OPEN’s (Oman Professional Engineers’ Network) Strategic Plan – November 2018
“OPEN is a subsidiary of OSE, operating in collaboration with IET and IMechE and supported by ICE, IChemE, IStructE, RIBA, RICS and RTPI”
Vision: To enable engineers and related professionals (including but not limited to town planners, architects, and quantity surveyors) who are living in Oman, to achieve professional competence and excellence, through acquiring internationally recognised Professional Qualifications (PQs) or attaining a comparable level of competence and excellence.
Mission: The advancement of professional knowledge and skills, the promotion of the engineering and related professions and assisting young professionals in their professional development and in attaining recognised professional qualifications.
OPEN works with, and under the umbrella of the Oman Society of Engineers (OSE). OPEN is supported by and will leverage the wisdom of UK professional institutions: – the IET, IMechE, ICE, IChemE, IStructE, RIBA, RICS and RTPI. Other professional institutions willing to be associated with OPEN in the future will also be incorporated.
Objectives and Strategies:
Horizon1 – Short-term Objectives and Strategies (2 year goal):
► Obj. 1 – To promote and encourage the acquisition of knowledge, pertinent to engineering and related professions; to promote and encourage the acquisition of skills to enable the achievement of professional qualifications from a recognised Professional Institution (PI).
1A – To build relationships with the members of UK PIs residing in Oman, with a view to assisting the transfer of professional skills to other professionals and would-be professionals in the OPEN scope,
1B – To guide professionals in gaining membership of a relevant PI,
1C – To work with the RIBA, RICS, RTPI and the Engineering Council for the promotion of nominations for professional qualifications (such as RIBA, RICS and RTPI Qualifications or CEng, IEng, EngTech or ICTTech) and to provide support with the administrative aspects of submission of applications,
1D – To promote professional activities by providing diverse presentations on professional topics. This can be done by advertising OSE or OPEN events, and also by letting each active PI in Oman advertise their activities to one another and also to OPEN Members who are not members of a PI or are, but their PI is not active in Oman,
1E – To organise visits of professional interest in liaison with the OSE,
1F – To identify OPEN members to peer-review professional qualification applications and assist in the use of good English writing, for those who apply to UK PIs to become professionally qualified,
1G – To encourage PIs to hold interviewer training to their members in Oman, to enable professional qualifications to be tested by interview, locally,
1H – To request PI Members – to gain further help from their PI and particularly from senior PI members/speakers who may be travelling in the Middle East or via the region and who would be willing to stop-off in Oman as guest speakers or interviewers.
► Obj. 2 – To raise the profile of OPEN so that it is well thought of as an established and respected engineering network.
2A – To seek the patronage of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a prestigious global body. Do this with the assistance of the DIT or British Embassy Muscat and Fellows of the RAEng known to be visiting Oman. OPEN is contributing to building capacity in Oman and promoting UK engineering capability; this comes in harmony with the International Missions of the RAEng,
2B – Once OPEN is associated with the Royal Academy of Engineering, to make use of its knowledge resources to promote OPEN and, advise members,
2C – To seek further advice and support from the existing PIs associated with OPEN as to how to best support members, particularly from the PIs that OPEN is in collaboration with, i.e. the IET and IMechE.
► Obj. 3 – In liaison with the OSE, to encourage and assist Oman based students of undergraduate or graduate engineering courses and their respective higher education (HE) provider, in establishing Student Chapters of OSE/OPEN as a first step of joining PIs supporting OPEN and working to be professionally qualified.
3A – For OSE Training Officer and members of OPEN’s Steering Committee, or other volunteers, to visit HE providers of engineering courses to encourage or assist students and the HE provider management, in establishing Chapters of OSE/OPEN for the purpose of cross-discipline understanding and encouraging membership of PIs,
3B – To deliver presentations to Student Chapters, on the importance of joining international PIs and working to attain professional qualifications; to guide or assist students, in joining PIs supporting OPEN and deliver presentations on the initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD),
3C – To encourage HE providers to fund the membership costs of their lecturers with the aim that HE leaders of students are better placed to advocate for PI membership if they themselves are members. Their membership will also smooth the dissemination of PI information to the students via their lecturers,
3D – To encourage HE providers to fund the modest outgoings of the OSE/OPEN Student Chapters in their institutions.
► Obj. 4 – To support HE providers in Oman, willing to have their engineering programmes accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Board, UK.
4A – To solicit the assistance of the Engineering Council, UK and PIs in making arrangements for local HE providers,
4B – To facilitate the various engineering departments within an HE provider to undertake accreditation at the same time,
4C – To advocate for the Engineering Council, UK to undertake joint accreditation for multiple departments within an HE provider to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
Horizon 2 – Long-term Objectives and Strategies (5 year goal):
► Obj. 5 – In liaison with OSE, to encourage and assist potential employers in providing training for engineering students (both Omani and non-Omani, studying in Oman), and subsequently work placements for them.
To support the development of Training Schemes for new employees approved by PIs and implemented with the support of willing senior engineers of employers as mentors and programme directors. This includes supporting employers willing to develop Engineering Development Programmes (EDPs) and to guide aspiring young engineers with their Initial Professional Development (IPD) and promote Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
5A – For members of OPEN’s Steering Committee, or other volunteers, to visit major employers to show the importance and what can be gained by the employers, of providing training and work placements for students and young graduates,
5B – To liaise with employers and PIs for drafting and approving Training Schemes,
5C – To identify from the feedback of OPEN’s Questionnaire, and by other means, information regarding employers and senior engineers willing to mentor or supervise trainees or new employees,
5D – For appointed OPEN members to pay periodic visits to trainees and new employees, and assist them in their professional development,
5E- OPEN’s SC to approach major companies offering assistance in developing EDPs and IPDs and promoting CPD within their young staff.
► Obj. 6 – To solicit the assistance and the supporting UK PIs in training senior professionals residing in Oman to serve OSE as Qualified Assessors / Examiners for the Omani Engineer Classification system.
6A-To request that OSE invite interested professionals and to liaise with the concerned PIs to set up a Training Plan,
6B – To map the Omani Engineer Classification System against the UK-SPEC to understand the differences, and overlaps.
► Obj. 7 – To approach potential sponsors, in liaison with the OSE, seeking funding for young professionals aspiring to pursue postgraduate study and/or attaining a professional qualification.
Strategy: To request OSE to approach employers and major corporations in Oman for funding of aspiring professionals. The assistance of the Omani British Friendship Association (OBFA) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) – British Embassy Muscat could be sought.
► Obj. 8 – To undertake Professional Reviews in Oman.
Strategy: To analyse the feedback on the Questionnaire which is part of OPEN’s Website, from members of PIs residing in Oman. The analysis would show the identity of qualified reviewers for each PI who could then be requested by OPEN’s Steering Committee (SC) to run local Professional Reviews if there is no such arrangement already.
► Obj. 9 – In liaison with the OSE, to support the Education Sector in the promotion of engineering and associated subjects to Secondary School students.
Strategy: To identify from the feedback on the Questionnaire mentioned above OPEN’s members willing, as volunteers, to visit schools in Oman and promote studying engineering subjects.
► Obj. 10 – To support and encourage the PIs to go into schools to promote engineering and associate subjects from age 8 onwards.
10 A – OPEN’s SC to approach the local committees of PIs to find out about their school programmes (such as ‘Why Not Chem Eng?’ from the Institution of Chemical Engineers),
10 B – OPEN’s SC to establish a list of schools and their contact details which are receptive to receiving engineering speakers; find the ages they would like to have the children spoken with and the format (i.e. a class lesson, or a presentation to the whole school, or a lunchtime club).
► Obj. 11 – To encourage professional bodies in the GCC States to establish bodies similar to OPEN in their countries for the purpose of assisting collaboration between engineering and related disciplines in those states and to aid inter-State collaboration and learning. These bodies could be named, collectively, as the Gulf Professional Engineers Network (GPEN).
Strategy: Seek the support of DITs in these States to make relevant professional bodies aware of OPEN and assist in establishing similar bodies.
► Obj. 12 – For OPEN to promote Publically Available Specification (PAS) 525, in Oman, GCC and the Arab Region, and make potential interested parties aware of its existence and the great benefit of its application. Background to PAS 525: The Engineering Council has worked with BSI to develop an internationally applicable Publicly Available Specification (PAS 525) for assessing the competence and commitment of engineering professionals. It is designed to be readily implemented by international professional engineering organisations, government agencies, employers and insurers as a framework to support specification for engineering projects products and processes, or to guide the training of engineers.
Strategy: Seek the assistance of OSE in applying this PAS in Oman, and contacting the engineering professional bodies in the GCC and the Federation of Arab Engineers for promoting this new specification.
An action plan will be drafted in the future, after analysing the feedback of the members’ returned questionnaires and determining available voluntary resources. These resources might enable shifting some objectives and strategies from long term to short term.