Keith Baker, HLQ EC consultant, City & Guilds London looks at working together to provide a route to Engineering Technician (Eng Tech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) and Chartered Engineering (C.Eng) academic level examinations.

It may be news to BCS members that the Engineering Council UK has for many years operated an examinations service which acts as an alternative route towards membership of a number of licensed UK Professional Engineering Institutes and Societies.

This article provides information on this service and so may be of help to existing members in upgrading their status or indeed provide a flexible route for budding engineers who require an alternative route of attaining the academic requirements required by professional bodies other than having to follow the degree or other formal qualification route.

Membership of such bodies leads towards registration with ECUK as a professional engineer.

ECUK and City & Guilds

ECUK and the Higher Level Qualifications department of City & Guilds have joined forces in order to provide an enhanced EC examination service with a wider international reach.

This cooperation may be of benefit to those who wish to open up the route to registration with the Engineering Council UK as a Technician Engineer, Incorporated Engineer or Chartered Engineer.

City & Guilds

The City & Guilds' mission is to enrich people's lives as the world's leading provider of vocational qualifications for work and adult life. City & Guilds is committed to the spirit of lifelong learning as a means for all to fulfil their potential. Employers worldwide recognise that City & Guilds qualifications help to develop a qualified workforce, equipped with the competencies that have made the City & Guilds name synonymous with workplace excellence.

City & Guilds started with just 202 candidates in 1878 and now issues over one and half million certificates every year to candidates in 100 countries. City & Guilds has sustained growth by adapting to meet the requirements of employers and learners, and this has never been more important than today - when competition is increasing, industries are global, and the pace of change in occupations and skills is accelerating ever more rapidly.


Certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas awarded by City & Guilds are accepted throughout the world as evidence of skills and knowledge certificated to UK standards.

Furthermore, a growing number of educational institutions and professional bodies have formally recognised achievement of certain City & Guilds qualifications as meeting entry requirements and enabling exemption from some examinations.

Engineering Council

The Engineering Council UK is the UK registration authority for professional engineers, working in partnership with 35 professional engineering institutions. It regulates the engineering profession in the UK and, through its international network, helps to maintain a world-class engineering workforce and provides standards against which overseas professional engineers are judged.

The Engineering Council Examinations, managed City & Guilds, are the ideal choice for engineers looking for a qualification to help them reach their goals within their chosen profession.

The examinations are recognised as the academic standard for registration as an Engineering Technician (Eng Tech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng). They are also an excellent choice for those wishing to complete a respected British engineering qualification without pursuing an accredited degree. Equally they are for those who have a non-accredited degree and wish to undertake further qualifications to meet the required standard. 

Engineering Council examinations

The Engineering Council examinations do not set any restrictions on the combination of subjects selected or the length of time taken to complete a component. However prospective candidates must be aware that, if they wish to join a professional institution in order to gain Eng Tech, IEng or CEng registration or to further their career in general, the institution may set its own limits in order to meet particular membership standards. It is vital, therefore, that prospective candidates seek the advice of the respective professional UK engineering institution prior to beginning their study.

Progressive levels

The structure permits an individual to study at their own pace once a choice of subjects has been made, and to take as few or as many papers as they wish each year: there is no time limit for the completion of any of the three levels which are:

  • The Engineering Council Certificate, which is at City & Guilds Licentiateship level (and HND).
  • The Engineering Council Graduate Diploma, which is at the City & Guilds Graduateship or three year engineering first degree level.
  • The Engineering Council Postgraduate Diploma, which is at the City & Guilds Membership or four year MEng degree level.

The examinations have four main professional institute groupings. These are mechanical, civil, electrical and chemical. There is a variety of subjects at each level and in each grouping.

Why follow the Engineering Council Examinations route?

  • The Engineering Council route is transparent, complies with UK-SPEC (the standards for registration with ECUK for Eng Tech, IEng and CEng).
  • Many UK universities accept the EC examinations as entry into MSc programmes.
  • EC exams can be used as a progression route by holders of certain City & Guilds IVQs and also Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).
  • To gain academic qualifications acceptable for entry into certain UK professional institutions at C.Eng level (and will help at EngTech and IEng levels).
  • Students can study at their own pace with a wide variety of subjects to choose from according to the students own expertise and intended future direction. Students can take as many or as few papers as they want to at a time.
  • The engineering faculties of universities are likely to cover a large proportion of the EC syllabuses and so coverage of the EC syllabuses may require only top-up courses or study.
  • The City & Guilds name is known in over 100 countries so bringing international recognition to EC through the association.
  • There is no academic penalty for failing a paper.
  • Students can incorporate studies into their lifelong learning plan.
  • Students can progress to the highest levels of engineer status at their own pace and circumstances.
  • There are a wide choice of papers available. 
  • Holders of CEng, IEng and Eng Tech may apply for City & Guilds Senior Awards of MCGI, CGCI and LCGI respectively.

How long will it take?

That's up to the individual. The only stipulation is that the student must have suitable and approved entry credentials. Each paper represents the equivalent of about 300 hours of study, 120 are taught hours, but these figures may vary widely according to personal circumstances and experience.

Who are Registered Professional Engineers?

Engineers and technicians who have demonstrated that their academic qualifications, training and professional experience meet the requirements to register with the Engineering Council UK . They are entitled to use the designatory letters of CEng (Chartered Engineer), lEng (Incorporated Engineer) or EngTech (Engineering Technician) after their names.

Why should you become a Registered Professional Engineer?

  • Registration is the assurance that a person has received education and training which meet UK and international professional standards.
  • It gives an advantage when applying for a job. 
  • It is a sign of commitment to a code of professional conduct and ensures the spread of best practice.

External candidates

It is possible for candidates to sit for the respective EC exams in their own country should they have the appropriate knowledge. They may have gained this by study for an engineering diploma or degree locally or indeed by private study.

In addition City & Guilds has approved a number of training centres around the world where students may study. Students may sit the EC examinations at the local British Council office.


This service provides a flexible and economic route for engineering students to achieve the academic requirements required to become a member of the IRTE or SOE and also registration as a professional engineer with ECUK.

Specific queries should be sent to: