Whatever career you find yourself in, there will probably be a probably be a professional body that you can join. But you may find yourself asking, 'what is the point?'. The two memberships I hold are Chartered Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers and membership of the Association for Project Management.
There are so many reasons to join your professional body.
Networking and making friends
Learning and education
Keeping up to date with legislation
Professional development opportunities
Click to take you to the home pages of these professional bodies.
Association of Project Management (APM)
There are several professional bodies which are associated with Project Management, however I chose the APM. The Project Management Institute (PMI) is another option, however this is US based. If you know you will be working in the US, or on projects worldwide that use PMI as their structure for project management, then you should consider the project management qualification through PMI.
The APM Project Management Qualification is a knowledge based qualification which I obtained in 2020. By this time I had been working in the field of project management for five years, however the qualification was a useful way to bring together everything I had learnt through my experience into a structured format.
Institution Of Civil Engineers (ICE)
If you go down the Civil Engineering route then the professional body for you is the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The ICE is one of the world's oldest professional institutions. It operates in over 150 countries and it's purpose is to promote the practice of civil engineering, provide industry standard professional qualification and advise governments and leaders worldwide on political issues related to engineering and construction. The ICE has more than 95,000 members worldwide and achieving a professional membership of the ICE is a hugely respected achievement.
I was proud to be accepted into the Institution as a Chartered Civil Engineer in June 2015. I chose to take the progressive route to Chartership and effectively 'split the work in two'. This meant I had previously become an Incorporated Engineer in 2013, and took the Chartered Professional Review Progressive, to then become fully Chartered.
Many people are unfamiliar with the progressive route. If you would like me to explain more, please get in touch on the contact page.
Admitted into the Institution
by president Geoff French
ICE - Graduate and students committee
There are lots of opportunities to get involved in the ICE after you leave University. As well as the numerous events and lectures, each region of the ICE has a Graduates and Students Committee. This network of youth engineers hold their own events and is a great way to network with like-minded engineers in your region.
I participated in the ICE North West Graduates and Students Committee for two years, during which I undertook two roles. Firstly as the President's Visit Co-ordinator and secondly as Vice Chair of the committee.
As the President's Visit Co-ordinator, I organised an engineering themed evening of entertainment for Professor Paul Jowitt during his year in office. The successful event was attended by over 70 people and I was subsequently recognised by Professor Jowett with the presentation of an award at the Regional Awards Dinner.
During my year as Vice Chair, I supported the Chair in the running of the Graduates and Students Committee, helping to organise events and promote civil engineering within the region.
The fully booked event
Networking in the ICE
One piece of advice that I would always give to anyone starting in any career is to join their professional body and network. You will undoubtedly meet some brilliant people, learn a lot and find plenty of ways to further your career and get ahead.
During my time on the Graduates and Students Comittee, I presented to the North West ICE Fellows forum on the topic of graduate unemployment within the industry. At that time, in 2010, the recession was gripping many organisations resulting in fewer graduate jobs. Many new civil engineering graduates were seeking jobs elsewhere, generating concern within the industry of a skills shortage.
I addressed the issue and suggested ways in which the ICE could support those struggling to find a job so that they did not become disengaged with civil engineering. The forum was attended by North West Fellow, and incoming president Richard Coackley, who invited a debate on the topic, thus feeding into his presidential agenda for the coming year.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Princess Anne at the Institution's headquarters in London. Princess Anne is the Royal Patron of the Institutions' Shaping the World' initiative. This initiative brings together the knowledge of the ICE members to create a platform for discussing global challenges and defining solutions to make a real and positive impact in the world.
Meeting Princess Anne