My chartership

I am a Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom, and a full Member (CEng MIStructE) of The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and the Engineering Council.

        My membership certificate for the current year

I was awarded my chartership in the United Kingdom after my qualifications assessment by the IStructE, submitting my IPD final report forms and professional experience portfolio through a Retrospectively Collated IPD Route and an interview back in 2011, followed by passing the IStructE professional exam in 2014.

The Institution of Structural Engineers
Engineering Council

About IStructE and chartership in UK

A Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom is an engineer registered with the Engineering Council. The Engineering Council is the UK regulatory body for the engineering profession. They hold the national registers of 222,000 Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communications Technology Technicians (ICTTech). In addition, the Engineering Council sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of professional competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. This ensures that employers, government and wider society, both in the United Kingdom and overseas, can have confidence in the knowledge, experience and commitment of professionally registered engineers and technicians.

According to the Engineering Council website, Chartered Engineers are able to demonstrate:

  • The theoretical knowledge to solve problems in new technologies and develop new analytical techniques;
  • Successful application of the knowledge to deliver innovative products and services and/or take technical responsibility for complex engineering systems;
  • Accountability for project, finance and personnel management and managing trade-offs between technical and socio-economic factors;
  • Skill sets necessary to develop other technical staff;
  • Effective interpersonal skills in communicating technical matters.

The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), established in 1908, is a professional body for structural engineering based in the United Kingdom. It has 27,000 members in 105 countries. It has three Chartered Membership grades: Fellow (FIStructE), Member (MIStructE) and Associate (AIStructE). Members who have attained these grades are eligible for registration as Chartered Engineers (CEng) with the Engineering Council.

According to the IStructE website, the MIStructE grade is arguably the most widely respected mark of competence in the structural engineering profession and respected around the world as a marker of professional and technical excellence. The grade identifies the holder as world class to industry peers and delivers outstanding benefits such as international mobility, access to a global community of engineering academics, researchers and professionals, career-long opportunities for learning and development, and unique, peer-reviewed technical resources.

Steps to IStructE chartership

Here are the steps to achieve IStructE chartership. Further details and other routes to chartered membership are highlighted at


  • Step 1: Assessment of academic qualifications by IStructE: To become a Chartered Member, one will need to demonstrate Masters level learning. There are a number of ways for that including an accredited MEng degree. I have an MSc and an MPhil in Structural Engineering from University of Tehran. These were qualified for the first step.
  • Step 2: Identify the route to membership: Initially, I registered as a Graduate Member and chose a Retrospectively Collated IPD Route due to my previous experiences in bridge engineering. In this way, I did not need a mentor; but, had to demonstrate through a portfolio of my works that I had sufficient appreciation, knowledge, work experience and ability in the field.
  • Step 3: Submitting IPD final report forms along with a portfolio of work: There are 13 core objectives which the applicant will have to demonstrate, in the IPD final forms, the required level of either of (from low to high) Appreciation (A), Knowledge (K), Experience (E), or Ability (B). The core objectives and their minimum standards required are: 1. Institution (K), 2. Communication (B), 3. Conceptual Design (B), 4. Analysis and Design (B), 5. Materials (B), 6. Environment (K), 7. Construction (E), 8. Management Skills (E), 9. Law (A), 10. Health and Safety (E), 11. Commercial Awareness (A), 12. Contract Documentation (K), 13. Quality Systems (K). Due to my chosen route, I had to submit a portfolio of my works, too.
  • Step 4: Professional review interview: The interviewers will be other chartered engineers to examine the candidate's ability against his/her IPD final forms and portfolio, and ensure that he/she has satisfied all the core objectives. The interview usually will take an hour.
  • Step 5: Chartered Membership Exam: The exam is the final step and one of the essential elements in the assessment of the validity of the candidate's engineering knowledge and experience. It is 7 hours long and consists of 5 questions, each covering a different speciality in structural engineering. The applicant only has to chose one question out of 5. The questions are designed for structural engineers with at least 6-7 years of experience in their field. So, unlike in the USA or Canada or some other parts of the world where the engineers can sit on a chartership exam immediately after their graduation from a university, achieving chartership in the United Kingdom requires sufficient post-graduate working experience. As a Bridge Engineer, I chose Question 3 of the exam which is always a bridge design project. All questions have two sections and both parts of the question must be satisfactorily answered to achieve a pass:
    • Section 1 requires the applicant to prepare a design appraisal with appropriate sketches indicating two distinct and viable solutions for the proposed structure, including the foundations. The applicants are required to indicate the functional framing, load transfer, serviceability and stability aspects of each scheme. He/She must then appraise the schemes, identify the preferred solution and give reasons for his/her choice. Finally, he/she will write a letter to the client outlining design implications arising from a change in the client’s brief.
    • Section 2 requires the applicant to provide sufficient design calculations to establish the form and size of all the principal structural elements, including the foundations. He/She must prepare general arrangement drawings and finally prepare a detailed method statement for the safe construction of the works and outline a construction programme.
    Further information on the IStructE exam as well as the past papers can be found on the IStructE website at

Preparation for IStructE exam

The best way of preparation for the exam is to study the past papers, set yourself a programme to answer each part of the past exams' questions and train to answer each section under time constraints. Samples of the past exams further to what you can find on the IStructE website as well as my portfolio and notes are shared at the download section of this website.