How To Be a Registered/Licensed Engineer in Nigeria

If you are intending to be a registered or better put, licensed engineer, then you should read this blog. The procedure to do it can no doubt be confusing to many people, but I assure you, it is very simple. There are two steps involved; register with NSE then go to COREN for the final step. Registering with COREN is more important, when practicing engineering is concerned. But you have to go through  NSE to get there. Last year, (see blog post below), I mentioned you do not need to go through NSE to register with COREN. Actually, that new procedure was only done in September and October last year for reasons best known to themselves. After that period, COREN stopped accepting applicants without NSE registration.

But going through NSE makes it a lot easier to go to COREN. NSE has two registration windows, in April and in October. Once you get your registration with NSE, getting your license from COREN is simplified.

So if you are intending to get your engineering practicing license, now is the time to do it. Application to sit for NSE exams has started and will not end till February the 28th. NSE website has given a step by step instruction of how to do it. I have also made a specific blog post for that here. Should you need more guidance in doing this, I would be happy to help. Please comment below or send an email.

 

***PREVIOUS BLOG POST OF 2016***

The procedure of registering with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has once again changed. It actually reverted back to what was the norm about 5 years ago. Now, you do not need to go through the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). You can acquire both membership in parallel. However, going through the NSE first before approaching COREN may be easier. This is because when you register with NSE, you will neither sit for an interview with COREN nor will you need to submit a detailed technical report.  Again, to clear the misconception of who gives you the requisite license to practice engineering in Nigeria, it is COREN. It is the organization decreed in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A Registered Engineer, according to the Engineers Code of Conduct of 2015 prepared by COREN is defined as someone who maybe engaged in research, production, supervision of engineering construction, management of engineering activities or as a designer; or he may be retained as a consultant for professional advice, inspection, certification adjudication, or be engaged in any combination of these.

Back to the matter, how do you get your license now without going to NSE?

The process is clearly detailed on the website here. For a summary, all you have to do is download and print two forms. One form is to be completed by two registered engineers who are up to date with their payment of dues, endorsing you to be registered. The other form is to be completed by your employer, endorsing your application. Until you have these two forms, you should not start the online registration.

With the forms duly completed, you are ready to begin the online application. You will be asked to upload the two endorsed forms and other credentials of yours. In addition, you will need to request your alma mater to send your bachelor’s transcripts to COREN. This you can do early on in the process, assuming you are certain you will get endorsed, which I believe is not difficult. However, you may face a challenging period looking for engineers with up to date payment of dues. Ensure you ascertain they are up to date with the account office of COREN before you upload the form.

During the completion of the online form, you will be asked to pay a registration fee of 12,000 Nigerian Naira. Thereafter, you will submit 3 copies of a technical report. When the board reviews your application, an invitation for interview will be sent to you. On the day of your interview, you will also bring a single copy of the report you submitted earlier. One advice about the report, do not include what you cannot defend. Your interview will assess you on what you wrote and basic engineering knowledge. If you need help writing this report, please contact me.

The assessment interview is organized at the beginning of each quarter. So the next interview should be in September. Confirmed dates haven’t been announced yet. After passing your interview, which I have no doubt you will, you will complete the process by paying 38,500 NGN. And with that, you have the requisite license to practice engineering in Nigeria and use the title ‘Engr’ before your name.

For those who have master’s degrees, you do not need to submit your M.Sc transcript. You can do so if you wish though. Your first degree transcript suffices. If you have any more questions regarding the process, please comment below. If you also need help with the writing your post-graduate experience report, I will be happy to help.

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* PREVIOUS POST, 2015 *

Many of us are a bit confused as to what body licenses engineers in Nigeria; is it the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) or the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN)? Well, it is COREN that can authoritatively grant you license to practice engineering in Nigeria. The process of getting there is dependent on time and experience though, and must be through NSE. Nigerian engineers practicing outside the country are also eligible for registration by COREN.

From last year, the procedure for getting registered changed. Then, COREN administers potential engineers with an exam before registering them. Now, it is the NSE that administers the examination, and all you have to do after passing the exam is to apply to COREN for registration. You normally pay an amount of money together with your application. Your applications must be supported by a registered engineer, who has to sign her/his name, including her/his license number. This engineer should be the one you have been under her or his tutelage.

The first eligibility you need to meet before getting registered is the duration of your engineering practice. Normally, COREN says you have to practice for four years before applying. However, you can be registered with a lower number of years, if you have partaken in a sophisticated engineering project. These rules also apply now to NSE before you get registered with them.

NSE organizes a mandatory workshop (at a fee) for aspiring engineers twice a year, in March and in October. The same time period that COREN accepts application for registration. After the workshop, you then sit for the exam, depending on your discipline. A 3 part exam is organized; essay, oral and technical. For civil engineers, you are normally required to submit a full manual design of a development project you have worked on before, complete with structural detailing. The essay part is a general examination covering the disciplines of engineering; perhaps testing your general engineering knowledge. You will also be tried on your proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the technical exam. The oral examination will test you mostly on the design of the project you have submitted. I know oral examination sounds scary but am sure you will nail it if you get there.

Engineering seal
A COREN engineering seal which each COREN registered engineer is given, customized with your registration number.

Upon the acceptance of your application showing you have passed the exam and meet the duration of practice, you will be granted license to practice and an engineering seal (pictured above) which you will use on the engineering drawings you will submit for development authorities to approve. Development authorities (such as FCDA that is in charge of developmental projects in the FCT) will only accept engineering drawings with a COREN seal before they will approve the development project.

So how many years of practice do you have left before you can register?

 

Written by Sadiq Gulma (LEED AP BD+C)…your freelance engineer.

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