Many of the engineers that contact AQPE to get certified as “Professional Engineers” are very aware of which advantages the certification has, however there’s still some who ask themselves: what is this useful for?, what advantages will this bring to the development of their career?, how much does it cost?, is it worth it?
It’s normal that in a country where professional certification is very recent, some engineers still have doubts like these, which no French or English professional would have, as professional certification has around eighty and two hundred years of history in those countries.
It’s important, first of all, to note an unstoppable tendency in all areas and has been happening for some time although it has increased in these last years: the increasing importance that competencies hold in a scenario of quick changes, in which the learning and unlearning capability is much more important than knowledge itself, which in some disciplines, becomes obsolete.
The concept of a title that enabled us to exercise a certain profession for life loses its purpose nowadays unless it’s accompanied by a permanent update of knowledge, an improvement of skills due to experience and a flawless work ethic.
Public administration is also interested in the benefits that certification contributes, to the point that the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan government) asked AQPE a project to “Incorporate the Professional Competence criteria” in the technic teams of the bidders.
Incorporating quality criteria in projects in the projects, and having them done by certified technicians is included in this concept, is one of the prescriptions by european directives. Accordingly this will suppose, soon or later, a merit to access public works projects and we dare say that, someday, to work in administration.
In the scope of companies, the managers of RRHH were the first ones to see the interests of a certification for their engineers, which they will evaluate as a benefit in the process of hiring them, it will allow them a following first as a Professional, then as a Senior and finally as an Expert of the technicians in template, and it will even help establish a system of professional classification associated to a career and internal promotion plan.
Regarding international mobilization, the old paradigms are also falling apart, and many countries like France, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany are working together in a common platform of certified professional engineers in order to ease mutual international recognition as Professional Engineers in the different member countries, in a time in which young engineers see the world as their natural job market.
Regarding the price, it’s important to know that, in average, getting certified and maintaining the certification, for a colleague in any of the AQPE’s patron colleges costs less than 100€ per year.Another relevant aspect of certification is that it credits your knowledge, experience and ways of doing things in the scope of your speciality, which is what gives you visibility, the reason why companies hire you.
If you’re an engineer, regardless of your title, and you have a minimum workplace experience of 4 years, you can apply for your certification.
You will be asked to show documented evidence of your professional life, you will have to pass an evaluation process of competence in accord to the “UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence” (UK-SPEC), which is the model used by AQPE, and you will have an interview with a jury that will evaluate these competence in accord to the provided documents and content of the conversation.
In the favoring case, you will be able to accompany your title with a professional certification which will distinguish you as a Professional Engineer, in accord to your expertise level (4, 8 or 16 years) and with the levels of competence that you will have acquired.
In a world of confusion, complexity, filled with quick changes, with more than 700 titles with the word “engineer” and where competence becomes a key element in hiring, certification becomes the best tool to manage our professional careers, credit who we are in front of companies and administrations and broaden our job market by easing movement.