Public Trust and Confidence in the Engineering Profession
Public trust and confidence in the engineering profession carries a great deal of significance. The responsibilities bestowed upon professional engineers are truly enormous. As they fulfill their professional duties, the health, welfare, and safety of the public are top of their priority list. That is why, as a professional engineer, you have to conduct yourself in a way that builds confidence and trust in the eyes of the public. Moreover, engineering ethics deem it necessary for all engineers, regardless of their area of practice, to adhere to standards and codes that enhance the honor, repute, and value of the profession. In addition, investing in competency and capacity building goes a long way in establishing a reputation of trust and confidence in the public spectrum. The level of sensitivity of what professional engineers do is high; hence, they have to demonstrate the highest level of competency at all times. It is for this reason that the advancement of knowledge through continuing education courses is paramount for professional engineers. Read on to gain more insights regarding public trust and confidence in the engineering profession.
The Role of Licensing In Building Trust
Licensing translates to competency. Licensing plays a major role in the career of an engineer. It gives you the authority to practice engineering. It is until you are licensed that you are able to undertake specific duties and responsibilities in the profession. Certainly, this goes a long way in building trust among different people and institutions in the public landscape. Given that public welfare, health, and safety are fundamental areas that engineers have to guard as they undertake their responsibilities, licensing ensures that only competent individuals are on the forefront.
The governing body that gives out licenses to engineers builds public trust by setting a high bar and standard that engineers have to attain for them to begin practicing. That is why engineers have to work hard to fulfill all the requirements needed to get licensed. Engineers know that getting licensed is not an easy thing, thus they have to keep on building their capacity on a regular basis for them to satisfy their governing organs. Since licensing is an indication of competency and proves an engineer’s knowledge and capacity to undertake engineering projects, this builds the much-needed trust from all stakeholders.
Competency of Engineers and Its Relationship to Public Trust
Engineers handle highly sensitive projects that touch directly on the quality of lives of those affected. Many times, engineers work on projects that serve a whole state, which is a really big deal. In other words, what you do as an engineer is pivotal to public welfare. This brings in the aspect of competency as an essential component in building public trust. Without competency of engineers, there can never be public trust. The public needs to see engineers exhibiting strong professional competencies in the execution of their day-to-day responsibilities. If you lack the capacity to demonstrate professionalism in your practice, you will find it difficult to connect with the public sphere. This is a huge blow because it is the environment where you do your practice.
Additionally, the level of skills, knowledge, and capacities that professional engineers portray play a dominant role in public trust. Members of the public will only work with engineering professionals who fully understand what they are doing and are able to produce quality work. For example, if you are handling a major water project, it is your skills and level of proficiency that gives your clients confidence to give you a contract. Therefore, the more skilled and knowledgeable you are, the more you are able to gained public trust.
Engineering ethics are important building blocks in fostering public trust and confidence. Just like in other professions, engineers have to demonstrate high levels of ethics for the public to trust them. As a professional engineer, you will find yourself working with different people from diverse backgrounds. For you to win their trust, you have to display high standards of ethics. For example, you should develop tolerance of diversity as an engineer. This means that you should develop the capacity for broader perspectives when dealing with the public. There are times when your opinion will differ with others.
In such times, engineering ethics require you to appreciate the differences that ensue, and reason ethically so as to come up with a viable solution. Furthermore, in your engineering practice, you are likely to encounter issues in manufacturing, product conceptualization, product design, and many others. The way you deal with such issues will determine how to develop public trust in your practice. Therefore, dealing with these issues in an ethical manner will be imperative in fostering public confidence.
Generally, the public respects and trusts engineers. While there are unscrupulous people who may be in the engineering fraternity, most of the engineers are highly regarded by the public institutions and also individuals. This is because of various reasons. One of the major reasons why engineers are trusted by the public is that they work as teams and display professionalism in what they do. In most cases, professional engineers know that it’s their demonstration of competency that will earn them respect before the public eye. Thus, they have to do their best to maintain that. Additionally, the fact that engineers work under governing authorities gives the public the ability to respect and trust them. Since engineers answer to licensing institutions, they have to be careful as to how they undertake their projects and responsibilities. In case of any misbehavior or violation, licenses can be revoked. For this reason, they have to protect their integrity at all times. This is what gives them positive opinion polls before the public.
As an online company that specializes in providing continuing education courses for professional engineers, we believe that developing public trust is truly important. That is why you have to continue sharpening your skills and ensure that you are up to date with the current accepted engineering practices. This is essential in building the much-needed public trust and confidence. Certainly, this is an area that we can help you grow to the highest capacity possible as you seek to foster public confidence in your engineering practice.