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The Engineering Council’s influence on Building Services Engineering education and qualifications: towards an internationalist education and training model

King, DC (2017) The Engineering Council’s influence on Building Services Engineering education and qualifications: towards an internationalist education and training model. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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A large number of Building Services Engineering (BSE) graduates from UK universities either already live and work abroad, or aspire to do so, and the destinations for such migrants are most often English-speaking countries or countries where English is commonly used in business. Academic programmes in BSE are usually professionally accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) under licence from the Engineering Council (EC). In the common destination countries for UK BSE graduates the Washington, Sydney and Dublin Accord (WSDA) agreements prevail, meaning that there is a mutual recognition of engineering qualifications and professional accreditation of academic courses, and this facilitates international mobility. Since it is widely accepted that buildings account for as much as 50% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, it could be said that there is a worldwide sustainability agenda with respect to buildings. The common factor across national boundaries is that Building Services Engineers, as central members of building design teams, must provide much of the specialist practical knowledge to enable more energy efficient buildings to be designed and constructed, and it is therefore likely that UK educated engineers will be working in far more varied overseas locations in the near future. The main aim of the work is to synthesise an education and training model to encourage and enable international mobility of UK BSE graduates, and to carry out some evaluation of this model. This work sets out initially to question whether a UK education in BSE necessarily provides UK graduates with the best possible skillset for work abroad. The influence of the EC upon the content of BSE study programmes has been examined, and the research assesses the benefits of the EC’s influence in countries with different economic and political priorities to the UK, other western economies and to the WSDA countries. Following identification and analysis of the main issues, the model was constructed and evaluations were made using semi-structured interviews. The methodology used in this research is necessarily underpinned by a pragmatist paradigm, which has led to the use of a mixed methods blended approach. In addition to thorough review and analysis of literature, the practical methods employed include a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews in three phases: an exploratory phase, an in-depth analysis, and a concluding phase. The early conclusions indicated that the EC influence upon BSE study programmes is generally regarded as necessary and beneficial, since it provides an engineering skillset that is internationally respected and recognised. There is, however, less confidence in applying this in an international arena outside of the WSDA umbrella since different parts of the world face different economic challenges, divergent societal imperatives, and diverse attitudes to sustainability and green issues. An education and training model was constructed to address these issues and, after initial testing, was found generally to be a workable proposition to enhance the international prospects of UK BSEs, and further, could be adopted in the UK under the auspices of the Degree Apprenticeship initiatives. Such a model is, however, unlikely to be adopted in many overseas locations due to differing cultural views on the value of work-based learning and apprenticeship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Building Services Engineering; Education and training; Engineering Council; CIBSE; Professional accreditation; Professional Engineering Institution; Washington Accord; Sydney Accord; Chartered Engineer; Incorporated Engineer; Professional accreditation; UK-SPEC
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 10:53
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 14:03
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00007666
Supervisors: Tucker, MP and Cotgrave, A
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7666
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