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Showcasing Leadership: How to Demonstrate Leadership Qualities in Your Professional Registration Application


Leadership is not confined to managerial titles nor hierarchical roles. Even without managing teams, your contributions matter and your impact can be profound. In the Havard Business Review article “Exerting Influence Without Authority”, Lauren Keller Johnson talks about how flatter management structures, outsourcing, and virtual teams have resulted in a greater number of managers now needing to get things done through peers inside and outside their organizations, which they have no authority over. Managers are now required to exercise influence over peers through partnerships and alliances. So, as an engineer on your way to becoming chartered, professional reviewers will seek evidence of your influencing skills, mature competence and technical leadership in various capacities on your application. Whether you are a recent graduate engineer, an early career engineer or a seasoned professional below are actionable steps to showcase your leadership skills on your chartered engineer application.


1. Taking Initiative Beyond Remit:

Share instances where you went beyond your role, taking responsibility for and solving identified problems. Illustrate your commitment to achieving work completion, even when it falls outside your immediate responsibilities.


2. Team Management and Accountability:

Provide evidence of your ability to manage teams, emphasizing specific leadership skills and techniques employed. Discuss decisions made in a technical context or while supervising a group of engineers, showcasing maturity in decision-making.


3. Training and Mentoring:

Highlight experiences in training apprentice, junior engineers and peers. Showcase initiatives such as proactively initiating projects, delegating work, and providing guidance to peers, operators, or technicians.


4. Community Outreach and Promotion:

Demonstrate leadership beyond the workplace, such as leading the promotion of chemical engineering in local schools, universities, or community outreach programs. Emphasize your contributions to elevating the field outside the professional setting.


5. Quality Standards and Program Management:

Showcase your ability to identify variations from quality standards, programs, and budgets, and how you took corrective action. Discuss how you set objectives and work plans with teams and individuals, contributing to team and individual development.


6. Technical Reviews and Investigations:

Share experiences of leading technical reviews, such as conducting process upset investigations at a chemical plant or other similar facility. Provide specific examples that demonstrate your technical leadership in challenging situations.

7. Leadership Beyond Work Roles:

Mention additional avenues where you have demonstrated leadership, such as volunteering as a board member, trustee, or committee member serving within a professional engineering institution (i.e. IChemE, IET, etc), or other similar organisations.


8. Thought Leadership:

Writing thought leadership articles establishes you as a credible voice in your field. Share your insights, experiences, and expertise through publications (e.g. LinkedIn, professional/trade journals, research papers etc.) to reinforce your leadership narrative.



In conclusion, leadership goes beyond titles and positions. It is about initiative, responsibility, and impact. Your journey as a leader is defined by the actions you take and the difference you make in your engineering career, workplace and industry. By presenting a diverse range of leadership experiences, you can effectively convey your skills and stand out on your chartered engineer applications. Good luck!

Written by Nike Amiaka

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