Why it Pays to Upgrade

SINCE starting work in the oil and gas sector in 2009, I’ve always felt it important that I plan out my career development. A key part of this was always to get Chartered.

The importance of Chartered status became more and more evident as I progressed through projects. After completing a BEng at the University of Queensland I was employed as a graduate process engineer at BG Group, and have gone on to work on projects across the world.

After the graduate programme, I returned to QGC as a process engineer and continued to move between projects to where I am today working as a lead process engineer in central engineering. Working across these projects really helped when planning my application to become Chartered.

The introduction of the Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ) registration means that engineers practising in Queensland must be registered with the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland (BPEQ). It is a requirement that professional engineering services are carried out or supervised by an RPEQ. I had found out that IChemE is an assessing entity and knew it was time for me to look into upgrading to Chartered status.

Earlier this year my application was successful and I have already seen the benefits it brings. Getting Chartered has helped me negotiate my recent promotion and therefore helped me secure more responsibility. And since it is recognised globally, I feel it has enabled me to easily work internationally on any project, which is a key goal of mine.

I feel that by attaining Chartered status, I have gained further respect and trust from my peers for my competency and engineering judgement and this has given me a competitive edge over my peers who are not Chartered.

I whole heartedly recommend getting Chartered as it is a globally-recognised standard for demonstrating your competency, professionalism and commitment to the profession which will help unlock the door to advancing your career.

Giving back

Being closely involved with QGC’s process engineering community, I have regularly organised IChemE Get Chartered sessions to help other process engineers in the company to understand the benefits of and requirements for getting Chartered.

When the opportunity arises, I encourage younger engineers to continue working towards attaining Chartered status, and assist with resolving any issues – such as linking them to mentors within the business or directing them to IChemE for further clarification.


Upgrade options

IChemE has many options for upgrading between grades of membership based on your knowledge and experience. The only way is up with your membership so like Vincent, start thinking about how upgrading can help you in your current career.

Whether you are looking at upgrading to Chartered status or looking at the safety-related upgrade to Professional Process Safety Engineer, there are many benefits to doing so.

Those wanting to upgrade to Chartered advise their strongest motivations are:

- recognition that you have reached the next stage in your career

- an expectation from colleagues that you will apply, to benchmark yourself against the professional gold standard

- career development opportunities because you have gained external validation of your competence

- possible salary increase as independently assessed Chartered Chemical Engineers are often given more responsibility

- demonstration that you take pride in your profession and make a commitment to best practice

- access to discipline specific registrations

For anyone that has worked in process safety the benefits of the Professional Process Safety Engineer accreditation include:

- global recognition of competence 

- demonstration of commitment to the process safety profession

- meeting demand from employers for a formal process safety qualification

- enhanced career opportunities

- confidence from peer-review process.

To find out more about upgrading your membership contact the membership department at members@icheme.org

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