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Professional Registration - frequently asked questions

If you’re considering Professional Registration, you probably have a few questions about things you’re unclear on, or some terminology you don’t understand. Here are some questions we get asked most often.

What is competence?

This is a combination of knowledge, skills, attitude, and behaviour which you need to perform a task to the required standard.

You can develop competence through:

  • underpinning knowledge and understanding gained through education
  • professional development
  • experience.

What is underpinning knowledge and understanding?

It’s the technical ‘ know-how’ you need to do a job well.

This is usually acquired through formal studies, such as by taking an IET accredited course.

It’s also possible to gain this knowledge and understanding through (experiential) on-the-job learning.

Who can help me build my application?

You can be paired with an IET Mentor who will help you to build your application over as long a period as it takes for you to build your UK-SPEC competencies.

IET Mentors are professionally registered volunteers who will help you develop your understanding of what is required through the Professional Registration process. You can find further information on our Mentoring page or by contacting

Who can review my application?

You can get all the help you need from a Professional Registration Adviser (PRA) and/or an in-company Industry Representative (IR).

These are IET volunteers who have detailed knowledge of the requirements and routes to Professional Registration. They can review your case and advise on whether you’re ready to apply. They can also advise on the presentation aspect of making a formal application.

Alternatively, you can contact the Registration and Standards Team at or on +44 (0)1438 211476.

How much information do I need provide?

Your career history should be no longer than 4-5 pages and if applying via a paper application, the total application should not be longer than 12 pages. Please be aware that applications in excess of these limits, will not be assessed and will be returned to you.

If this happens, we advise you consult a Professional Registration Advisor (PRA) who will assist in reducing the length of your application. Please ensure you read the application guidance.

Who can support my application for CEng or IEng?

Ideally your supporter knows or has known you professionally, working at a senior level to you and with direct knowledge of your role and responsibilities, such as your current line manager, employer, Academic Supervisor, or Training Scheme Coordinator.

You must detail your relationship with your supporter.

  • Your supporter could be an Engineering Council or international equivalent registered engineer.  This person could be a Member, or Fellow, of either the IET or another Professional Engineering Institute (PEI).
  • A second and third supporter is optional and may be necessary, for example, if you work on contracts, as an additional signature to enable adequately verified periods for your employment.

Will a lack of qualifications affect my application?

Formal education isn’t the only way to show your underpinning knowledge and understanding.

We will make an overall assessment of any formal, informal, and work-based learning to decide if you meet the appropriate level as outlined in the Engineering Council Regulations for Registration.

I want to become registered but I've only just started work – what should I do?

Use Career Manager, the IET's professional development recording system, to plan and record your professional development and competence.

Be sure to note that you want to become professionally registered on your profile. We will be in touch with information about professional development and how to become professionally registered.

I'm not working at the moment – can I still become registered?

If you’ve recently retired, become unemployed, or moved into a marketing, finance, or senior management role, your case will be considered on merit and you can still become professionally registered.

We suggest that you take advice from a PRA (Professional Registration Adviser) to help you with your application.

When should I create my portfolio of evidence?

You can do this at any time in your career, but if you need to put it together retrospectively, use the best examples of your experience from your last two years of work.

If you don’t have any recent work, use examples from any point in your career.

How do I prepare for the interview?

Watch this short Professional Review Interview video to get an insight into the process. On the day of your interview, bring a copy of your completed application form and photo ID (passport, identity card, or driving license).

Arrive a little early and spend some time reading through your application so the details are fresh in your mind.

Can I record my interview?

No. The IET does not permit audio or audio-visual recording of online PRI’s and any attempt to do so will invalidate the PRI result and any potential appeal. Explicit consent for any recording should be sought from the interviewers prior to the PRI. Any recording without explicit consent will be reported as a data breach under GDPR/Data Protection 2018.

What if I need cancel my interview?

We understand that due to unexpected circumstances, plans change. If you do need to cancel your interview you need to let us know as early as is possible, please note that cancellations within 5 days of your interview could result in any alternative date offered, being 6 months in the future.

How will I find out if I was successful?

A registration panel makes decisions on all applications, and you will be sent a letter and email with the decision. Please be advised that this may take up to 6-8 weeks after the interview.

Could I be considered for a different category of registration than the one I applied for?

If it looks like you would be more suited to a different category, we will let you know. It’s is then up to you whether you continue with your current application or switch to another category.

If I change category, will I have to pay the application fee again?

No, if we advise you to change category, you can transfer your original application fee.

What should I do if I’m unsuccessful?

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the road. You can speak to a PRA who’ll receive a copy of your application. Your adviser will be able to tell you where you can improve and guide you through your next steps.

Is there a minimum period between applications?

No, but you will need to complete any recommended competence development before reapplying. You should also keep your portfolio up to date and discuss your progress with your mentor or supporter. If you re-apply within three years, you will pay a reduced application fee.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I appeal the decision?

You must appeal within three months of the decision by emailing You will receive an appeal application form to fill out with your grounds and evidence.

There is an appeal fee, however, should you be successful in your appeal your fee will be refunded.  

If I’m successful, when will I be registered with the Engineering Council?

Registration usually takes place up to six weeks after you have paid your registration fees to the IET. The Engineering Council will give you a unique registration number, and then you can start using your professional title.

How do I transfer my Professional Registration from another institution?

All you need to do is become a member of the IET, make sure your Engineering Council subscription payments are up to date, and pay a transfer fee. You will also need to send an extended CV to show your career history, with the last five years in detail to demonstrate technical attributes, maintenance of competence, evidence of past CPD, and evidence of planned future CPD for a minimum of three years.

Trained IET members will assess your application and you may need to attend an interview or be asked for additional information.

Some important points:

  • If you are a returning member of the IET then you won’t have to pay a transfer fee.
  • You cannot apply for a transfer within the same year you have become professionally registered.
  • If you have been professionally registered with three or more institutions you could be declined.

I may require additional support with my application...

The IET is committed to reducing and removing barriers to professional registration and membership. 

For example, if you are D/deaf, hearing impaired, visually impaired, neurodiverse or managing anxiety or mental health, then please make us aware and we will provide you with the necessary support and application/process guidance. 

Let us know by contacting

I have another question!

We’re always happy to answer questions, just contact us at