Engineers On The Road To Chartered Registration

15 August 2013

Paul Sprague and Paul Higgins have become the first Costain people to complete the Further Learning Programme (FLP)*.

This achievement means that they both now have the required educational base for registration as a Chartered Engineer and makes them among the first in the industry to take a work-based learning route to Chartership.

The employer led programme was developed as an initiative to encourage Costain graduates to become Chartered. All of those involved in its development have continued their involvement as assessors or Supervising Engineers for the scheme.

The programme was developed to allow candidates to achieve their learning outcomes through duties which were part of their daily responsibilities or through learning which was already part of Costain’s graduate development programme. This was supported further through mentoring by the scheme assessors. There are currently 15 people on the programme, which is fully accredited by the JBM (Joint Board of Moderators). 

Paul Sprague, Senior Engineer on the A556 Knutsford to Bowdon Improvements, joined Costain in 2008 following a year’s industry placement during his BEng Civil Engineering degree at Bath University. He welcomed the opportunity to gain Chartered Status this way: “Gaining the required qualification without having to return to university was a big plus. I liked the fact that the FLP wasn’t purely academic: it allowed you to take what you were doing on a day-to-day basis and build on that.”

Paul Higgins, Civil Engineer on the Severn Trent Water AMP 5 Framework, joined Costain in 2009 after completing his BEng degree in Civil Engineering from Warwick University. “I did have other job offers but the chance to gain Chartered Status without having to do a masters degree definitely made the Costain offer more attractive,” he said. “The mentoring I received during the FLP was particularly useful – my mentors gave me excellent support.”

Rachel Ellison, Project Manager (Highways), and Hugh MacIntyre, Work Winning Director, are the Programme’s Supervising Engineers.

Rachel commented: “It’s a great first for Costain to have two graduates who have successfully completed the programme and can now go on for their Charterships with the Institution of Civil Engineers.”

Hugh agreed: “So many awards now are made on the competencies and capabilities of our staff, particularly in ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) contracts. Having Chartered Engineers ticks a lot of competency boxes.” 

For Bill Hewlett, Technical Director, the FLP is further proof of Costain’s commitment to education and learning. He said: “Costain has stepped up to this in a way that no one else in the industry has. We’re providing an industry-based route to Chartered Status that gives everyone with the competence and drive to become a Chartered Engineer that opportunity.”

*Launched in 2009, the FLP provides an alternative route to Chartership by addressing the academic gap between a bachelors and masters degree.