“Professional Development is a key part of my career as both an engineer and as a Royal Navy Officer.”

As an IET Partner, the Royal Navy support their staff in both membership and Professional Registration to guide their Professional Development and career goals.

We sat down with Lieutenant Commander Ben Shirley after his successful CEng application to talk about Professional Registration and how it can benefi t those in the MOD.

With the streamlined Defence Engineer Registration Scheme route, Ben was able to receive tailored support throughout the entire application: 

The process was supported by the team at MWS Collingwood; they gave me advice and validated my application. They also provided the Underpinning Knowledge and Understanding statement for my education capability. They also gave me help with the Development Action Plan, in terms of format and expectation, and provided the UK&U statement for my education capability. I also had a Professional Registration Advisor (who I kept in touch with from a previous application) and both aligned with their advice, which was good!

Having been registered IEng since 2011, Ben was familiar with the registration process and was able to take advantage of the help the Royal Navy off ers. 

The team at Collingwood had a single point of contact email that allowed me to put questions in and get advice back fairly quickly. There were a few diff erent people advising, which meant that advice was readily available. I’ve even submitted my name to join the team as a Special Registration Advisor.

Professional Development is a key part of my career as both an engineer and as a Royal Navy Officer.”

The Royal Navy off ers a variety of free courses to aid the development of its staff and help them progress in their careers. With constant opportunities for education, Ben believes that this can make a difference in career paths. 

At various stages in my career I’ve been able to spend time conducting periods of education to prepare me for future assignments. It’s made me the person I am today.”

When asked how those in a similar position can kickstart their Professional Registration journey, Ben had a wealth of advice for his colleagues. 

Start early and think of it as a continuous journey rather than a ‘get to a certain point yourself and then apply’ task. I started as soon as I could and have stayed with the IET throughout my career and as I developed, I then applied for the next level of registration as and when I got there.

Having been an IEng for a considerable period of time, with that internationally recognised professional status, it demonstrates to industry partners your capabilities and professional standing from the moment they start communicating with you.”

Now a registered CEng with the Engineering Council, Ben has learnt that being professionally registered means more than just post nominals. 

I realised how much the Royal Navy instils a team ethos. It’s a very foreign concept to think of your achievements individually when in the Royal Navy, because everything we achieve is a team effort.

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