In the United Kingdom, a Chartered Engineer is an Engineer registered with the Engineering Council (the British regulatory body for engineers). Contemporary Chartered Engineers are degree-qualified and have gained the highest level of professional competencies through training and monitored professional practice experience. This is a peer-reviewed process. The formation process of a Chartered Engineer consists of obtaining an accredited Bachelor's degree with honours in engineering or technology, plus either an appropriate Master's degree or Engineering Doctorate (EngD) accredited by a professional engineering institution, or appropriate further learning to Master's level alongside a minimum of four years of professional post graduate peer reviewed experience and the ability to demonstrate fulfilment of various skills-based criteria. The title Chartered Engineer is protected by civil law and is a terminal qualification in engineering. The Engineering Council regulates professional engineering titles in the UK. With more than 180,000 registrants from many countries, designation as a Chartered Engineer is one of the most recognisable international engineering qualifications.
In the UK, some engineering tasks are reserved for licensed persons only. Examples of such work includes areas of road traffic engineering, approving airworthiness of aircraft, engineering work on certain listed buildings, serving as a geotechnical specialist on quarries and energy efficiency certification.
According to the Engineering Council, Chartered Engineers "are characterised by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change. They might develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced 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 variously engaged in technical and commercial leadership and possess interpersonal skills."
The CEng qualification is a protected title, with an international brand recognition and a benchmark. To receive designation as a CEng, it is required in addition to engineering education on MEng level or equivalent UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) training and experience to also demonstrate significant technical (design competencies) and commercial leadership and management competencies.
For registration as a CEng, candidates must demonstrate that they are professionally competent through education, training and professional practice. Although many current Chartered Engineers have Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, honours degrees in engineering, science or mathematics, since 1997 it has been necessary to demonstrate further learning most commonly by completion of a four or five-year (in England and Wales) or five or six-year (in Scotland) integrated MEng degree, or by gaining an appropriate master's degree following completion of a three or four-year (in England and Wales) or four or five-year (in Scotland) honours baccalaureate degree in engineering or a cognate subject. The details of these engineering degrees are available on the Engineering Council website.
Candidates are also required to demonstrate an appropriate level of professional competence to practise. This is demonstrated through evidence gained from years of professional and personal development. The candidate's competence is further assessed during the final stage of assessment (professional peer review interview). A full description of the requirements for registration appears at the Engineering Council's website. Overall, it takes a minimum of eight years -- but most often at least 10 years -- of university education and postgraduate training to achieve the Chartered Engineer qualification. Chartered Engineers are recognised in Europe as regulated professions, by the Directive 2005/36.
Chartered Engineers are entitled to use the suffix, CEng, after names as a means of emphasising their status with the Engineering Council. They can also make use of a logo, which is intended primarily for use in correspondence and on business cards. This is restricted to use by Engineering Council registrants only, through approval by the patent office for its registration as a certification mark. This is written after honours, decorations and academic/university, but before letters denoting membership of professional engineering institutions. When a Chartered Engineer has more than one institution membership conferring designatory letters, the institution through which the holder is registered as a Chartered Engineer appears immediately after CEng, with other memberships following in order of the institution's foundation dates.
The level of competence required for registration as a Chartered Engineer in the U.K. is comparable to many continental European countries that require masters-level education for registration as a professional Engineer. The Washington Accord, signed by the Engineering Council in 1989, recognises "substantial equivalence" between the academic requirements for registration between signatories, meaning that foreign qualifications recognised by their local signatory body are accepted for Chartered Engineers, and UK qualifications can be used in applying for similar international statuses. Recognition under the Washington Accord is outcome-based, not based on the length of courses.
Chartered Engineers are entitled to register through the European Federation of National Engineering Associations as a European Engineer and use the pre-nominal of EurIng.
Some of these institutions also register Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians. There are other Engineering Council UK licensed member institutions that register Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians, but do not register Chartered Engineers.