence of education (MEng graduation certificate)
Evidence of IPD completion this is your ICE3144a form signed by your SCE and MDO
A synopsis of your Experience Report and Project Report (1 page each, and signed by
your SCE)
Payment (check ICE Fees Page)
You also need to have ensured that your SCE + two other sponsors have completed their
questionnaires (ICE3123) and sent these direct to the ICE

The reviews take twice a year in various locations. Youll have to choose a preferred location on
your application form. The time you sit the review is based on when you submit. There are
specific applications windows relating to the review times:

January application for Spring CPR

July application for Autumn CPR
If youre at this stage, then your application was successful and youve been sent details of your
two reviewers. By now your reports should be ready to send, but you still have a little time to
finalise your presentation. Remember your reports must address how you are competent in the
nine ICE Attributes.

Heres what goes into your submission:

Experience Report (2000 words)

Project Report (4000 words)
IPD Record this is your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) records and
yearly Development Action Plans (DAPs)
Its recommended to send a covering letter and a stamped, addressed postcard (they
return this to you to confirm receipt this is optional)

Heres a couple of things to note regarding the package you send:

There is a 1kg weight limit

Dont use a courier, use Royal Mail. This is so that if they miss the delivery the reviewer
does not have an hour+ drive to the couriers depot!
You need to post your submission to arrive no later than 10 working days from the big


Review day. First thing to remember is that the reviewers are looking for reasons to pass you, not
for reasons to fail you.

The format of the day is:

Presentation and Questions (15+60 minutes)

Written Exercise (120 minutes)

Youll have minimum of 45minutes to grab lunch between the two sessions.

In the presentation youre expected to further explain your experience. Common guidance is that
you should not repeat what is in your project report, but either enhance one section of it or
explain something which you deliberately left out.

An hour of questions sounds a long time, but believe me it goes fast so dont let that worry
you. The reviewers will have read your reports and IPD document and have a list of questions
they want to ask. Theyll also have questions relating to your presentation.
Remember in all aspects of the CEng application you are trying to demonstrate the nine
Attributes. Once the reviewers have asked a question and are satisfied with the answer they will
swiftly move on. However, if your fail to answer a question satisfactorily the reviewer will likely
probe deeper into that line of questioning to ensure they have a good understanding of your
knowledge on that particular subject.

Youll be able to tell when the reviewer is running out of questions because they will start asking
you about the ICE Code of Conduct or the ICE Royal Charter.

For the written exercise it is a simple pick one question from two. You have two hours two
demonstrate your ability to provide a reasoned argument and opinion on the given subject. The
questions are set specifically for you once the reviewers have read your reports.

The focus for CEng is less on factual knowledge and more on discussion, reasoning and
understanding of wider issues. Nevertheless, including something with factual errors will not
help you at all, and depending on the nature of the error and the context it could be enough to
make the reviewer fail you (this would be extreme). My advice on facts is that its great to
include them to demonstrate knowledge, but if you are unsure then its better to leave it out. Its
also open book which should eliminate factual errors!

You have the choice to handwrite or word-process your answer. This must be decided at the
application stage, and if you are word-processing this must be on your own laptop.

I hope this post has given you a good overview of the main deliverables and stages which you
need to pass through to achieve CEng. For the full story with more detail, diagrams, advice and
personal hints, check out my book How to Pass the CEng ICE Professional Review which is
available on Amazon as an eBook or as a in print.

Good luck!!

Steve Gilchrist, CEng MICE

ICE Attributes Introduction

In early 2015, the Institution of Civil Engineers announced that new trainees undergoing Initial
Professional Development (IPD) would be measured under their Attributes system at all stages
right up until and including the Professional Review. All recording of evidences and quarterly
reports would also shift to an all-electronic system located in your members profiles at
ice.org.uk, which also provides them the opportunity to flag up accounts with low activity or to
send automatic reminders to mentors and trainees where insufficient activity occurs.

This is a significant change from the traditional paper-based Development Objectives, which
many mentors and senior staff at companies would have been used to. The Development
Objectives were based on the UK-SPEC guidelines provided by the Engineering Council.
In addition to the IPD changes, new candidates would need to write a 5000 word Professional
Report which replaced the two separate 3000 word Project Reports and the Experience Reports.

There is a nice webinar of the changes here.

We at The Structural Exam feel this is a sensible move for a few reasons:

1. Having to put candidates through a series of Development Objectives for 4 years and then
doing their final assessment on a different marksheet seemed pointless.
2. Most people type up their evidences anyway, so copying and pasting into your profile
takes nearly no effort.
3. The automatic reminders to your Supervising Civil Engineers or the red-flagging of
accounts should either speed up the IPD process or make it known to managers that some
people are not performing to the correct professional developments standard (See the ICE
Code of Conduct!)
4. The Professional Experience report required for submission is one document which will
be more coherent than 2 separate items. The overall word count is a little less than before,
so there is a bit less typing to do.

If you are still using the Development Objectives system, then you can still use these until
December 2017, but it worthwhile to switch over to the Attributes system if you have
documented less than 2 years of experience.

The 9 Attributes you need to fulfil to pass a Professional Review are:

1. Knowledge and Understanding of Engineering

2. Technical and Practical Application of Engineering
3. Management and Leadership
4. Independent Judgement and Responsibility
5. Commercial Ability
6. Health, Safety and Welfare
7. Sustainable Development
8. Interpersonal Skills and Communication
9. Professional Commitment

The next few pages are intended to give an idea of what evidences can be written up for each
ICE Attribute. If you are in a position where it is difficult to gain that experience at work, then
there may be some activities you can do/learn in your time away from work which would help
you satisfy the Attributes.

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ICE Attributes 1. Knowledge and
Understanding of Engineering
The first of the nine Attributes for the ICE is entitled Knowledge and Understanding of
Engineering. This Attribute is subdivided into 4 parts if you are aiming for Chartered Engineer

A) Maintain and extend a sound theoretical approach to the application of technology in

engineering practice.

B) Use a sound evidence-based approach to problem solving and be able to contribute to

continuous improvement.

C) Maintain and extend a sound theoretical approach in enabling the introduction and
exploitation of new and advancing technology.

D) Engage in the creative and innovative development of engineering technology and continuous
improvement systems

Notice that C) is an extension of A) and that D) is an extension of B). Therefore you should only
really focus on achieving the latter two. But what is the difference between them? You could
essentially paraphrase them in to Deliver something new to the industry for C) and Come up
with and/or develop some new ideas for D).

There is not an expectation to create something totally new, but more appropriately a small
amendment in how things were previously done which brings improvement for the industry or
the society. For instance:

Did you amend a concrete pouring sequence to save 2% of total concrete volume, or
speed up the process by 3%?
Did you manage to automate via a computer script a boring but important engineering job
to save time for everyone and free up resources?
Did you do a bit of research behind a building design code and notice some leeway to
deviate under certain situations?

If you studied for a Masters or Doctorate degree then satisfying this Attribute should be fairly
straightforward, as the requirements to pass those degrees are in line with what is required here.

Remember you need to show capability to do the above, so think broadly, even if your evidences
are not so relevant to your daily work. For instance, you can demonstrate your eagerness to learn
through attending all sorts of courses and conferences. You may have helped a friend to design
an extension to his house and had to do background research. (Though this last example on its
own probably would not get you through a review.)
Just remember the main things to you will need to demonstrate in your portfolio and review are:

Curiosity and self-initiative

Ability to learn by yourself
Why your new knowledge is beneficial to engineering
How you are able to introduce your new idea/technique into industry. (Or at least a good
understanding of where the difficulties may lie in the process and what you could
potentially do about them)

With the above information you should be able to easily satisfy this Attribute.

ICE Attributes 2. Technical and practical

application of engineering
The second of ICEs nine Attributes is Technical and practical application of engineering, with
its following following subdivisions.

A) Identify, review and select techniques, procedures and methods to undertake

technical/scientific tasks.

B) Contribute to the design and development of technical/scientific solutions.

C) Implement or construct design solutions and contribute to their evaluation.

D) Conduct appropriate research, relative to design or construction and appreciate its relevance
within own area of responsibility.

E) Undertake the design and development of engineering solutions and evaluate their

F) Implement or construct design solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.

These should be seen as three pairs, which represent a typical engineering design cycle:

A/D Come up ideas on how to solve an engineering problem

B/E Do the maths, analysis and iterative designs behind your ideas
C/F Deliver your ideas and see whether it worked.

Unlike many types of engineering which may work on smaller scale (product design, mechanical
engineering, electronic engineering etc.), in civil or structural engineering you are unlikely to be
able to build a 2nd version if the first one was not so good. Even if you performed a lessons
learned review afterwards there may be a limited number of things you can carry forward to the
next project.
Therefore this attribute will be probed very deeply in your Professional Review. It is very
important to demonstrate the complex technical aspects of your projects in your Career Appraisal
and throughout your Professional Review Report, especially if you are in working in a role
where you do not frequently perform a lot of technical aspects of engineering behind projects.
Ultimately you need to demonstrate to your reviewers that you can solve a complex civil
engineering problem of your specialist field.

Be sure to include many photos or drawings where it would be easier to interpret than writing
lengthy text. Unless you are inventing something totally radical, your designs are more likely to
be an evolution of a standard design with the specific details governed by constraints in your
project. If this is the case then make a side-by-side comparison to draw attention to assist your
reviewers compare and contrast.

ICE Attributes 3. Management and

If you ask any engineering institution what the difference between an Incorporated and a
Chartered Engineer is, most answers will come down to whether you are managing or leading the

What does this mean exactly? If you read the text carefully from the first two Attributes (1 here
and 2 here), you will notice that half of the sub-attributes relate to whether you are driving the
industry forward with your engineering research or application. A similar concept applies to this
Attribute but in the context of management processes.

This Attribute is divided as follows

A) Plan for effective project implementation

B) Manage the tasks and organisations of tasks, people and resources
C) Manage teams and develop staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs
D) Manage quality processes
E) Plan, direct and control tasks, people and resources
F) Lead teams and develop staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs
G) Demonstrate continuous improvement through quality management

From the wording alone, it should be obvious that the following are paired together B/E, C/F,
D/G which then leaves A as a standalone. You therefore should try to prove A, E, F, G
throughout your Initial Professional Development stages.

The key to achieving this attribute is to avoid succumbing to complacency. If any process, no
matter how small or big, goes well it is easy to pat each others back and call it a job well done.
But you should always record some form of after action review, whether formally or privately,
and ask yourself the following questions:
What went well?
What went not so well?
What were the bottlenecks in the processes?
How did I manage any difficulties I came across?
Is it possible to get feedback from others I worked with?
What could I do differently next time with knowledge I gained from this experience?

On the topic of technical and managerial needs, you are required to show how you identified
opportunities to improve your colleagues abilities in new technologies or skills. For instance
you may have:

Delivered seminars on the latest revisions to design codes or regulations, e.g. CDM 2015
or EN/ISO design code revisions
Making adjustments to a document control or other registry tool and assisting staff with
its implementation
Created a computer script to automate labour-intensive tasks and gotten people to use it.

The good thing about this Attribute is that you should be able to show Chartership qualities in
your working behaviour from day one, even if it takes some further time to collect your
evidence. With the right mentality of always striving to improve everything, if you can keep
demonstrating your application of learnings then you should be able to satisfy this attribute very

ICE Attributes 4. Independent Judgement

and Responsibility
This Attribute on judgement and responsibility could almost have been written for any
profession, as you are expected to juggle multiple factors and make a decision on what is the best
solution given your constraints. The sub parts are:

A) Identify the limits of personal knowledge and skills.

B) Exercise sound independent engineering judgement and take responsibility.

C) Identify the limits of a teams skill and knowledge

D) Exercise sound holistic independent judgement and take responsibility.

As should be indicative from the wording, you should aim for the latter two parts as they are
follow-ons from the first two.
There is a famous saying, the 5 Ms of management Manpower, Money, Machinery, Material
and Minutes. Using the resources available to you, what mix of those 5 Ms would you choose in
your situation? Your situation may be such that your beautifully engineered solution may be
unworkable due to the unavailability of staff or equipment to build your idea.

Identifying the limits of skill and knowledge of your team, touches upon the first M above. In
this sub-attribute there is an implication you understand why having the right staff (and the
attitude that goes with it) is important. Would your team ever produce good results if none of
them were trained in their field? Would you want your team showing up drunk, slacking or
constantly performing tasks dangerously?

You will therefore need to show that you are leading in some way. If you are a manager or team
leader it will almost certainly be part of your job description to do staff appraisals or conduct
feedback sessions. You should include these reports as part of your submission for CEng review
where you will probably be asked about how you managed your team. (If you have ever had to
dismiss someone or give uncomfortable feedback like underperformance, then this will be
especially interesting for reviewers.)

But if you are in a position where you are not the formal manager, then you can demonstrate
your leadership qualities by discussing your observations or trying to gather data yourself. It
could be something such as asking your colleagues to fill in questionnaires on their
experience/competence in certain areas, or you might consider whether it is worth hosting a
workshop on a specific skill and you are trying to gauge interest.

On the other Ms you need to demonstrate through your project or other working experiences how
you had to prioritise one M over the other, or how you assessed the risks behind different
methods of executing your project and demonstrating how it was unacceptable to do a particular
method because of the risk of losing too much time or material.

A favourite question often asked by reviewers is what would happen if and then one
parameter of your situation is changed. You would need to explain the impact of that single
parameter changing and they could be extensive!

What would happen if you had double the amount of money available?
What would happen if you were to do this project in remote Africa?
What would happen if this specialist machinery were not available?

and so on.

You entire engineering career will be judged on your ability to make the right decisions. In
trying to satisfy this Attribute you may find that while you are often dealing with conflicting
parameters, trying to put it into words is harder than you might expect!

ICE Attributes 5. Commercial Ability

In the 2013 ICE Review sessions, Commercial Ability was the most divided failure point, with
70% of Hong Kong applicants failing on this Attribute alone. Compare this to 53% of UK
applicants and 47% of those from the Rest of the World. (Source: SCE Newsletter February

For trainees in large companies this Attribute can sometimes be tricky to satisfy especially if you
are working in a position which does not easily permit you to manage commercial aspects of
projects or business.

Here are the sub-Attributes:

A) Prepare and control budgets

B) Use sound knowledge of statutory and commercial frameworks within own area of
responsibility and have an appreciation of other commercial arrangements.

C) Demonstrate sound judgement on statutory, contractual and commercial issues in relation to

your area of responsibility

Part A) by itself is actually a requirement for Incorporated Engineer level, so this should indicate
that a Chartered Engineer will need to be pretty strong in financial capabilities. This does not
necessarily mean you need to be as good as a qualified accountant!

Since almost every engineer will be good at mathematics, the process of learning the calculations
behind budgets should not pose as a challenge.

Instead, it is probably wiser to learn the business processes, legal and contractual framework
behind the financial systems being used. As a minimum, you should know the answers to the
ALL following:

In which jurisdiction(s) do your contracts apply?

How are the contracts formed? (e.g. competitive bidding? What stipulations are
Who are the responsible parties in your contracts, and what are their duties?
What are the consequences of non-compliance to the contract?
What variations (including breakouts) are permissible in your contracts, or how can
parties agree to them?
What are the remedial actions permitted or stated in your contract (if any)?
What are the mechanisms/processes in your business that need to be done to arrange
payment to an external party?

To demonstrate sound judgement, your reviewers may test your ability by asking you to
discuss in significant detail the strengths and weaknesses of the contracts you deal with, or any
improvements you would suggest for next time.
On business processes, perhaps if a particular item parameter were modified somewhere in the
process, would you have a good idea of the potential consequences to the rest of the process?
What amendments would be required in order to enable that modification to take place, or if it is
impossible, what would the next best option be and what would its disadvantage be compared to
the original method?

If you have evidence of playing an influential part in the commercial aspects of your work then
this is of course the best way to demonstrate your competence. Otherwise, you may have to draw
on any other experiences such as running societies or charitable organisations outside work.

CE Attributes 6. Health, Safety and Welfare

Health and Safety is often ridiculed in many professions, often fueled by sensationalist
journalism, but it is a truly serious topic in the construction industry. Falls from height is among
the biggest cause of fatalities and lost time injuries, and candidates vying for registration with
any professional body must show they not only understand the risks, but will do all they can to
facilitate its improvement.

The sub-Attributes are:

A) Sound knowledge of legislation, hazards and safe systems of work.

B) Manage risks

C) Manage health, safety and welfare within own area of responsibility.

D) Leading continuous improvement in health, safety and welfare.

While health and safety is often discussed at work, relatively little attention is given to welfare.
A working environment may be seen as safe, but how do the workers feel about their conditions
there? How might someone working on an offshore oil platform feel about spending 4 weeks at a
time away from family with the facilities around him/her?

The likelihood is that your reviewers will monitor this Attribute very strictly because of how
easy it is to become complacent.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate a strong working knowledge of the following:

The applicable laws regarding Health, Safety and Welfare (HS&W)in the countries where
your projects are based.
Company policies on HS&W and where it might differ (for better or for worse) to local
Industry trends relating to HS&W in your discipline. (For instance the risks related to
offshore oil and gas may differ to onshore timber construction)
For many recent graduates joining companies, their CPD records will probably show a huge
amount of HS&W training at the start of their career, but then the subsequent years show
minimal participation. This implicitly violates sub-Attribute D) and so a continual maintenance
on your CPD should be seen as a bare minimum.

There are plenty of ways to show leadership in HS&W, ranging from conducting risk
assessments to becoming the custodian and rewriting your companys safety policies. In any case
you should be able to show results on how your leadership has made improvements.

ICE Attributes 7. Sustainable Development

While there are now people making whole careers as environmental specialists, your job as a
Chartered Civil Engineer will require very intricate involvement with sustainability studies, as
described by these sub-parts.

A) A sound knowledge of sustainable development best practice.

B) Manage engineering activities that contribute to sustainable development.

C) Leading continuous improvement in sustainable development.

Obviously, if you are taking the lead (or at least judged to be capable of it) then you will
probably need to have a sound knowledge and be capable of managing some activities relating to
sustainable development. Therefore try to focus on C) only. The IStructE has a Core
Objective based on environment, though the level of capability required by ICE is higher.

Sustainability can tackled via some of these categories, all of which are valid. They could be:


The hot topic of any major civil or structural engineering in the 21st century is environmental
impact. Things will have been put under greater scrutiny of the recent Paris Summit in December
2015, so to stand a good chance of passing your Review you should try to demonstrate a
leadership in the Environmental and at least one other, and a working knowledge in the last

In many cases it should be fairly obvious whether you are doing a piece of work related to
sustainability, such as:

CO2 emissions reductions calculations

Disposal of products (e.g. facility decommissioning, toxic handling etc.)
Improvement of industry standards / technical developments
Compliance with changes in legislation
Lifetime extensions of buildings/infrastructure

This Attribute is probably a little less demanding than the others in terms of content and ability.
For most people you might not be making the environmental decisions, which is expected, so it
will just be a case of demonstrating that your participation in engineering brings sustainable
benefits to the parties involved.

ICE Attributes 8. Interpersonal Skills and

You cannot succeed in engineering, or any skilled profession, without strong communication
skills. Of all the Attributes you will be reviewed against, this is probably the easiest to fulfil and
the one that has strongest transferability should you wish to consider a career change.

A) Communicate well with others at all including effective use of English orally and in writing.

B) Discuss ideas and plans competently and with confidence.

C) Effective personal and social skills.

D) Manage diversity issues.

E) Communicate new concepts and ideas to technical and nontechnical colleagues including
effective use of English* orally and in writing

*Subject to the Welsh Language Act.

Parts A)-D) are marked as Incorporated Engineer level, while only E) is required at Chartered
Engineer level. E) should only be seen as an upgrade to A) and B). Also note that during an ICE
Professional Review you will be given a Written Exercise after your interview. The Written
Exercise is part of the communications aspect of this Attribute.

The odd one out in the above sub-Attributes, but definitely not any less worthy, is D), managing
diversity issues. This is a recent addition to ICEs criteria but is very important to 21st Century
professionalism, as you need to demonstrate that you can work with people of any race, religion,
sex, disability, sexual orientation etc. and also to improve inclusiveness in your workplace.

All Professional Reviews will be conducted in English, though there is an archaic law which
allows you to take your exam in Welsh instead. From what reviewer have told me, most
candidates in Wales sit their reviews in English.

On the communications side, you need to be able to be explain, discuss, argue, present all sorts
of details to all sorts of audience. You might find you need to describe how glass-reinforced
polymers have anisotropic material properties to a bunch of schoolchildren with no material
science knowledge, or you might one day be delivering a proposal to Parliament and defending
yourself against angry protestors on why putting a high speed train line through pristine
countryside makes economical, environmental and technical sense.

You should not worry too much about satisfying this Attribute if English is totally fluent. This
Attribute is only ever a barrier for those using the European Directive or Mutual Recognition
routes and hardly use English in their daily lives.

ICE Attributes 9. Professional Commitment

The last of ICEs 9 Attributes is Professional Commitment.

A) Understanding and compliance with the ICE Code of Conduct.

B) Plan, carry out and record CPD and encourage others.

C) Engage with ICE activities.

D) Demonstration of appropriate professional standards, recognising obligations to society, the

profession and the environment.

E) Exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner

If you read and comply with the ICEs Code of Conduct, with the exception of C) you will
actually see that all the other sub-Attributes are explicitly mentioned as individual rules.

Participating in ICE activities in the modern age has become so much easier than ever, now that
there are so many recorded lectures and online webcasts. For instance, one that ALL Professional
Review candidates should watch, regardless of the grade you are applying for, is the James
Rennie Medal which is awarded to the best CEng MICE candidate from the previous year. You
can participate in the 2016 broadcast here.

At the time of your Professional Review you will need to submit your CPD records, but rather
than seeing this as a burden, it is remarkably easy to maintain if you spend just 5 minutes per
week or fortnight. Our recommendation is to do it at the same time as you do your timesheets (if
you have such a system) as you will need to look back at what you have done for the previous
period anyway. It therefore takes little additional effort to get it done. There is a template .DOCX
file available for use, though the ICE is encouraging everyone to do it online these days.

With regards to demonstrating appropriate professional standards, well if you can behave
yourself thats a good start. You need to show you are committed, passionate and excited about
the industry and profession. How can you do this? You can demonstrate this at your interview
with good knowledge and opinion on latest developments in particular sectors of civil
engineering, policies or environmental concerns. The list is very open ended but this provides a
fantastic opportunity to prove yourself to be a good commentator in a chosen sector.
Statistically speaking this Attribute is least likely to cause failure, so you can distribute your
focus and efforts to other Attributes as you see appropriate.

Interview tips
The average pass rate for the Professional Review Interview is around 75%, so you should rest
assured that the odds of success are highly in your favour.

You will start your interview with a 15 minute presentation with a topic of your choice. You
should choose this on a project where you have taken a significant or lead role through multiple
stages of the design or construction. As you should be able to rehearse nearly every word of your
presentation, it is important you practice it until flawless in delivery and timing. It should allow
you to ease into your interview and feel ready for a lively discussion with your reviewers.

You should not in any way feel the interview is there to trick you or interrogate you. It should be
seen as the opposite the reviewers are there to help you pass, and where they feel your
application is weaker or lacking in detail in a specific area then it is your chance to say
something to satisfy them.

There will be some paper on the side should you need to sketch something to clarify a message.
You might be asked to draw a bending moment diagram for something you mentioned in your
presentation or report. Once again it is not there to trick you!

My CEng MICE interview day

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Tim Lai in ICE Review tips // 0 Comments

This post serves as a memoir of my CEng MICE interview at the Institution of Civil Engineers
headquarters in London in April 2016. It may help readers in preparations for their own Reviews.

I had submitted my Professional Report approximately 5 weeks prior to my review date. This
was 2 weeks before the deadline, which gave me some time to mentally unwind from the grind
of writing my report every evening after work for 3 months.

I had also done a mock interview with my Membership Development Officer during his time at
the Institution of Civil Engineers prior to setting up his own consultancy. It was a very
worthwhile experience to understand the style of questions I would be subjected to, and also the
depth of knowledge required for success on the day.

The Journey and Arrival

The day prior to my review I was in The Hague in The Netherlands, to attend the induction of
Edward Heerema, founder of offshore construction company Allseas, as a Fellow Chartered
Engineer with the Royal Dutch Institute of Engineers (KIVI) the Dutch equivalent of the
Engineering Council in the UK. It was a big event for someone who had revolutionised the
offshore industry. It left me deeply inspired!

After the event it was a quick dash to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to catch my flight.
In deciding how I would get to London it was a toss-up between arriving the night before and
staying at a hotel, or arriving in the morning for my review which began at 12pm. Im glad I
went for the former as my inbound flight was delayed by nearly 1 hour due to inclement weather.
If this had happened on the day then it could have been disastrous!

In the morning of my review I arrived around 10:30am. This would give me enough time to head
to the ICEs cafe in the basement and cool any nerves. After seeing that my Written Exercise
would start at 2.15pm, I figured I could have relaxed brunch then, or have a brisk lunch in the 45
minutes between my interview and Written Exercise.

I chose the former option, and ordered more than my usual intake as this would be the only thing
I would eat until the evening.

When the time came, the candidates were all waiting outside the room. I would say half of the
candidates were silently going over their notes, and the other half were chatting away.
The Interview
My interview started off with the usual 15 minute presentation. Approximately 10 minutes were
dedicated to my main project, the decommissioning of an offshore platform, followed by one
minor project for 3 minutes and a final page of any other business which are the interesting
bits which didnt fit anywhere in my CV, report or presentation, but were still noteworthy

I had an observer in my review, sitting a metre to my left and out of sight. My concentration
level was such that I actually forgot he was there until my interview was over!

Approximately 40 minutes of my interview was spent talking about fairly specific details of my
main project, and 15-20 minutes on broader topics. My specialist reviewer was an FICE and was
at times playing devils advocate, while the generalist reviewer (MICE) asked broader questions
such as give an example of when you led continuous improvement. The generalist reviewer did
far less talking than the specialist but I also get the impression he was testing to see if I could
explain more complex details in jargon-free vocabulary (which is very difficult in offshore
engineering), given that it is a requirement in the Interpersonal Skills and Communication

One thing that I noticed towards the end was that the questions started to lack any real substance
e.g. do you feel ready to manage and lead a team?. Were they running out of things to
ask?! Also the topics of the questions were changing rapidly and with no real connection. For
instance I was asked what do you understand by sustainability in civil engineering, and how do
you see yourself being sustainable given you work in the oil and gas industry. My answer was
probably 30 seconds long and well-reasoned, but then the next question suddenly changed to
things relating to my involvement with the ICE and how I was the face of graduate membership.

In all, the interview felt like a nice discussion and debate with two reviewers who are interested
to know your opinion in many areas. I can imagine that if you are nervous then it could be seen
as a bit of a grilling. The time flew by really fast, to the extent I was surprised 1 hour had passed
when they wanted to draw it to a close. I could keep talking for hours!

After the interview I went to the cafe downstairs again to get another coffee during the 45 minute
break. One tip that I got from another colleague: If at any point in the future you want to
remember what you got asked (e.g. other colleagues wanting to know about your review day),
write down the questions during these 45 minutes otherwise you will forget them forever!

A coffee and a comfort break later, I headed back to the same waiting area and we were called in
for our 2 hour Written Exercise.

Written Exercise
It was a free choice on seating arrangement. The tables and partition panels were still in place
from the interviews so most people headed to the same place where they had their interview and
settled in to wait for their question papers to come. I wrote my Written Exercise by laptop I
thoroughly recommend this method if you are able to type faster than you can write.

The thing to note about the Written Exercise is that the questions are specific to each candidate,
such that no two candidates will get the same questions. Both of my questions were specific to
my project, so I wont post them up here, though I had hoped at least one question to be fairly
broad something like Discuss how health and safety plays an integral part of a civil
engineering project. In the end I wrote what I could in the time available. A USB stick was
passed around at the end and everyone uploaded their submissions onto it.

One other tip I learnt from my colleague: If doing the Written Exercise by laptop, it is easy to
cut, paste, add and edit whole sentences or paragraphs at the jeopardy of the flow of the essay.
This problem is not present if writing by hand because its impossible to shift the order of the
paragraphs around, so you are limited to checking for spelling and grammar only!

The advice I stuck to, and I pass on here is: If you have finished your essay and there is under
20 minutes left, check your submission for minor errors only i.e. typos, spelling and
grammar. There is simply not enough time to try and make a beautiful piece of prose, and if you
start playing around with paragraphs then the time might run out halfway through amending a
paragraph and you will be left with something that is incomplete. Dont forget, the guideline for
a pass is a tidy first draft.

Reflections of the day

The Chartered Professional Review day as a whole felt like a worthwhile experience and a rite of
passage for those in the civil engineering industry. It was nowhere near as scary as many people
had tried to make it seem, and it was a great way to showcase everything I had done in my career
to date. As the contents discussed during the Review were confidential, it was an opportunity to
voice your opinion on all sorts of things which you might not have had the opportunity to do so
before. Maybe you disagreed with some company or governmental policies, or you felt there
were other better ways to do things which were beyond your direct influence, but you did not
have the platform to voice it before. This was the perfect chance.

Most of the questions were deliberately open-ended such that you had to think of a structure to
your answer prior to speaking up. You should probably get lots of practice in these kinds of
situations before you do your ICE review! You can ask your friends or colleagues to ask
questions like give an example of how you led sustainable development so you can answer in
3-5 sentences.

Finally, dont be nervous! Of course the communication you get back afterwards will consist of a
binary pass/fail result, but if you are not successful this time you should treat it as a not yet
rather than fail. Its all very good experience in the end!

But for me, I will have to wait until 27th May for the result. I have my fingers crossed

The long road to CEng MIStructE

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Tim Lai in Uncategorized // 0 Comments

My long-term ambition has been to become a Chartered Engineer.

I studied MEng Civil Engineering at the University of Bath where I was taught to dream up big
funky structures, build beautiful projects with the close collaboration of architects. I graduated in
2010 with First Class honours, armed with a whole host of Eurocode knowledge and other
fantastic skills.
5 years on Ive forgotten most of what I did at university! The issue I have which most of my
classmate dont is that I am working in a client role, rather than as an engineering consultancy or
contractor. This therefore means Im not reviewing calculations or designs on a day-to-day basis,
but rather, dealing with project critical paths, purchase orders and other commercial activities.

Thats all nice and wellbut theres a heartwarming satisfaction about drawing new concepts,
calculating bending moments and designing shear reinforcements. Hence why I have started the
personal challenge to become a Chartered Structural Engineer and pass the gruelling7-hour exam
from the IStructE which is notorious for its incredibly low pass rate approximately 35%.

Im close to Chartership with the ICE though, having completed my companys accredited
training scheme. Should I get chartered with ICE this will allow me to go through the Mutual
Recognition Agreement route with IStructE and register directly for the exam. Therefore my
schedule looks something like this:

April 2016 sit the ICE Chartered Member Professional Review

June 2016 get result from ICE. (Hopefully a successful one!)

January 2017 sit the IStructE Part 3 Chartered Member Examination.

I know Im in safe hands to help me. Im being coached by the most talented structural engineer
I know Ralph Pelly (CEng MIStructE). Hes the brains behind this website and weve known
each other a long time since day one of university as we studied together! Ralph passed the
IStructE exam on his first attempt in 2014.

So please follow this blog to see how I progress. Occasionally Ill be adding in technical
information which Im sure will help other budding IStructE candidates too.