Standards Matter – 40 Years of regulating the UK engineering profession

The Engineering Council was incorporated by Royal Charter in November 1981 to regulate the engineering profession in the UK. This week marks our 40th year of setting and maintaining standards, to ensure that society continues to have confidence and trust in the engineering profession.

Our mission as a regulator is to maintain internationally recognised standards of competence and commitment for the engineering profession and to license competent institutions to champion those standards to deliver public benefit.

There are currently over quarter of a million professionally registered engineers and technicians on the Engineering Council’s Register, all of whom have committed to maintaining and developing their knowledge throughout their careers. The most recent Ipsos MORI Veracity Index shows that engineers are the third most trusted profession in Britain, only ranking lower than doctors and nurses.

Engineering Council CEO Alasdair Coates said “The Engineering Council’s vision is to maintain society’s confidence and trust in the engineering profession. Voluntary regulation is important because standards matter – the public has a right to expect engineers, who do so much to shape our world, to be able to demonstrate their competence and behave in an ethical, sustainable way.”

Professional registration is internationally recognised and open to all practising engineers and technicians who can meet the requirements, which are based on competence and commitment, rather than academic qualifications. What matters is the standard those seeking professional registration have reached, not the route they took to get there.

Because engineering is not regulated by statute in the UK (with the exception of some safety-critical areas, such as aircraft maintenance, gas fitting and railway signalling), there is no legal restriction on who can call themselves an engineer. But the four professional titles awarded by the Engineering Council:

are legally protected and can only be used by individuals who have been assessed against our internationally-recognised standard. Everyone on that register has also committed to abide by a Code of Conduct and to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which is monitored.

This maintenance of standards for public benefit is at the core of the Engineering Council’s purpose. In this 40th anniversary year, we:

  • are implementing the latest version of our Standards, revised through a wide-ranging consultation with stakeholders. This is a five-yearly process, which ensures that the Standards (including the requirements for professional registration) remain fit-for-purpose as engineering and the wider world changes.
  • have delivered online tool RegCheck, to support employers and members of the public. This is a simple online check to verify whether an individual engineer or technician has a currently active Engineering Council registration.
  • have launched our ‘Advancing Regulation’ Strategy, developed in consultation with the profession, with our goals and priorities to 2025.

In that 2025 Strategy, we set out our aspiration to see professional registration moving from being seen as a ‘benefit to the registrant’ to being an ‘expectation of the individual’. As the importance of competence becomes increasingly clear in all areas of life, standards matter.

We look forward to continuing to deliver public benefit by setting and maintaining standards, to ensure an engineering profession with sustainability and ethical principles at its core.

Author: Kate Webster, Engineering Council

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.


45th AGM and Annual Luncheon 12th November 2021

In the first Institute of Demolition Engineers AGM and Annual Luncheon since 2019, due to last year’s event being cancelled, members met to network and socialise and discuss the Institute’s achievements over the past two years.

The stunning venue of One Great George Street in central London, also home of the Institution of Civil Engineers, was filled with 170 Demolition and associated industry professionals, alongside special guest speaker and former rugby international John Bentley.

The luncheon followed the AGM, chaired by IDE President Richard Dolman FIDE in his first year in the role since taking over from Gary Bishop FIDE.

Mr Dolman discussed progress within the Institute on education and training, urging all members to get involved in talks and seminars so expertise can be shared throughout the membership.

“It’s been a privilege and honour to be your President for the last year, and my thanks go out to everyone who has supported me during the past year, which hasn’t been an easy period,” he said.  “Despite last year not being ideal financially, we are confident that it’s just been a blip caused by the pandemic. Fortunately, and thanks to the Council of Management’s prudence, we have been able to weather the storm with minimal impact. The IDE is benefitting from a good amount of new and often young candidates joining the membership, which is really encouraging.

“I’m pleased to announce that the second intake of the Foundation Degree is now complete, with a third intake well underway and the fourth intake scheduled to start in March 2022.

“The third intake of the MSc is also underway and I’d like to thank Dr Terry Quarmby for his work on both degrees, after his efforts to get them going. I’d also like to thank Stephen McCann FIDE for his huge efforts in the development and delivery of the Foundation degree.  I personally feel that education is a massive part of the future of our industry, and I’d like to encourage more people to get involved. Make no bones about it – the degrees are being recognised by clients and stakeholders involved in the demolition process. We as an industry should be proud of the academic standing that we now have. The more we can get behind it, by getting people on the courses, the better.”

Mr Dolman also reported the encouraging news that many members are now sitting exams, and that more than 100 people have achieved different IDE grades of membership and degree levels this year. A graduation event is planned for the Leeds seminar at the Royal Armouries in February 2022.

He encouraged people to take up paid opportunities to talk at seminars about case studies, projects and innovations to publicise their achievements and share best practice.

Mr Dolman also confirmed positive conversations and new links forged with stakeholders and the Royal Institute of British Architects, to discuss the misunderstanding of the carbon footprint of the demolition industry and to find constructive, collaborative ways forward.

CPD requirements will recommence in January 2022, with 15 new short talks, online events available from the beginning of the year. Sponsorship is being sought, to support these talks which will be free of charge to members of the IDE. Organising regional meetings will also be a priority for next year, with members across the UK urged to support them by offering talks, articles and papers for discussion.

Members are also reminded that IDE subscription costs are personal payments and members are urged to pay promptly and not rely on their employers to pay for them.

Mr Dolman also announced plans to develop a best practice and lessons learned forum in partnership with the NFDC, as well as filming and archiving all seminars so they can be accessed by all members.

 “Richard Dolman’s doing a great job. People must understand that the Institute has struggled over the past 18 months like everyone else. Now we’re at the start of a new chapter. We need to focus on raising standards throughout the industry. We’re stepping up the plate with education. And we need to emphasise how much we recycle – it’s something we’ve been doing since the Second World War.” Gary Bishop FIDE, Past President of the IDE

Stuart Accleton, who has announced he will stand down as Honorary Treasurer next year after 14 years in the role, confirmed that although “a difficult year for everyone” had left a deficit in the accounts, compared to a surplus the year before, the resumption of seminars and education was the focus of new revenue streams.

Membership, he said, has fallen from 388 in April this year, from 421 the previous year, largely due to retiring members and situations related to the pandemic.

Following the AGM, members enjoyed a three-course lunch followed by an entertaining talk by John Bentley, who represented England and Great Britain in both rugby codes.

Two notable awards were given to members. Howard Button, Chief Executive Officer of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors, was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute. And Jennifer Atkinson, Administration Assistant at The Comley Group, was announced as winner of the Best Paper Award for 2021. Congratulations to both.

“We need to think about climate change and sustainability. Demolition is not dead; it will never stop as everything, ultimately, has an end of life. But it’s changing. We are a progressive industry and we need to use our expertise to influence the construction industry, to help them avoid building structures with a reduced recycling index. Collaboration with architects is key.” Howard Button Hon.FIDE, CEO NFDC

The Institute would like to extend its thanks to the event sponsors Inmalo, Worsley Plant, BPH Attachments and AR Demolition, along with the kindness of everyone who donated raffle prizes, including QMSC and Armac Group, with proceeds donated to the Alzheimer’s Society which is the President’s Charity for 2020-22.

Author:  Rupert Janisch, Turn the Tables. Photographs courtesy of Rupert Janisch

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.

Engineering Regulator Updates Industry-wide Risk Guidance

Risk is an inherent part of all engineering activities, so it is essential that all engineers and technicians are able to identify, assess, understand and appropriately manage risk. It is also crucial to be able to communicate about risk, both to other professionals and the public.

To support this, the Engineering Council, the regulatory body for the engineering profession in the UK, has issued updated Guidance on Risk. This guidance is suitable for engineering professionals at all career stages, and across all sectors and specialisms.

The Guidance on Risk describes the role of all those engaged in engineering in dealing with risk, and their responsibilities to society. The revised Guidance on Risk sets out the key stages of managing risk and emphasises the need to exercise informed judgment and identify what is an acceptable level of risk – the risk appetite.

This Guidance sets out six principles to ensure all engineering professionals integrate understanding of the environment and sustainability of resources into all aspects of their work. The full Guidance on Risk leaflet, and a convenient wallet card of the six principles, can be downloaded free from:

Alasdair Coates CEng FICE MCIHT CMIOSH, CEO of the Engineering Council said:

“Engineers have a crucial role to play in assessing and managing risk, especially as they frequently work in safety critical areas. This updated Guidance on Risk supports individual engineers and technicians by providing key principles that can be incorporated into their daily practice with engineering teams, inter-disciplinary teams and when communicating risks to the wider public.”

The Guidance is reviewed periodically and (following consultation with the engineering community) this edition replaces and updates the previous Guidance on Risk.  The Engineering Council also produces guidance on Security, Sustainability and Whistleblowing, in addition to the Statement of Ethical Principals, published jointly with the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). This Guidance is reviewed regularly and can be found at:

Author:  The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit:

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.


Spreading the Word: Careers in Demolition

In an effort to tempt young people into a career in Demolition and Construction, Davinder Singh Reehal MIDE, Technical Director for John F Hunt Limited made a presentation at morning assembly to the children at The Lyceum Primary School in the City of London. 

Davinder told them all about demolition, what it is, the types of techniques that are used and the dangers of building sites. He explained why they must be so careful and aware of all the hazards they may come across, such as electricity, scaffold, trip hazards, tools and falling items. The children were shown a picture of a typical building site and Davinder asked them if they could tell him some of the dangerous things they could see and highlighted them all on another picture. 

Davinder showed the spell bound 3 to 11 year olds, what machinery they might see on a building site and explained all about the different functions each machine undertook.  To their delight, he showed them video footage of one of the controlled explosive blow-downs that had been undertaken by John F Hunt in Scotland, complete with volume to make it come alive!  Davinder pointed out exactly what protective clothing must be worn on site and explained why each item was very important for the safety of those who work on site.

Finally, he told them all about becoming an engineer and that there are so many more girls studying engineering and taking up careers in construction than ever before. He highlighted his own personal journey into demolition and told them how different and interesting every day was.  When he came to the end of his presentation, he asked for hands up of all those who thought they might go into construction, for which he was met with a sea of hands!

Here’s to our next generation of engineers!

Author: Davinder Singh Reehal/ Marketing Department, John F Hunt Ltd.

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.


North West Regional Meeting 7th October 2021

The first IDE North West regional meeting since the COVID Pandemic struck the UK was held on Thursday 07 October 2021 at the Canalside Conference Centre at Middlewich.

The meeting was sponsored by Sean Heron of Worsley Plant and organised by JBV Demolition Limited and C&D Demolition Consultants Limited The IDE Council of Management gave their thanks to all for their hard work in organizing the event.

Over 35 delegates met at Worsley Plant approximately 100 metres from the Conference Centre where they were shown the vast array of demolition attachments supplied by Worsley including Rotar Shears and Pulverisors, Lenhoff Quick Couplers, Dynaset Magnets, Montabert Breakers and Remu Screening Buckets. In attendance was a new Bradley Group owned CAT demolition machine, fitted with a Rotar shear, that featured the new generation of fuel-efficient engine.

Following the plant walk round the delegates moved into the workshop area for a presentation by Paul Johnson of Bradley Group, previously delivered to the NFDC North West Region earlier in the month, entitled “Race to Net Zero – 2025”

Paul’s presentation encouraged everyone to sign the Net Zero Pledge and start to reduce carbon emissions. UK – SME Climate hub (

Paul also talked about HVO fuels as a great way of reducing the carbon footprint HVO Fuel Suppliers – HVO Renewable Diesel Deliveries | Speedy Fuels and offsetting carbon credits by investing in tree planting schemes in the UK and overseas What is carbon offsetting? | World Economic Forum (

Following a well-deserved round of applause all delegates then moved to the Conference Centre for light refreshments before the main presentations began.

Angela Morrison of C&D Demolition Consultants Limited then introduced IDE President Richard Dolman, FIDE supported by IDE Vice President Vernon Watson, FIDEwho welcomed everyone to the meeting and took a few minutes to bring everyone up to date with what was happening within the IDE regarding education, the IDE Foundation Degree and the MSc Degree in conjunction with University of Wolverhampton and other CPD events. The President also confirmed that the IDE will not be producing a magazine in future as the Council of Management felt that there are enough Demolition Industry magazines in the marketplace. A question from the floor as to whether the IDE website could be improved was met with a response that plans were in place to improve the website itself and, more importantly, the content within the website.

The first presentation of the session was by Ed Pugh of JBV Demolition Limited who introduced case studies on the use of Autostem concrete breaking as used on projects at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and within a chemical works site in Warrington.  Ed used great images and video of the products in use and outlined the cost savings on conventional demolition methods.

Next to speak was Matthew Bardgett of C&D Demolition Consultants Limited who gave an interesting view on the structural engineering considerations required when carrying out soft stripping works to avoid premature collapse.

Matthew gave suggestions for how to avoid situations of collapse on site and mentioned the use of fully trained CCDO operatives. This then led to lively comment and debate within the audience as to the difficulty in obtaining suitably trained operatives and the reasons for that difficulty. Suggestions were made by more than one person that the NDTG should offer the CCDO Level One and DRO cards at a price that the average person can afford, rather than the price that NDTG believe they can charge.

The final presentation of the event was scheduled to be delivered by Mike Kehoe, MD of C&D Demolition Consultants Limited, but unfortunately, he had been called out to an emergency fire demolition in Mid Wales so was unable to attend the event. In typical C&D “Plan B” style he had arranged a replacement presenter in Former IDE President John Woodward who delivered the prepared presentation on the dangers and pitfalls within demolition of multi-storey car parks.

The presentation highlighted that when most of the UK car parks were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s there were designed to take vehicles weighing around 1 tonne whilst modern vehicles weigh more than three times that weight putting those car parks on the brink of failure at any time.

There was discussion about the failure of a car park in Southend on Sea during demolition and that the client had let the contract to the lowest bidder, a demolition contractor with little or no experience on that type of structure, rather than awarding the contract to a far more experienced contractor and those clients still ignore their legal duties under CDM2015.

The President then closed the meeting thanking everyone for their attendance and advising that more regional meetings are planned for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.


Author:  John Woodward Hon.FIDE C&D Demolition Consultants Ltd

Photographs courtesy of Worsley Plant and C&D Demolition Consultants Ltd

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.

Food and Mental Health: What’s the Connection?

During the IDE Virtual Autumn Seminar held on Friday 24th September we had the pleasure of welcoming an expert on the subject of  Food and Mental Health, Alison Cowell, Holistic Nutritionist.

Alison’s presentation was both interesting and informative and certainly gives you food for thought when it comes to the relationship between Food and Mental Health and how it can affect us all.  If you would like to see her presentation click here: Food and Your Mental Health

In the Know…?

One week until Demolition Expo returns with a bigger show than ever

The UK demolition industry’s top trade exhibition is back for 2021, and this year it’s co-located with LetsRecycle Live at The National Agricultural Exhibition Centre (NAEC) at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, from 9.30-16.30 on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th September 2021.

The world’s leading equipment manufacturers and suppliers to the industry are exhibiting including JCB, Liebherr, Blue Group and Hitachi Construction Machinery. Visitors will find them showcasing throughout the Demo Expo Zone, the neighbouring Plant and Machinery Zone and live in action within the outdoor demonstration areas. A full exhibitor list for the co-located show can be found at:

A top-drawer conference programme is being delivered in the NFDC Conference Theatre over the duration of the two-day show. A range of experts will be giving talks on topics including Net Zero & The Circular Economy, the high-profile Ferrybridge Power Station demolition, attracting talent to the demolition industry, and how HS2 clients are leveraging NFDC accredited demolition contractors to their advantage. The full conference timetable can be downloaded from:

National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), the leading industry body for the demolition sector, will be exhibiting alongside National Demolition Training Group (NDTG) at stand F7 to talk about all things demolition, as well as giving industry stalwarts and demolition newcomers alike a chance to show their skills on the ever-popular demolition simulator.

Co-locating with LetsRecycle Live brings fantastic opportunities for cross-industry collaboration between visitors and exhibitors operating across the demolition, waste, and recycling sectors. The first trade event since the pandemic also provides a fantastic opportunity to reunite and network face-to-face after a year of virtual meetings.

Entrance to the show is free and visitors are welcome to explore everything both Demo Expo and LetsRecycle Live have on offer. Guests are well catered for with the Inn on the Green pop-up pub and numerous alternative food and drink outlets available.

The NAEC is centrally located and easily accessible from the M40, M1, & M6 motorways, as well as by rail, with a free shuttle service running between Coventry station and the venue on event days. On-site parking as also free and vehicles can be left overnight.

Visitors can save time by pre-registering for the show online via the websites for both Demo Expo and Letsrecycle Live, or directly via:


Author:  Natalie Barlow, Marketing Manager, NFDC & NDTG

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.

We Will Be There!

NFDC advocates shift to low-emission HVO fuel on members’ Demolition sites

NFDC, the UK’s trade federation for the demolition sector, announces that its members will be expected to phase out the use of red diesel on demolition sites and move to HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel, or an alternative low-carbon solution, as part of its wider commitment to tackle climate change.

The alternative fuel policy will apply for NFDC’s 140 accredited demolition contractors and for new members. The Federation will monitor the transition, effective from now until December 2022 when all members will be required to demonstrate their efforts to comply.

NFDC’s membership accounts for approximately 80% of all demolition works in the UK and the switch to HVO fuel as a sustainable alternative will represent a carbon emission reduction of up to 90% compared with conventional fuel.

HVO fuel is readily available and can be used as a drop-in replacement in most modern machinery, without the need for costly modifications. NFDC members will be required to demonstrate that their supply of HVO fuel comes with Proof of Sustainability documentation.

The Federation recognises that mandating all members to use HVO fuel or alternative low-carbon solutions is an important first step in the right direction, and the time for action is now.

Howard Button, CEO of NFDC commented “A number of our members have already adopted HVO fuel in favour of red diesel and we commend them for taking the moral, environmental and social responsibility to reduce carbon on demolition projects. We are confident that our full membership will readily make the change alongside their clients, suppliers, and subcontractors within the value chain.”

As a ConstructZero partner, NFDC will take a firm lead in recommending further demolition sector-specific action to align with the priorities identified within the performance framework. The upcoming guidance document for demolition contractors will apply learnings from collaboration with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), fellow industry associations, the Federation’s membership, and environmental consultants.

Author:  Natalie Barlow, Marketing & Communications Manager, NFDC & NDTG

he content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.

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