How to become an MPDS or SRS mentor

Mentoring helps to develop competent engineers and ensure best practice engineering for the future.


Why mentor?

Mentoring lets you give something back to the engineering community and boosts your professional development.

As a volunteer mentor, you’ll guide and support developing engineers through their Initial Professional Development towards Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration. You’ll assess them against the Engineering Council’s UK Standards for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) throughout the programme and review their quarterly reports and annual assessments.

As a mentor, you’ll represent us and the Engineering Council, as well as your own organisation and its accredited Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS).

About MPDS and SRS

Mentors support developing engineers under two schemes: the Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS) or the Supported Registration Scheme (SRS).

The MPDS is our approved, quality controlled route for engineers working towards CEng or IEng status. It follows a structured programme to help developing engineers in Accredited or registered organisations.

The SRS allows graduate engineers, sandwich placement students, Engineering Technicians (EngTechs) and any of our members working for non MPDS-accredited organisations, to record their Initial Professional Development towards CEng or IEng registration. It provides a disciplined, regular reporting framework aligned to UK-SPEC competences.

How it works

To become a MPDS mentor, you must be professionally registered as either a CEng or IEng engineer with one of the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) licenced by the Engineering Council.

Under the MPDS, you’d normally act as a mentor over three years for IEng status and for four years for CEng status.

There’s no specific length of time that mentors help developing engineers on the SRS route. Developing engineers stay on the SRS route for as long as they need to, until they are ready to become CEngs or IEngs.

If you’re not professionally registered, you can still be a mentor by supporting developing engineers under the SRS or by becoming a delegate mentor.

Organisations that are registered or accredited for MPDS will have a process for matching mentors to developing engineers, who must contact one of their organisation’s MPDS scheme administrators in the first instance. You might also find developing engineers looking for a mentor at one of our events.

As a mentor, you’ll be the developing engineer’s primary contact for everything related to professional registration. You’ll help them answer questions about qualifications and the benefits of our training courses, for example.

You’ll also need to provide feedback and sign off at least one of the developing engineer’s reports per quarter through our online portal Career developer and in face-to-face meetings. You’ll also be expected to review and approve an annual assessment, as well as the developing engineer’s plans and evidence if they submit them. 

Once you’ve been matched to a developing engineer, you can arrange meetings between you.

We recommend that a mentor should not support more than two developing engineers at any time.

Support for mentors

We’re here to help you if you need support, by offering:

  • Half-day mentor training workshops, an annual programme of free regional training workshops
  • An online mentor training tool – to access this, you’ll need to log in to your account, select ‘MPDS & SRS tool’ under ‘Record your professional development’ and select ‘MPDS tools’ under ‘My MPDS for mentors’
  • Full-day regional seminars for MPDS mentors to improve understanding of the mentor role, refresh skills and network with other mentors
  • In-company support from a member of our Business Development team – please contact bdm@imeche.org or call +44 (0)20 7304 6970
MPDS Mentor Training Requirements

The requirement for triennial training for mentors arose from concerns raised by both our Professional Development Standards Committee (who ratify MPDS schemes) and our Professional Review Committee (who ratify individual membership elections). Please do bear in mind that the concerns specified below arise from our experiences across all company schemes, and therefore do not necessarily specifically relate to your organisation.

These concerns fall into two categories:

  • Mentors who appear to be over-scoring their mentees, and therefore putting candidates forward before they are really ready (in the view of the Professional Review assessors) and therefore have at both the individual mentor level, and the corporate level, an unacceptably high deferral rate.
  • Mentors who are not as engaged and supportive of their mentees as they should be, particularly in terms of timeliness of feedback on reports. The purpose of the scheme is that Developing Engineers are given on-going advice and support and mentors should be keeping mentees reports up-to-date.

For these reasons, the new training requirement has been instituted. However, we do want to be sure that this does not become an administrative burden on companies and individual members, which is why we have left the ‘evidence’ in effect the free text box. This free text box should be filled in with brief details of training undertaken e.g. IMechE training delivered in-house by xxxx xxxxxx on xx xxxx 20xx [date] / On-line mentor training module completed  on (date) etc/Regional MPDS Mentor Training event attended on [date] etc.

What will happen in practice is that before a re-accreditation visit, the panel members will review, along with other documentation, the training record of the mentors, together with the ‘outcome’ evidence – i.e. that the number of successful candidates being elected falls within the norm. If they should find for example, that within a company no or few mentors are registering their training activities, and that the deferral rate of candidates is higher than the norm, this would be raised as an issue to be addressed at the visit.  However, with strong, mature schemes we would be very surprised if this is the case, so have suggested that the training requirement can be met in a number of ways, including clients’ own internal activities, or by a variety of briefings provided by the Institution's staff or volunteers.  Whatever the activity undertaken, we simply need to know what it is before the next accreditation visit.

We would expect both the IMechE members mentoring a Developing Engineer linked to an alternative PEI, or an alternative PEI member mentoring an IMechE Developing Engineer, to comply with this requirement.  It is simply to ensure the Developing Engineers are being given proper support as they work through towards registration such that they have the best opportunity to gain their registration status as possible at the appropriate time. 

Career developer

Career developer is our digital portal that offers an efficient way to chart the progress of developing engineers towards professional registration.

It gives mentors a convenient way to:

  • Score competence levels against the Engineering Council’s UK-SPEC standards
  • Review compulsory and optional submissions from the developing engineer
  • Alert you when a developing engineer submits evidence
  • Access and comment on quarterly reports and annual assessments to meet planned objectives
When your developing engineer is ready to apply for professional registration and full membership, they can complete an online application form within Career developer.

Career developer also allows developing engineers to record their achievements throughout their Initial Professional Development. More broadly, it lets engineers record the progress of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Find out more about Career developer

Types of mentors

There are three types of mentors: MPDS mentors, SRS mentors and delegate mentors.

MPDS mentor: a CEng or IEng registered through any of the Professional Engineering Institutions licensed by the Engineering Council.  

SRS mentor: doesn’t need to be professionally registered, but does need to have a thorough understanding of CEng UK-SPEC competences. If an IEng mentor is mentoring a developing engineer working towards CEng, they must understand the differences between the competences required for IEng and CEng. The developing engineer will also need a CEng to sponsor their professional registration application. The IEng mentor can still be the second sponsor.

Delegate mentor: is an experienced engineer who isn’t necessarily professionally registered as a CEng or IEng, but has the knowledge and understanding to review developing engineers’ reports. Delegate mentors can’t sign off reports under the MPDS, but they can make suggestions and recommendations. The registered mentor gives reports final approval.

If the developing engineer spends an extended period working in a location which makes it difficult for both parties to meet regularly, delegate mentors can take on day-to-day mentoring.

If, within a company, there are not enough mentors to support developing engineers, the employer or registered mentor could appoint a delegate mentor.


Get started

To become a mentor to developing engineers under MPDS or SRS, or to become a delegate mentor, you need to:

  • Register with us by filling in our online registration form 
  • For MPDS, you can include your details on a developing engineer’s MPDS Registration form – to fill in this form they will need to log in to their online account
  • You can register to become a mentor before you’ve been allocated a developing engineer to prepare yourself for the role – just complete the training resources in the mentor training tool within Career developer 
  • Familiarise yourself with the MPDS and its reporting requirements, as well as the UK-SPEC competence framework in the mentor training tool within Career developer and the MPDS toolkit for mentors
  • Make sure your developing engineer is registered on the scheme and that you both have access to Career developer
  • Once we’ve allocated you with a mentor, you’ll need to maintain regular face-to-face meetings with your developing engineer to agree development plans and explore opportunities to bridge skills gaps

If you have any questions, email: mpds@imeche.org.


Guidance documents


MPDS mentor FAQs

How do I access my online account?

Please log into the members' area via My Account and click on the MPDS and SRS tools link.  You’ll be taken to your personal online reporting account. You must be a fully paid up member of IMechE and your fees for MPDS should be up to date. You must also have a registered mentor.

Why can’t I log in as a new user?

If you can’t create an account, please email subscriptions@imeche.org. If you receive the message “Access Denied”, please email mpds@imeche.org

My Mentor and I have discussed my experience to date and I need to extend my MPDS what do I do?

You’ll just need to attain the appropriate competence level before applying for professional registration. Your mentor should confirm by email how long you want to extend your MPDS. Continue writing your quarterly reports into your extension period, finishing with a Final Assessment.

How will my mentor score my competence levels against EngC UK-SPEC?

They’ll score you against the Engineering Council UK-SPEC competence framework.

Can my mentor attend my peer review interview when I complete my MPDS?

Your MPDS mentor cannot attend your peer review interview.  They can, however, attend the peer review interview of another candidate as part of their own CPD activity.

I want to become a mentor – what do I need to do?

You must be CEng or IEng registered with the Engineering Council. We offer training seminars throughout the year at various locations.

How do I register as a mentor?

To become a mentor for a developing engineer on MPDS, all you need is CEng or IEng registration with the Engineering Council or the equivalent international qualification. It’s really easy to sign up, and we have an online training tool that will tell you everything you need to know about mentoring a graduate engineer.  We also offer training events throughout the year in various locations. 

How will my mentor assess me?

Your mentor will review all the work that you submit, including Plans, Evidence Lists, Quarterly Reports and Annual Assessments. They’ll use the Engineering Council UK-SPEC framework to score your competence levels and provide you with feedback and support.
 

I am working towards CEng status, but my mentor is an IEng. Can they still be my mentor?

Yes, they can still be your Mentor. Please note: IEng mentors should ensure that they are fully aware of the differences between the competences required for IEng and CEng:

UK-SPEC third edition

When you are ready to apply for Chartership, your IEng Mentor can be your second sponsor, however you will also require a CEng sponsor to support your application.

How long will it take my DE to complete MPDS?

For Chartered Engineer, typically four years’ worth of quarterly reports and annual assessments should be completed and submitted before applying for registration, however previous experience reduces this timeframe by the amount claimed.

For Incorporated Engineer, typically three years’ worth of quarterly reports and annual assessments should be completed and submitted before applying for registration, however previous experience reduces this timeframe by the amount claimed.

A minimum of two years must be spent on the scheme and the Developing Engineer must meet the competence requirements before applying for registration.

Ask a question

Get in touch if you have a question about becoming an MPDS or SRS mentor.