Professional groups such as engineers and scientists have a long tradition of professional registration but there may be some perceptions regarding technician registration. Here are some of them union reps may come across
Isn't registration for people at higher pay grades?
No. Registration is a chance to stand out from peers and rivals at every stage of your career. Professional registration verifies experience and technical knowledge. It enhances career prospects and opens up new opportunities for further learning and development through the professional institutions.
This is a chance for technicians to show that they are not just 'good enough', but excellent at what they do.
Is the process complicated?
Having the experience and skills that make you eligible for technician registration is an achievement to be celebrated, and nobody should have to jump through hoops for your recognition. So while the application will be reviewed by a professional body, the process itself is kept very short and simple.
This ensures you are best able to focus on highlighting your experience and technical knowledge, and your professional institution will also be able to guide you on what is needed.
Doesn't registration cost too much?
Membership of a professional institution, with registration, typically costs around £10 per month. The institutions are happy to give more detail about the cost.
However, this comes with access to learning resources and career development as well as letters after one’s name.
Because of this, some employers support staff financially. This is something that reps and unions can raise with their employers who can help with fees as an investment in their employees’ development and career.
Aren't the benefits mainly for new technicians, not those who have lots of experience?
In many ways, those with the greatest experience have the most to gain. Registration does not require specific qualifications and it is intended to recognise experience explicitly. It can open up new opportunities for advancement that is not related to the exams that have been at the start of individual’s career. There is also an opportunity for older staff to serve as excellent mentors for younger colleagues.
Is this another exam?
No. Some academic and vocational qualifications can help to support a registration application, but the purpose of registration is to reflect competence and commitment. The application is focused on demonstrating your experience and professionalism in the workplace, not how you handle exam conditions.
Union learning reps are in the workplace to support their colleagues in accessing learning opportunities. This can be finding help with writing skills to describe their experience and competencies for registration or raising the registration issue with the employer. The professional institutions advise with the application processes. Find out more about EngTech from the EngTechNow campaign site and RSciTech from the Science Council Professional Registers website.