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Award of professional qualifications for PWI members

12 November 2014

The PWI has just passed another landmark – membership growth of 100 members in 2014. It encourages us to work even harder at providing first-rate services for our members as a basis for further growth. We are now poised for the next step in the Institution’s development, the award of professional qualifications for members.

In my last blog I celebrated the PWI’s success in gaining Professional Affiliate status with the Engineering Council. At the end of last month we had further success when our Registration Agreement was approved by the Engineering Council. This means that the PWI will soon be able to award the professional grades of Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer. How soon is soon? We expect to publish some advance details in our January Journal and to be able to set out in the April Journal how it works and how you can apply.

This initiative is strongly supported by the industry as a way of recognizing and encouraging professional standards in the PWI’s engineering field. It will complement the professional registration that is already available through other engineering institutions and increase significantly the number of professionally registered engineers. This is a vital part of raising our industry’s image and attracting the very best people to work in it. Our industry is in strong growth and the PWI must play its part in building the professional engineering base that will support the future.

Our seminar programme continues, with ‘Practical Control of Risk within S&C’ being held at South Bank University and Euston in November. The Euston seminar represents another step forward for the PWI; an evening event designed to give those who work nights the opportunity to benefit from PWI seminars. We will be hosting the Network Rail Winter Track Engineering Conference in December. Next year’s seminar programme is already in place, starting with the now well-established North-West event on Thursday 5th March 2015. The topic is ‘S&C Maintenance, Reliability and Life Extension’ and booking is now open. Previous years have sold out the 200 places available, so book early to avoid being disappointed.

The London half-day technical seminar ‘Ballast and Beyond - Ballastless Track and Alternatives to Conventional Ballasted Track’ follows on Wednesday 20th May. Booking opens in February, so put a reminder in your diary to make sure that you don’t miss out. In the autumn of 2015 the Nottingham & Derby Section is planning a seminar on formation and earthworks – a very topical subject which, I’m sure, will generate lots of interest. Huge thanks to all the Section committees that plan and organize these events – they take great commitment to make them happen and the results are always tremendous. Don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunities they provide and watch out for advance details on the website and in the Journal.

As the PWI approaches the end of its financial year the signs are that we will have broken even, putting an end to using the PWI’s reserves to fund its work and ensuring that the Institution is able to develop strongly. The support of our members has been vital in achieving this turnaround. Your participation in PWI events and, in many cases, your voluntary contributions on Section committees or in presenting papers at seminars and Section meetings underpins the success of the PWI and its future development. You have also supported the institution through your subscriptions and the executive team remains committed to ensuring that you get excellent value and benefits from your membership.

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