My IStructE Chartership Submission – The Portfolio, by Maria

We are delighted to welcome back Maria, who is sharing her journey as she applies for IStructE Chartership using the Retrospectively Collated Route.

We encourage readers to share their experience going through their Initial Professional Development and application process for IStructE Chartership. 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

Hi again! Here’s a follow up to my last post on the IPD submission, this time all about the portfolio.

As before I had a great example set by my colleague, although her work was categorised by project. The current requirement is to lay out your work under the most relevant Core Objective. Helpfully, as I had been writing my Core Objective reports I simultaneously began listing evidence mostly from the 7 projects I wanted to include in my portfolio of work.

For example:

3.6 Quality Systems (K): Quality systems and procedures

  • Example of in-house checking procedure (checking I have done)
  • Ref Project X: comments on sub-contractor design information (checking I have done) etc.

This meant I had the simple (though rather laborious!) task of collecting information already set out for me by my ‘contents page'.

A large number of evidence documents fitted into several Core Objectives. To cover this I put them in the most relevant section and then included a contents page (see example below) at the front of each objective section which referenced the sections and documents which were also relevant.

IStructE Core Objective Example

What to do if some projects satisfy multiple Core Objectives? Make it known to your Reviewers!

I included a paragraph on ethics at the bottom of my contents page which addressed several of the points from the Institutions Code of Conduct and I also described how I value ethics and Health & Safety. (Ethics was brought up in my interview so I would really recommend thinking it through properly before).

The general contents of my portfolio went like this:

  • Cover page
  • Checklist (checked off and signed by yours truly) – this is an Institution requirement
  • Contents page including ethics paragraph
  • Project introduction pages (x 7) including model images and site/final photos
  • Objective sections (the bulk):
    • 1.1 Institution
      • Contents
        • Evidence documents (in this case CPD records, hand written CPD notes and IStructE local young members committee meeting minutes)
    • 1.2 Communication
      • Contents
        • Evidence documents
    • etc. (you get the idea)

It’s probably worth noting that I printed A1/A3 drawings scaled down to A4 and they are still (just) readable. I also went through and noted by hand what my involvement had been on each document where this wasn’t immediately obvious e.g. “I designed foundations shown on this GA drawing”

And of course the final thing was to measure the thickness… even double sided and squishing the pages down I was just at 25mm thick. Not wanting to risk losing out on Chartership on a technicality I culled several pages and printed a some (CPD record) pages two sheets per page until it was comfortably in.

It turned out that my reviewers were not so pernickety and told me they have had several submissions where you have to forcefully squash the portfolio to get within the limit. More about my meeting with them – The Interview next time!

 – Maria

4 Comments on My IStructE Chartership Submission – The Portfolio, by Maria

  1. Thank you Maria for sharing this with everyone, it is really helpful.

  2. I have been an interviewer for three years interviewing two candidates per year.

    Can I ask candidates to read the description of the core objectives. It is your obligation to demonstrate your awareness,knowledge,experience and ability. It would help us if your IPD started out with I know… (if that is the level), refer to the guidance to show what you need to know, and provide evidence.

    We have found the materials objective poorly understood by candidates – refer to the guidance it is much more than “I have designed in steel and …” If you can say “I am able to specify…” and show evidence, then you will be in a much stronger position.

    With regard to Maria’s example here is what the guidance says

    3.6 QUALITY SYSTEMS (Minimum standard K)
    Objective: Knowledge of quality systems
    Guidance note: The candidate should develop an understanding of the requirements for quality
    systems and a knowledge of the specific procedures required to achieve quality in design and
    construction including:
    • Total Quality Management
    • Quality Management Systems e.g. BS ISO 9001; 2000
    • Project Quality Plans
    • Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

    So it is a knowledge objective and what you need to know is set out. Experience and ability are not required. You can do this through private reading, courses or of course by experience.

    The more you can fit your IPD statements and evidence to the guidance the more time for the interview to be a conversation rather than an interrogation and the more likely the interviewers will pass you.

    I shall use my Twitter Name @DejaVu for obvious reasons.

  3. Dave Simpson // 7th December 2017 at 3:38 pm // Reply

    Is it worth taking a copy of your portfolio for yourself?

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. My IStructE Professional Review Interview preparation and result
  2. My IStructE Chartership Journey - The Exam, by Maria - The Structural Exam
  3. ProfessionalEngineeringUK and Other Topics

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.