Library: Frequently asked questions


Where can I find out about apprenticeship schemes?

See our apprenticeships page and our list of useful apprenticeship weblinks.


How do I access and use archive collections?

Visit our archive for information about our collections and how to access them. Also read this guide to using archives and historical collections. Discover what archives are, how to use catalogues and access collections.


How can I find out about setting up my own business?

Our library has a range of resources to help you. Search our library and digital resources.

The following websites also offer useful information and advice:

British Library Business & IP Centre

Citizens Advice (on self employment)

Government business support helpline

Government guidance on starting a business

LEP Network Growth Hubs

National Enterprise Network directory (listing local support services for start-ups)

How can I find company information?

See the company information section of our careers guide.

Car repairs, testing and disputes

Where can I get my car repaired or tested? / Where can I get expert advice on mechanical failure or technical problems with my car?

The following organisations may be able to help:

Citizens advice - Garage repairs and services

Vehicle builders and repairers association

Independent Garage Association

AA car inspections

Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors

Careers advice

Where can I get careers advice?

See the careers advice section of our website.

Code of Conduct

Where can I access the Institution’s Code of Conduct?

View our Code of Conduct.


Where can I find a list of engineering companies?

See the company information section of our careers guide.


What guidance is available on becoming a consultant?

Our library has a range of resources to help you. Search our list of books and ebooks.

Standard contracts for engineering consultants are available:

MF/4 (2003): Home or overseas agreements for the provision of consultancy services by engineering consultants. Standard contract published jointly by the Institution and IET. Free to download

Commentary on MF/4 (including a copy of MF/4): A practical guide for users of MF/4

MF/4 (2004 edition): Available to purchase from the library for £20

ACE (Association for Consultancy and Engineering) agreements are available to borrow from our library.

The IMechE Support Network offers Institution members access to a free legal helpline. Members also have access to specialist insurance services


What are the main forms for engineering contracts?

Model Forms of Contract

For more information please our library's Model Forms webpage.


The other main forms of engineering contract are:

ACE Consultancy Agreements

FIDIC: Contracts and Agreements




Cost Indices

Where can I find out about the standard rates to charge for mechanical engineering services or products?

BEAMA Statistics

National Schedule of Rates produced by NRS Management. This is a priced publication which is not available from our library but may be available to members via interlibrary loan. Our library does hold a reference copy of Spon's Mechanical and Electrical Services Price Book.


Where can I find out about engineering short course providers?

See the courses section of our careers guide.


I am in dispute with my employer. Where can I find out about my employment rights?

The IMechE Support Network offers Institution members access to a free legal helpline.

The following websites may also be of interest:

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

Citizens Advice Bureau


Where can I find statistics about energy use and emissions?

The following websites provide energy statistics:

BP: Statistical Review of World Energy 2014

DECC statistics

International Energy Agency

National Statistics: Environment 

UK Petroleum Industry Association

Engineering Statistics

Where can I find statistical information about the number of engineers in the UK, and the number of engineering students and graduates in the UK?

Statistics are available from the following websites:

Engineering UK
EngineeringUK publishes a major report each year containing engineering statistics related to education, graduate recruitment, salary levels, and the number of professional engineers in the UK. It can be downloaded for free, although free registration is required to access the current year's report.

National Statistics
Data relating to employees, self-employed, full-time and part-time workers by occupation group and by sex - search for Labour Force Survey and ASHE 4 digit.

Higher Education Statistics Authority

UCAS: Statistics

What do graduates do?

Expert Witnesses

How do I find an expert witness?

The following websites may be of interest:

Society of Expert Witnesses database

Expert Witness Institute directory

Academy of Experts directory


Where can I obtain engineering images?

Images from our historical collection can be purchased from the Mary Evans Picture Library and are available to view on our VADS pages.

If you are seeking modern images (or other sources of historical ones) you may find the following image sites useful:

Creative Commons search links

Google advanced image search

IStockphoto - royalty-free images and photos

StockFreeImages - royalty-free photos and illustrations

Rail Photo Library

Science and Society Picture Library

Foto Search Stock Photography

Science Museum Picture Library


How can I find someone to test or inspect my equipment?

UKAS - United Kingdom Accreditation Service for testing bodies maintain a directory on their website.

Test House Directory is a directory of testing service and equipment suppliers published by the Society of Environmental Engineers.

The UK's National Measurement Institutes (NMIs) provide information and advice on measurement and testing.


Where can I get advice about protecting and developing my invention?

The following organisations can provide advice:

British Library Business & IP Centre

Trevor Baylis Brands (formerly the British Academy of Inventors)

The National Enterprise Network


Organisations that can help with funding:

British Private Equity and Venture Capitalists Association

Innovate UK


Useful websites:

UK Intellectual Property Office

Dragons Den

Espacenet (free international patent database)

Where can I get free legal advice?

The IMechE Support Network offers Institution members access to a free legal helpline.


How can I get hold of a copy of a UK Directive?

The official revised edition of the primary legislation of the UK as well as all UK Statutory Instruments from 1987 are available to download here.

How can I get hold of a copy of an EU Directive?

EU Directives can be downloaded here

Manufacturing Statistics

Where can I find up-to-date manufacturing statistics for the UK and EU?

The following websites provide manufacturing statistics for the UK:

National Statistics - search for Turnover and Orders in Production and Services Industries and PRODCOM

Eurostat: PRODucts of the European COMmunity (PRODCOM) - data for the EU

Engineering Outlook - a quarterly manufacturing/engineering survey produced by the EEF (Engineering Employers Federation)


How can I find out about the mechanical properties of a particular material?

The Knovel data search is available to our members online. It allows you to find specific types of properties data for materials and substances with on-the-fly unit conversion. You can also find material properties data in the full-text resources by using the Library Search.

Presidential Addresses

Where can I obtain copies of the Institution's Presidential Addresses?

Copies are available from our library.


How can I benchmark my salary?

See the salaries section of our careers guide.


Voluntary Work

Which charities organise voluntary work for engineers?

See the volunteering section of our careers guide.

Work placements

See the work placements section of our careers guide.