Professional development is often categorised as 'initial' or 'continuing'. In the formation of a professional engineer or technician, IPD usually means development before becoming registered. This is when aspiring professionals learn to apply knowledge and understanding, develop skills and competence, and begin to apply professional judgement. Through it they become able to demonstrate the necessary competence and commitment to become professionally registered with the Engineering Council.
Many people carry out their IPD through structured programmes such as an apprenticeship or a graduate training scheme. Many of these are accredited or approved by one or more of the professional engineering institutions (PEIs). This means that the objectives of the programmes have been judged to be aligned with the standards for professional registration and that individuals' development is recorded.
Enquiries about whether a particular programme is accredited or approved should be directed to the relevant professional engineering institution.
However, many people undertake their IPD outside formally structured programmes. Anyone in this position should contact their chosen PEI for advice and guidance about the sorts of development records they should keep.