My IStructE Retrospectively Collated Route Submission, by Maria

We encourage readers to share their experience going through their Initial Professional Development and application process for IStructE chartership, so we are delighted to welcome Maria, who over the course of the next few months will be sharing her journey as she applies for Chartered Membership with the IStructE via the Retrospectively Collated Route.

Maria Pepper graduated from the University of Bath in 2012 and now works at Integral Engineering Design in Bath.

If you have a story that you’d like to share about your Chartership experience, tell us about it in the comments or in our forum.

Maria Pepper

What follows is a record of my experience on the journey to achieve the professional status of Chartered Structural Engineer. After nearly five years working as a structural engineer I have taken the plunge (and finally given in to the encouragement of my directors) to get Chartered! I currently work at Integral Engineering Design, a practice of 23 employees, and my role is project engineer. This means I get to manage my projects, which are generally education buildings or historically listed conservation projects.

I should say at this point that I have opted for the Retrospectively Collated Route. Having written quarterly reports on and off over the years (whenever I had renewed determination; basically after each performance review) I came to the conclusion that less paperwork was the way I wanted to go.

So, step one – Core Objective Final Report Forms and the Experience Report (for Objective 2.5 – ‘Construction’)

I strangely enjoyed the process of writing core objective reports. Don’t get me wrong – I did not appreciate staying late in the office after everyone else had gone home – but I did find that I was surprised and boosted by recording my experience, and the realisation that I actually know some stuff. I helpfully had a mentor who showed me her reports (basically following the IStructE best example: explain what you’ve done; bullet point project examples) and she kindly checked off reports each week as I completed them. So yes, I started back in January.

One thing I’ve learnt about myself (probably something to do with being dyslexic) is that it takes a while for me to write anything, and then it needs checking by someone else. The experience report I finished last week, because after all my best attempts to change my nature I am still somewhat a last-minute person. Thankfully I had referenced seven projects in my Core Objective reports and therefore I wrote about these until I reached the two page limit (starting with my university degree, my two jobs to date and then each project: title; where it is; what construction type; a major challenge; my role/responsibility).

Hopefully this has given a little insight into the hours of work I put into getting the submission ready – any comments are welcome below.

Follow my blogs over the whole process; next month (or there abouts) will be my thrilling edition on the Portfolio.

– Maria


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