A brief introduction to the consulting engineering practice and the FCCE programme

A brief introduction to the consulting engineering practice and the FCCE programme

There are many aspects to managing an engineering project, not least of which are the business and operational considerations.

Defining a Consulting Engineer

Consulting engineers are licensed professionals with diverse qualifications, including in civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical, chemical or industrial engineering, as well as a range of other interlinked disciplines, but who have expertise in design, analysis, and providing solutions to complex issues, as well as an understanding of the structural support needs and weaknesses of a project. They investigate and undertake technical and feasibility studies to develop a comprehensive grasp of all the parameters of the task they are delivering.

A Consulting Engineer is also a person who is in or close to being in a leadership role within their company or division within the company, and who has the experience and knowledge needed to lead a project in the built and natural environment over the whole life cycle of the project, starting from the inception stage.

In addition, business operational knowledge and corporate understanding are needed to run a consultancy business as well as for managing it effectively and efficiently. Business development and management skills are therefore vital. In the same vein, the ability to provide detailed engineering services to a client is crucial. This may include assisting the client in the selection of contractors or in the purchase of materials for the award of contracts.

Procurement is another major factor when dealing with construction projects, especially those which are government projects, as these are awarded through a competitive bidding process. The consulting engineer could be tasked to prepare the contract documents, as well as any drawings/designs and specifications, in conjunction with the client’s legal officer.By assuring the professional competence and professional integrity of the Consulting Engineer who is appointed, the client would be more confident about the viability of the project and would be better able to protect the project’s long-term implementation objectives.

A Consulting Engineer is therefore someone with operational leadership skills and commercial experience in managing engineering projects and people, as well as a detailed understanding of the various commercial skills required to run a successful consulting engineering business..

FIDIC and consulting engineering

FIDIC represents consulting engineers globally.

The core of FIDIC’s mantra is upholding the infrastructure industry standards. In addition, assuring that these standards can be learnt and applied through capacity building initiatives and by encouraging the use of sustainable technologies and innovative strategies which make the world a better place are of critical importance to FIDIC.

Aside from promoting its core values of Quality, Integrity and Sustainability (QIS), FIDIC has over the years, developed a series of publications including contracts, white papers and advisory guidance materials to better help its member associations and firms to be able to implement practices which are in alignment with these values. These publications are collectively known as the FIDIC Body of Knowledge (FBOK). In addition, through the training (FIDIC) and certification services (FCL) offered, professionals are enabled to expand their industry knowledge and get their skills validated by experts working in the industry.

By taking into consideration the pressing issues which affect the infrastructure industry, as well as the world at large, FIDIC continues to develop new strategies and actively engages with partners and stakeholders to implement change. Two examples are the FIDIC Climate Charter and the State of the World reports.  

In terms of collective responsibility, a Consulting Engineer has a role to play in mitigating climate change and net zero emission goals through the project life cycle.

Innovation and technology and knowledge sharing also help solve or prevent problems.  Improved performance with regards to the project output and optimisation of the project requirements or objectives require expertise. Consulting Engineers can bring to play innovation and a positive input for the operation and maintenance costs and requirements. This is applicable whether it is a new design or the reconstruction / rehabilitation on an existing project. The Consulting Engineer’s input can help to better assure the project’s viability, including the cost effectiveness of the entirety of the project.

The long-term durability of the project or service will depend in large part on the business and operational skills used in both public and private infrastructure projects. A Consulting Engineer needs a working knowledge of finance and business procedures.

Additionally, re-evaluating the project work and its growth would be key to ensuring that the project is not only on track but the objective set by the client or employer continue to match the brief and is on target as regards the project’s completion.

There is also an art to communication as a Consulting Engineer needs to have experience in liaising effectively with clients to plan and design construction projects, as well as to supervise the building of these projects. The Consulting Engineer needs to not only define clients’ needs but also be able to translate them into designs for facilities and systems.

In addition, organising the project logistics, including the purchasing and supply chain management can be vital to the success of the project.

How does this qualification apply in the FIDIC context?

In the FIDIC context, the Consulting Engineer offers professional services in the infrastructure industry.

The FIDIC Certified Consulting Engineer (FCCE) qualification is a unique certification for the infrastructure industry. The person who is applying to be certified should already be experienced in the consulting engineering sector and its related technical, operational and business aspects. It is equally important that those seeking to gain certification from FIDIC have STEM qualifications and they must be recognised as a practising professional engineer in accordance with the regulations of the country in which they are working. They must also be able to demonstrate more than five years of experience in this field and be working at a senior level within their companies.

FCL is offering this certification to professionals who are able to demonstrate that they have commercial skills that enable them to lead consulting engineering practices.

If you believe that you have what it takes, click on the link and start your application. Our registrations are only open until 11 November 2022. Why not become one of the first Consulting Engineers to gain this new international qualification from FIDIC?

You can start the registration process by reviewing our application requirements and clicking on the link to become a FIDIC Certified Consulting Engineer.

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