UK Register of Ground Engineering Professionals (UK RoGEP)
It is nearly a year since we launched UK RoGEP and things have moved on at quite a pace. UK RoGEP Register now has over 60 registrants and the number of applications is increasing. The uptake by ground engineers has been higher than we originally considered and we are anticipating a 50% increase in applications during the next year!
One of the key drivers from a client perspective was that ground engineering work was being carried out by people working outside their area of expertise and qualifications. This unfortunately is still occurring on a regular basis as noted by AGS members. The AGS are about to publish a client’s guidance document which will provide advice and guidance for procuring ground engineering services with a particular emphasis on UK RoGEP and SiLC registrations.
With regards to UK industry recognition of UK RoGEP, various client organisations have been positive in the aims, objectives and needs for registration of ground engineers. The Welsh Government, UK Highways Agency and Network Rail are all fully and publically endorsing UK RoGEP registration. There is also evidence that some clients are now requiring ground engineering specialists and advisers to be involved in their projects, the Scottish Forestry Commission being one of them. The three levels of registrant are now also beginning to appear in guidance documents and client specifications. The recently published Site Investigation Steering Group specification document provides details of the roles that should be undertaken for the three levels of registrant.
The high number of applications for registration has led to, on a few occasions, a longer turn-around of application processing. We originally thought six weeks would provide sufficient time for the assessment and auditing process to be carried out; however there have been occasional “hiccups” which the UK RoGEP Panel have addressed. We have apologised to candidates where delays have occurred and explained the reasons behind the delay.
These “hiccups” include those you might expect in a new organisation where “new ground is being broken” (excuse the unintended pun!). We have had to modify certain application forms to make the process easier for both applicants, sponsors and indeed for the assessors.
Other delays have occurred when the sponsor’s statements and the sponsorship forms have not followed the guidance provided. This has particularly been seen with regards to the personal statement, where one of the key factors used by the assessors are evidence of the six attributes (Innovation, Technical Solutions, Integration, Risk Management Sustainability and Management) which can be identified in carrying out projects, research and writing technical papers.
The other key matter is the sponsorship of candidates. The original members of the Panel approved the sponsorship of all applicants whom were personally known to them. As the number of registrants increased they in turn were able to sponsor further applicants whom they had known and worked with. With the success of UK RoGEP registration there were issues with some applicants who could not obtain registered sponsors. We have therefore allowed particular non-registered ground engineers to become sponsors subject to the approval of the Panel. However, this is a temporary arrangement that will be determined in the near future as going forward there should be sufficient sponsors who are registered.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a requirement for admission to the Register and applicants are asked to provide details of both their CPD Plan and Record. Whilst it is expected that such documents would cover general professional discipline matters, registrants are additionally expected to plan and undertake occupational CPD specific to the Register. Furthermore, UK RoGEP Registrants are also bound by their own institution’s rules of professional conduct. UK RoGEP will be issuing further guidance notes concerning CPD in the near future.