The Engineering Council is the UK's regulatory body for the engineering profession. It is responsible for setting the standards for professional engineering qualifications and ensuring that engineers are properly trained and qualified. In 1977, a royal commission was created, chaired by Sir Monty Finniston, to investigate the engineering profession. This commission led to the formation of the Joint Council of Engineering Institutions (CEI) in 1964, which was granted a royal charter in November 1965. The process of becoming a chartered engineer involves obtaining an accredited bachelor's degree with honors in engineering or technology, followed by a master's or doctorate degree in engineering (EnGD) accredited by a professional engineering institution.
This is accompanied by four years of supervised professional experience and the ability to demonstrate compliance with various skills-based criteria. Engineering technicians are also regulated by the Engineering Council and can be licensed (with LCGI postnominals). This is comparable to a level 4 qualification from City and Guilds. Registration with the Engineering Council gives engineers national recognition of their skills and status, allowing them to use designating letters after their name.
Engineering technicians can develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced design designs and design methods, introduce new and more efficient production techniques, marketing and construction concepts, pioneer new engineering services and management methods. Chartered engineers are characterized by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change. The Engineering Council has an active interest in developments in education and skills policy that may affect the professional development of engineers and technicians. Professional engineering institutions in the United Kingdom began in 1818 with the formation of the Institution of Civil Engineers. These are detailed in the UK Standard for Professional Competence in Engineering (UK-SPEC) and the Standard for Information and Communications Technology Technicians (ICTTech).