The Engineering Council is set to take on the role of a national voice for engineering following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Government.
The move, the first of its kind, means the Government has formally recognised the council as the primary body to regulate the engineering profession, for which it maintains a register of qualified engineers.
The unified Engineering Council, representing 39 institutions, was formed last year after protracted negotiations. It will represent the profession in the national arena, taking precedence over the various industry institutions, including the civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical institutions. The council will also offer advice on national issues such as education and training.
According to the agreement, `the Government will keep the Engineering Council informed of any intergovernmental discussions which may have an impact on the engineering profession or associated technical regulations.’
Mike Heath, director general of the council, said: `In the past, the engineering profession has had an unsatisfactory relationship with the Government, as it has been unable to draw on a unitary voice.
`We now have a single unitary voice for the profession and a Government committed to engineering.’
The memorandum has been accepted by the Labour party.
The council plans to work closely with trade associations and national training organisations, and speak as the authoritative voice of engineering to industry and the media. Heath sees a closer link between institutions and the Engineering Employers’ Federation.
One voice or no voice? Comment, page 14