IStructE Core Objective 2.5 – Construction

This Core Objective is about gaining practical experience on a construction site. To meet this objective, you will need to demonstrate that you have experience working not just on paper, but in practice contributing to the actual construction of a project.

The key to this objective is to document all of your site experience as thoroughly as possible, clearly demonstrating what experience you gained on every site visit. To do this you should complete a site experience record, which records how much time you have spent on site, and describes for each project/visit/site/period of time what experience you gained, what work you carried out and what you were responsible for. If you made lots of similar site visits on one project, you don't have to list each one individually, just group them together and describe what your role was, and give an indication of the estimated total time spent on site.

For site-based engineers, this objective will be simply a case of documenting the work you do everyday.

For office-based engineers, this objective can be more difficult to achieve, and may require some time spent outside your office to gain site-based experience. The IStructE recognises that not all engineers can spend a continuous period of time on site, and therefore your site experience can be made up of multiple shorter periods. They say you should accumulate about 3 months worth of site experience, but that this may be less as long as the quality of experienced gained is good.

Experience gained during work placements, or as part of your university degree course can contribute to meeting this objective. You might also have worked somewhere other than on a construction site to gain this experience:

  • Manufacturing facility
  • Timber workshop
  • Precast concrete manufacturer
  • Steel fabricator
  • Structure laboratory
  • Soil laboratory
  • Offshore platform
  • Site surveying

Some of the tasks that you are most likely to have carried out as an engineer include:

  • Site surveying
  • Setting out
  • Site inspection such as surveying existing structures, opening up works, checking the construction matches the design, checking steel reinforcement cages etc.
  • Ground investigation
  • Site supervision
  • Testing the condition of materials

There is also office based work that can be relevant to this objective, which tends to be relating to the management of a construction site, for example programming and sequencing, site traffic management plans, health and safety plans, working method statements, temporary works design.

What to say in your final report:

  • Describe some examples that you think best demonstrate your site experience
  • List all the site activities you have been involved in
  • Describe other activities you have been involved in which are related to the running and management of a construction site

What to put in your portfolio:

  • Site experience record
  • Sketches or marked up drawings that you produced on site, such as survey drawings or inspection markups
  • Site management plan or other documents you have produced relating to the running of the project on site.

Reading List



Back to Core Objective 2.4 – Environment

Forward to Core Objective 3.1 – Management Skills