Candidates are encouraged to qualify as early as possible in their careers. To achieve this, the Institution:
- Specifies the standards of academic qualification and IPD that candidates must attain for each class of Membership
- Holds its own examinations for those wishing to enter the profession as Corporate Structural Engineers and as Associate – Members.
- Fosters the exchange of ideas and information
- Defines exacting standards of professional responsibility, ethic and conduct
- Helps members solve problems in design and construction through the publication of technical reports and information.
- Contributes to guidance notes and codes of practice that play significant roles in the everyday works of structural Engineers.
- Initiates/monitors relevant legislation as they affect the practice of Structural Engineering.
Routes to Membership
What follows aims to give you enough information to identify which grade of Membership you should apply for and what you will have to do to achieve your goals. Additional information may be obtained from the Membership Department on +234(0) 8055960846; +234(0)8122095767.
Routes to becoming Professionally Qualified
There are three basic steps to become professionally qualified with the Institution
- Satisfying the academic requirements
- Satisfying the initial professional Development requirements passing the professional review ( Interview and examination) or equivalent requirements
Although most candidates progress through the Institution’s standard routes, there are several other specialist routes including the Mature Candidate Route and Research Route, designed to cater for those with different academic and career backgrounds. The criteria for these routes are recorded later in this document.
To be admitted as a Student Member, you must be at least 17 years old and should be studying Structural Engineering. Usually, this will be via a Degree/HND or Higher Diploma/Certificate course in Civil/Structural Engineering leading to qualification as a Graduate Member or Associate-Member.
Graduates seeking Corporate Membership will need either an accredited MEng in Civil and/or Structural Engineering or an accredited BEng (Hons) in Civil and/or Structural Engineering plus an appropriate ‘Matching Section’ equivalent to a further year of appropriate study. Advice will be given on suitable Meeting Sections.
The Institution recognizes a degree in Civil and/or Structural Engineering accredited by either body as equivalent to an accredited MEng.
Further information is available from the Institution Membership Department. Graduate seeking Associate-Membership will need either a degree in Civil and/or Structural Engineering plus appropriate ‘Matching Section (s)’ equivalent to a further year of appropriate study.
If you have a degree that is not accredited by If you have a degree that is not accredited by the Institution or recognized as equivalent to an accredited degree, you should submit the relevant application form together with a credited copy of the degree certificate and full details of its course subjects. The Institution’s Qualification Panel will then consider your application and assess it against the content of an accredited course of study. The Panel will decide whether you must complete additional examinations – such as the NSE and COREN examinations – to meet the Institution’s requirements. Whilst this is happening and until you have completed any additional examinations that may be necessary, you will be admitted to Student Membership. If you are not required to complete further academic study, you will automatically become a Graduate Member at the earliest opportunity.
To apply for Associate-Membership, you must have an accredited degree or an accredited HND/Higher Diploma/Certificate plus appropriate Matching Section(s), i.e. appropriate academic study. Advice is available on Matching Sections.
Initial Professional Development
Before being eligible to apply to sit either of the Institution’s examination – Associate-Membership or Corporate Membership (Part 3) – you must meet the ‘Initial Professional Development (IPD) requirements of the Institution. There is a number of ways in which you can satisfy the requirements and record your training and experience. Depending on your circumstances and the route you have followed you may demonstrate your compliance with the IPD, regulations by submitting appropriate Report Forms, Statements of Experience and if necessary, a Portfolio of Work. This submission is assessed during your Professional Review Interview. Success in this Interview allows you to sit the appropriate examination.
Initial Professional Development is the acquisition and development of the specialist knowledge and skills – and their practical application – that you need to practice as a Corporate Structural Engineer or an Association-Member. It thus bridges the gap between the education base and attaining professional qualifications. The Institution defines IPD in terms of core objectives to minimum standards. Core objectives outline the basic competence required of those who wish to become members of the Institution.
- Personal – effective communications and interpersonal skills, leadership and professional commitment.
- Engineering – Identification of the solution
- Management and Commercial – Efficient procurement and management of resource within given constraints to achieve the engineering objectives.
Acquiring further learning and experience at work will develop your ability to carry responsibility and make an independent judgement. Although there is no concept of time serving within the Institution’s IPD scheme, you are unlikely to achieve an adequate range of further learning and work experience in less than four years. Summary Record Sheets/Log Books which are available from the Institution, provide a useful means of monitoring the achievement of core objectives and highlighting areas requiring review.
Further details of IPD requirements are contained in a separate document available from the Professional Development Officer. Full documentation on the schemes will be sent to the member immediately after the election as a Graduate or for those members pursuing Associate-Membership, immediately after completion of the minimum academic requirement.
All candidates wishing to progress to a professional grade of membership must first satisfy the Professional Review. This comprises an Interview to assess competence against the standards required and an examination.
Professional Review Interview
At the interview, you will be expected to bring evidence of IPD using a portfolio of work (where required). The relevant Report Forms, Statements of Experience and completed Application Form must be submitted when applying for approval to sit the examination for the Corporate Membership (Part 3) Exam or Associated-Membership Exam.
During the hour-long interview, you will be questioned on the training and experience evidenced in your submission and your commitment to the profession. If successful, your application form to apply for the written examination will be so endorsed. If unsuccessful, you will be told where your IPD falls short and encouraged to re-apply once the gap has been filled.
There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for the Professional Review. However, as the full assessment fee is required each time, it is clearly in your interest to complete all the core objectives before applying.
Candidates successful in the Interview part of the Professional Review may apply to sit the appropriate examination. However, if you do not sit the examination following your interview but choose to postpone taking it for a year, you will be required to submit a further experience report before being allowed to sit the examination. If you postpone the examination for more than three years after the completion of your Interview, you will have to submit an experience report and attend a further Interview before being allowed to sit the examination. The Part 3 and Associate – Member examinations are held each August. To be considered for the examinations to be held in August, candidates holding accredited qualifications must submit their application forms – Form M for Corporate Membership (Part 3) or Form AM for Associate Membership – by 1 May. All applicants without an accredited qualification must submit Form M or AM at least one year (i.e. by 1st August) before the examination they intend to take.
Associate – Membership Examinations
There are presently two alternative examinations to gain Associate Membership:
- Written examination – The Associate – Membership examination is a six-hour test of elemental design and practical competence in Structural Engineering. As a candidate, you must answer one question from a choice of four on Structural steelwork, Reinforced Concrete, General Construction, and Bridges. You must be able to interpret instructions from a Structural Engineer and produce practical structural designs and details. Also, you must be able to carry our site surveys produce condition reports of existing and materials, inspect projects and supervise new works.
- Oral Examination – If you are over 35, have at least 15 years of experience and hold an appropriate qualification, you can apply to take AM Oral Examination rather than the written paper. You will need to submit project work (three copies), the main paper of which should not exceed 5,000 words. The project is first assessed by the examinations Panel to decide whether the oral exam may take place. Two members of the examination panel will conduct the Interview, which normally takes at least an hour.
Corporate Membership (Part 3) Examination
The Corporate Membership (Part 3) Examination tests the candidate’s professional competence and conceptual design skills. It takes the form of a seven-hour paper on Structural Engineering Design and Practice.
Candidates must answer one question from a choice of five requiring solutions in Steel, Corporate and other materials. The questions cover a range of different Structural Designs question and a question about Transmission Masts or Towers.
To be a Corporate Structural Engineer, you must be able not only to design but also to communicate your design intentions. In the examination, you will be required to list and discuss possible structural solutions, showing by a brief, clear and logical presentation that you understand the design principles involved. In selecting and developing the chosen design, you should remember that the structure must be safe and of a competent and economic design.
The Institution runs courses to prepare candidates for the examinations and offers for sale past examination papers and examinations’ reports.
Presidential Award: This is one Prize for (Part 3) Examination and is awarded to the Candidate(s) with the highest aggregate of marks.
Membership via Research
Associate – Member
As a senior technician or equivalent, in a university or research establishment, you may opt to offer research or development work for assessment for Associate – Membership. You should be responsible for designing test rigs and/or instruments to implement research projects conceived by a Corporate Structural Engineer. Although you would not normally have been responsible for the research or its conception, you will have played a significant role in its delivery. With this route, you must submit details of calculations, drawings, procurement, etc. associated with the research and/or development project/s. Your contribution to the project/s should be clearly identified and confirmed by the Corporate Structural Engineer (or equivalent) responsible for them.
Applicants with the necessary academic qualifications for Corporate membership but who are researching Structural Engineering at a university, or other establishment approved by the Council, may submit evidence of their research published in referred journals. Council will look for evidence of important and original Structural Engineering research over several years.
If you choose this route, you must be the sole or principal author of at least some of the items submitted for assessment. Alternatively, you may produce evidence (normally signed by the sponsor) that you have played a principal part in and been responsible for the work described. Generally, all work submitted should have been published in refereed journals. Conference papers are not usually acceptable and research for a higher degree or postgraduate research is not, in itself, sufficient.
If you are offering development work for assessment for membership as a Corporate Structural Engineer, you must have played a major part in the activity. The work itself should be of reasonably general applicability. There should be documentation in the form of studies, papers, and report, perhaps culminating in guides, codes or manuals with the candidate as a principal author. Leading the management of a development group or team will be taken into account.
Mature Candidate Route
The Mature Candidate route is designed for those candidates with considerable experience and responsibility who, with the basic academic qualifications, would be eligible for Corporate Membership or Associate – Membership of the Institution. Such candidates must demonstrate their experience before a Professional Interview Panel that is constituted by the Council for each candidate.
The criteria for applying through this route differ for Corporate Members and Associate – Members
Candidates are required to prepare a synopsis of a paper, which must be approved before the candidate can write the full detailed report.
Mature candidates seeking Associate – Membership must:
- Be over 35 at the time of application
- Have at least 10 years experience as a Technician Engineer in Structural Engineering appointments of increasing responsibility.
- Be in a post demonstrating proven competence that would provide acceptable evidence of training and experience had the normal academic requirements been satisfied.
Once the Institution has approved the synopsis, a candidate will have up to a year to submit the final paper, which must demonstrate special knowledge. It may be a design study, a report original work, or a paper, based on the candidate’s published works.
Candidates for this route of entry must complete and submit their Application Forms along with the details of the Proposed Paper.
Mature candidates seeking Corporate Membership must:
- Be over 40 at the time of registration (35 if an Associate – Member), although applications can be initiated up to two years earlier.
- Have at least 15 years experience in appointments of increasing responsibility in Structural Engineering.
- Have attained a position demonstrating a level of competence that would have admitted the applicant to Corporate Membership even when the normal academic requirements had been satisfied.
The main aim of the Paper – which should be in English and 5,000 – 10,000 words long – is to demonstrate the author’s knowledge and understanding of engineering principles. All candidates for this route of entry must complete and submit their Application Forms along with a synopsis of the Proposed Paper.
Once the synopsis has been approved, a candidate must submit the final Paper within one year, during which Branch Advisers will be available to offer guidance.
Member via International Directive
Candidates from any European Union member state, United States of America, Canada, Russia and Republic of China who are already registered Professional Engineers, in their countries will on submission of their applications be admitted as Corporate Members of the Institution after the verification of their credentials, followed by Professional Interview.
On Admission and fulfilment of their financial obligations, members are entitled to use the following appellations after their names:
- Student Members SNIStructE
- Graduate Members GNIStructE
- Associate Members AMNIStructE
- Corporate Members MNIStructE
- Fellows FNIStructE
- Honorary Fellows FNIStructE (Hons)
- Companions CNIStructE
Further advice, Please contact:
THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTION OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
5, Akinhanmi Street, Surulere, P. O. Box 7496, Marina, Lagos, Nigeria.
Phone: +234(0)8055960846; +234(0)8122095767