ICE Attributes – 8. Interpersonal Skills and Communication

Communication TCEE

Communication is always key for everything – do you know what is the best method of communication? How do you know whether someone has understood you? Source

You cannot succeed in engineering, or any skilled profession, without strong communication skills. Of all the Attributes you will be reviewed against, this is probably the easiest to fulfil and the one that has strongest transferability should you wish to consider a career change.

A) Communicate well with others at all including effective use of English orally and in writing.

B) Discuss ideas and plans competently and with confidence.

C) Effective personal and social skills.

D) Manage diversity issues.

E) Communicate new concepts and ideas to technical and nontechnical colleagues including effective use of English* orally and in writing

*Subject to the Welsh Language Act.

Parts A)-D) are marked as Incorporated Engineer level, while only E) is required at Chartered Engineer level. E) should only be seen as an upgrade to A) and B).

Note: During an ICE Professional Review you will be given a Written Exercise after your interview. The Written Exercise is part of the communications aspect of this Attribute.

The odd one out in the above sub-Attributes, but definitely not any less worthy, is D), managing diversity issues. This is a recent addition to ICE's criteria but is very important to 21st Century professionalism, as you need to demonstrate that you can work with people of any race, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation etc. and also to improve inclusiveness in your workplace. A good starting point is this interview of Bola Fatimilehin, Head of Diversity at the Royal Academy of Engineering, published in Black History Month 365.

Nearly all Professional Reviews will be conducted in English, though there is an archaic law which allows you to take your exam in Welsh instead. From what most reviewers have told us, most candidates in Wales sit their reviews in English.

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On the communications side, you need to be able to be explain, discuss, argue, present all sorts of details to all sorts of audience. You might find you need to describe how glass-reinforced polymers have anisotropic material properties to a group of 10 year old school children with no material science knowledge, or you might one day be delivering a proposal to Parliament and defending yourself against angry protestors on why putting a high speed train line through pristine countryside makes economical, environmental and technical sense.

You should not worry too much about satisfying the communications aspects of this Attribute if your English is totally fluent. This Attribute is only ever a considerable barrier for those using the European Directive or Mutual Recognition routes and hardly use English in their daily lives. If this is the case, you should seek to continually practise your written and spoken English well ahead of your Review.

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