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5 top skills every professional reviewer needs

27 February 2024

Albert Yeu, an ICE reviewer and Standards Panel member, outlines the abilities you need to fulfil this role.

5 top skills every professional reviewer needs
An experienced reviewer will be able to build rapport with the candidates. Image credit: Shutterstock

How can we make sure that the world has the engineering capacity and infrastructure systems it needs to enable our people and the planet to thrive?

A big part of that is making sure that the people working on these systems and services have the right skills.

It’s a key part of the ICE’s mission to qualify engineers working in infrastructure to maintain their competence throughout their careers and help create a safer built environment.

It would be impossible to deliver on this mission without the help of professional reviewers.

Who are ICE professional reviewers?

ICE professional reviewers are ICE members who volunteer their time to help maintain the standard of professionalism in the industry.

They confirm whether a candidate has met the required attributes to become an Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer, Chartered Engineer or Chartered Infrastructure Engineer.

ICE’s Professional Review Panel is responsible for appointing and training reviewers.

Reviewers are selected because of their broad knowledge and experience of the civil engineering industry and strong interviewing skills.

5 skills to become a good reviewer:

  1. Keep up to date

    Reviewers need to set themselves as role models of technical know-how and professional standards.

    They should be knowledgeable about the ICE Code of Conduct, the professional assessment model and social responsibility.

    They should have up-to-date industry experience and maintain robust continuing professional development (CPD) records.

  2. Create harmony

    Candidates sometimes feel nervous when meeting reviewers.

    Having the people skills to connect with the candidate and fill them with confidence can help them better demonstrate their professional attributes.

  3. Be a good listener

    Effective communication is all about understanding a message expressed by words, voice tone and body language.

    A reviewer with good listening skills would never interrupt a fruitful discussion or jump to conclusions while the candidate is still speaking.

  4. Ask questions

    In the review, candidates are led to demonstrate their professional competencies by a combination of question types:

    • Simple fact questions that require a factual answer.
    • Processing questions, requiring comparison, contrast and analysis.
    • Application questions, requiring the use of knowledge in a hypothetical situation.
    • Probing questions that push further thinking, continue with the line of reasoning, probe underlying assumptions and seek alternative solutions.
  5. Be fair and objective

    Reviewers must make fair, valid and reliable assessments.

    Decisions must be based on all the information presented by the candidate.

    Results are judged by the quality of the answers rather than the candidate’s career background, social status or physical appearance.

If you have these skills or you would like to strengthen them further through training, then I strongly encourage you to consider becoming an ICE professional reviewer.

What else do you need to become a reviewer?

Undoubtedly, reviewers need to be equipped with strong background knowledge to be able to ask fair and robust questions and evaluate the answers.

But all new reviewers will be offered a training course and be given the opportunity to observe a professional review to understand the standard of conduct and the skills needed to meet those standards.

Refresher training and continuing professional development (CPD) are essentials to keep up-to-date with the industry and the institution.

Reviewers are not fault-finders

All reviewers have experienced the same professional assessment at least once in their career. They are familiar with the process.

An experienced reviewer will be able to build rapport with the candidates and encourage the candidates to speak confidently.

A last but vital role is to provide helpful guidance to candidates who are not yet ready to be a chartered member of the ICE.

Why you should become a reviewer

It’s not only the candidates that benefit from the assessment.

Reviewers share the benefits of:

  • learning from fellow members and the candidates;
  • examining themselves against the latest knowledge, skills and experience in the industry;
  • enjoying the experience of social contribution; and
  • promoting the personal growth of young engineers.

It’s also a great networking opportunity with experienced professionals in other areas of the industry as well as ICE staff.

But to me, the greatest reward comes from the opportunity to nurture the next generation of engineers and keep up the ICE’s professional standards.

Help qualify the next generation of civil engineers

  • Albert Yeu, senior resident engineer at Binnies