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IPD Regulations

Date published

An overview of the new assessment criteria for the Professional Review process.

Review of our qualifying standards

The Institution has recently undertaken a review of our assessment criteria for the examination and interview leading to professional registration, and changes will be introduced/announced during 2023. This page sets out the rationale for the review and the changes made. The new Core Objectives are published as an overview below, and the full IPD Guidance can be downloaded.

Graduate members who are targeting an application date of 1 September 2023 or beyond should now be planning and collating their IPD in accordance with the new IPD regulations.

Task groups

Two task groups were set up to review the assessment criteria for the examinations and the interview. They were chaired by senior members of the Institution and made up of a range of expertise from across the membership. The structural engineering industry doesn’t stand still, and the task groups therefore considered several factors when reviewing the regulations:
  • The Future of Our Profession review which resulted from focus groups at the Institution’s Council and Board meetings in 2019
  • Structural safety following publication of the Hackitt Review and the Building Safety Bill
  • The climate emergency and the skills that engineers of the future will need to have to be able to tackle the crisis
  • Inclusive design
  • UK-SPEC v4: the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence is the Engineering Council’s published standard which all Professional Engineering Institutions assess against for CEng, IEng and EngTech registrations. An updated version of UK-SPEC was published at the end of 2020
  • Other issues such as reflecting the language used in the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The review included consultation with key stakeholder groups: PRI Co-ordinators, the Application and Professional Review Panel, the Examinations Panel, the Membership Committee and the Young Members’ Panel. The changes were approved by Board in July 2021.

What are the changes and how do they affect you?

The updated Core Objectives are published below and we will also post updates about the format of the exam here. But, before we talk about the changes that have been made, it is worth noting that the fundamental principles of the exam and interview remain the same. We are largely testing the same competences, with some additions, and some changes to format to make them more user-friendly.

Applicants will still need to pass both the examination and the interview before they can be elected to either Chartered or Associate-Membership, and will still have the choice of which element to take first.

Changes to the Examination:
Exam candidates will still be asked to provide two distinct and viable solutions to the design brief, but some changes will be introduced in the exam to demonstrate what is expected of the modern structural engineer. The exam will have a greater emphasis on sustainability or economy of design, and candidates must demonstrate an ability to carry out basic carbon calculations for the materials chosen. Candidates will be expected to show an understanding of safety and risk mitigation in the method statement element of the exam. Further details and guidance of the exam changes will be made available during 2023, along with an announcement on the first exam to include these changes.

Changes to the IPD Core Objectives:
The Core Objectives can be viewed in full below. The below table shows the evolution of the current 13 Core Objectives to the rationalised list of ten that have been introduced in 2023.

There is a unified format for each of the new Core Objectives with a clearly set out list of skills and activities which must be demonstrated to satisfy the objective, and a list of additional skills that may be demonstrated but are not yet compulsory. It is anticipated that items in the ‘may’ list could be promoted to the ‘must’ list as part of ongoing reviews in the coming years.

The assessment levels required for each of the core objectives have also been rationalised, and the ‘appreciation’ assessment level has been removed. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate either ability (B), knowledge (K) or experience (E) depending on the objective.
  NEW Core Objective title Incorporating former Core Objectives
1 Professional standards and engineering responsibility (K) 1.1 Institution
2 Communication (B) 1.2 Communication
3 Concept creation and design (B) 2.1 Conceptual design; 2.2 Analysis and design
4 Analysis and sizing (B) 2.2 Analysis and design
5 Materials (B) 2.3 Materials
6 Sustainability (E) 2.4 Environment
7 Construction (E) 2.5 Construction
8 Health, safety and risk management (E) 3.3 Health and safety
9 Management (E) 3.1 Management skills; 3.6 Quality systems
10 Commercial and legal (K) 3.2 Law; 3.4 Commercial awareness; 3.5 Contract documentation