Pathway to become a Professional Engineer in Malaysia by Studying at Top Private Universities with BEM Accredited Engineering Courses
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Students should choose to study a 4-year engineering degree at top private universities in Malaysia that are accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). Only Graduate Engineers and Professional Engineers registered with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM) are entitled to practice engineering in Malaysia. A professional engineer (Ir or PEng) is a person who is licensed to practice engineering in Malaysia after meeting all the requirements (e.g. pass PI Examination). Therefore, one of the first steps in wanting to become a professional engineer after completing SPM or Pre-U, is to choose an engineering degree that is accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). Read on to find out more about BEM and the education pathway.
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Education Pathway to Become a Professional Engineer in Malaysia
Students need to have credits in Maths & Physics or Science (Chemistry is needed for Chemical Engineering or Petroleum Engineering) in SPM or O-Levels to go for the Foundation programme first before entering into the 4-year engineering programme that’s accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) at top private universities in Malaysia. Each university will have their own entry requirements for engineering so do check with us to find out the details.
Students after SPM or O-Levels who are sure of choosing engineering for their degree studies may go for the Foundation in Engineering. If you are still not sure whether you want engineering or other science courses, you may choose the Foundation in Science programme at premier private universities in Malaysia.
Below are some of the top private universities for the various engineering and foundation courses for you to consider:
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Foundation in Science
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Foundation in Engineering
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Electrical & Electronic Engineering
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Mechanical Engineering
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Mechatronic Engineering
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Civil Engineering
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Chemical Engineering
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Petroleum Engineering
What is the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) registers graduates and professional engineers under the Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (Revised 2002). The requirement for registration as a graduate engineer is a degree in engineering recognised by the Board. Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) is the only body certifying Professional Engineers in Malaysia.
This regulatory body for engineering practices in Malaysia was set-up by the Malaysian government under the Registration of Engineers Act (1967) to administer and to enforce the Engineering Act and its provisions to protect public interest.
Only Graduate Engineers and Professional Engineers registered with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM) are entitled to practice engineering in Malaysia. All engineering practitioner MUST register with BEM within 6-months of practice.
A professional engineer (Ir or PEng) is a person who is licensed to practice engineering in Malaysia after meeting all the requirements (e.g. pass PI Examination)
Main Branches of Engineering in Malaysia
|A. Chemical||D. Mechanical|
|B. Civil||E. Mining|
|2||Aeronautics||24||Instrumentation and Control|
|9||Building Services||31||Mineral Processing|
|13||Electromechanical Power||35||Naval Architecture|
|19||Geotechnical||41||System and Control|
There are two ways to become a professional engineer in Malaysia:
The registration with Board Engineers Malaysia (BEM) is mandatory as BEM is the regulatory body whereas registration with the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) is optional. You are encourage to register with IEM (is a learned society) to keep abreast with latest info on engineering. Registration with IEM can only be done after your registration with BEM has been approved.
1. Becoming a Professional Engineer in Malaysia Through Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
Any person who wants to take up employment as an engineer must be registered as a Graduate engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). BEM recognises the experience gained by an engineering graduate only after he has registered as a Graduate Engineer.
It is paramount important that all engineering graduate register with the Board of Engineers Malaysia immediately after graduation or before they work as engineers.
By sitting for their PAE (Professional Assessment Examination). In order to be able to sit for their PAE you MUST have a minimum of 3 years of working experience. Your 3 years of working experience ONLY STARTS counting after you have registered with the BEM.
Eg. In the year 2016 you have been effectively working for 10 years but you have registered with the BEM only in 2015. That means you only have 1 year of working experience in their clock.
Therefore, all fresh graduates please register with the BEM ASAP after your graduation. It is supposed to be illegal for you to work in the capacity of an engineer without a registration with the BEM.
Practical Experience / Working Experience: Minimum 3 years practical experience (in a branch/discipline approved by BEM) is required to be fulfilled by a Graduate Engineer so as to be entitled to apply for registration as a Professional Engineer in future.
You must also complete not less than 30 units (60 hours) of Professional Development Program (PDP) programme by attending technical talks, seminars, society meetings or community services.
Professional Assessment Exam: Having completed/satisfied all the above, you may then apply to sit for Professional Assessment Examination owned by BEM now conducted by IEM on behalf of BEM.
Once you have sat and passed the PAE you will gain your P.Eng and hence, entitled to use the title Ir. (Eg. Ir. Dr. Jason Tan B.Eng(Hons), Phd (Mech), P.Eng)
Requirements to become a Professional Engineer in Malaysia
Any candidate who applies for registration as a Professional Engineer must:
- Be registered as a Graduate Engineer with Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM).
- Have satisfied the training requirements of Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM).
- Have passed the Professional Assessment Examination (PAE) of BEM or be elected as a Corporate Member of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
- Have been residing in Malaysia for a period of not less than six months immediately prior to the date of application.
Training Requirements to Become a Professional Engineer in Malaysia
A registered Graduate Engineer is required under Section 10(1)(b) of the Act to obtain practical experience in order to be entitled to sit for the Professional Assessment Examination (PAE) which is a prerequisite to apply for registration as a Professional Engineer.
The candidate shall carry out the practical experience in the following manner as prescribed in Regulation 22(1) of the Registration of Engineers Regulations 1990:
- The practical experience that a registered Graduate Engineer is required to obtain under section 10 (1) (b) of the Act in order to be entitled to apply for registration as a Professional Engineer shall be carried out in a manner satisfactory to the Board for a period of three years – in the planning, design, execution or management of such works as comprised within the profession of engineering; in engineering research; or
- in the teaching in a course leading to a qualification in engineering research; or in the teaching in a course leading to a qualification approved by the Board, and at least one Year of such practical experience shall be obtained in Malaysia under the supervision of a registered Profession Engineer of the same discipline or an approved allied discipline and shall be in fields of engineering practice other than in research or teaching.
- This period of training in a local environment is greatly emphasized by BEM as it is of paramount importance for the prospective Professional Engineers to be familiar with the local conditions and by – laws so that they can comply and practise effectively in Malaysia.
- Notwithstanding the above, regulation 22(2) stipulates that if the Board is satisfied for sufficient cause or reason, the Board may in any particular case exempt either wholly or partly the requirements as to the practical experience required to be obtained in Malaysia or the requirement as to the supervision by a registered Professional Engineer in Malaysia; provided that the total practical experience to be obtained shall not be less than three years.
- Where there is no Professional Engineer of the same or allied discipline as the candidate in the organisation in which the candidate is working, he may seek the approval from BEM to obtain a Professional Engineer from outside his organisation to supervise his training.
- After the candidate has completed the required prescribed training, he may apply to sit for the Professional Assessment Examination conducted by BEM.
2. Becoming at Professional Engineer in Malaysia ThroughInstitution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) By sitting for their PI (Professional Interview)
The close co-operation between the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) has resulted in the recognition of the M.I.E.M. as satisfying the criteria for P.Eng registration with the regulatory body, Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
Before even talking about the PI, a fresh graduate is encouraged to register with the IEM as a graduate engineer. Once you have registered with theInstitution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) as a graduate engineer, you are entitled to the title Engr. As simple as that. (Eg. Engr. Dr. Jason Tan B.Eng (Hons), Phd (Mech), GM.I.E.M)
Graduates are required to obtain professional experiences in:-
- Planning, design, execution or management of engineering works; or
- Engineering research or the teaching of engineering.
For Civil Engineering, candidates must obtain professional experiences in:-
- Minimum 12 months of site experience
- Minimum 12 months of design experience
For other Engineering candidates must obtain professional experiences in:-
- For Electrical Engineering
- Minimum 6 months of site experience
- Minimum 12 months design experience
- For Mechanical Engineering
- Minimum 12 months site experience
- Minimum 6 months design experience
- Minimum six months of design experience for Electronic & Communication Engineering
At least 3 years before eligible to apply for Corporate Membership of the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) and subsequent Professional Engineer registration with theBoard of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). In order to be able to sit for the PI, applicants SHOULD have at least a minimum of 3 years of working experience. It will be virtually impossible to pass the PI if you have less than 3 years of working experience since you will most probably have insufficient materials to be put in your report.
Note: It is not necessary to become a graduate member first before you can sit for the PI and there is no IEM clock that counts your working experience. If you have been working for 10 years, you will then have 10 years of working experience as far as the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) is concerned.
Once you have sat and passed the PI, you are entitled to use the title Engr. (Same title as the graduate engineer) (Eg. Engr. Dr. Jason Tan B.Eng(Hons), Phd (Mech), M.I.E.M) Once you have your Engr. (M.I.E.M) you can then proceed to top up with the Ir (P.Eng) from Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM).
There are two scenarios:
- If you have not registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), go register with them and wait three years before getting your P.Eng. You must also complete the 60 hours of BEM mandatory courses known as the PDP.
- If you have registered with theBoard of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and have three years of woking experience according to their clock, you can get your P.Eng. immediately. You must also complete the 60 hours of BEM mandatory courses known as the PDP.
Once you have achieved 1 and 2, you will have the privilege to use the titles: Eg. Ir. Dr. Jason Tan B.Eng (Hons), Phd (Mech), P.Eng, M.I.E.M
For applicant who are above 30 years old and have had not less than eight (8) years experience and holding a senior position, kindly proceed to apply for the grade of Companion.
What is the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM)?
The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) is a professional learned society. It was formed in 1959 and was admitted a member of the Commonwealth Engineers Council in 1962. The Institution is a qualifying body for professional engineers in Malaysia.
The Corporate member of the Institution can apply to the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (which is a registration body) for registration as a Professional Engineer, which will entitle him to set up practice. The qualification standards are determined by the Council of the Institution.
The Institution is one of the few professional engineering institutions in the world, which represents all disciplines of the profession, and is thus able to take a broad view of the professional scene.
BEM (Board of Engineers, Malaysia) is different from IEM. BEM is a government body that regulates the registration of engineers in Malaysia while IEM is a professional Body or Learned Society for engineers.
- If you have to approve or/and submit layouts/designs to the approving authortity, P.Eng is mandatory. But if you are working in the manufacturing sector for instance, you can opt just for the M.I.E.M. Getting either/both the P.Eng or the M.I.E.M is a great personal satisfaction if you ask me and they look absolutely fabulous on your resume.
- Once you get your P.Eng from BEM, you will have to renew your “license” every year in order to be able to continue to use the title Ir. Before you can renew your license, you must complete 40 hours (I may be wrong) of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) .
Can I still find work with a 3-year engineering degree?
Yes, you can still work as an engineer with a 3-year engineering degree. All UK degrees are 3 years in duration and therefore not accredited by BEM. If you want to become a professional engineer, then you just need to go for the M.Eng.
Generally, becoming a professional engineer is important for Civil Engineers as they need to sign and seal blueprints for the buildings. Other engineering fields do not need to do this so it is up to each individual’s career goals whether to pursue becoming a professional engineer status or not.
Why become a professional engineer in Malaysia?
- If you ever want or need to become a consulting, engineer, you must be licensed as an Ir or P.Eng.
- Only a Ir/P.Eng. can sign and seal engineering documents that are engineering documents that are submitted to a public authority or for public and private clients.
- Many companies encourage licensure and some even pay a bonus for becoming a P.Eng.
- In education, more universities are requiring a Ir/P.Eng. license to lecture in the engineering faculty or for holding certain positions.
- In some industries such as utilities, and government positions, a P.Eng. is required for specified jobs or positions.
- With the engineering profession now operating in an international environment, licensing may be required to work in or for other countries. You will be prepared in the event your career moves in this direction (e.g. APEC Engineers, EMF Int. Engineer Register, Washington Accord)
What is the Engineering Accreditation Council in Malaysia?
Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) has a duty to ensure that the quality of engineering education/programme of its registered engineers attains the minimum standard comparable to global practice.
The objective of accreditation is to ensure that graduates of the accredited engineering programmes satisfy the minimum academic requirements for registration as a graduate engineer with:
- the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), and
- for admission to graduate membership of Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM)
Hence the necessity to accredit engineering programmes conducted in the public & private universities and colleges in Malaysia. The Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) is the body appointed by Board of Engineers Malaysia for accreditation of engineering degrees in Malaysia.
The EAC is made of representatives of:
- Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
- The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM)
- Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA)
- Public Services Department (Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia (JPA)
The Washington Accord
The Washington Accord is a multinational agreement signed in 1989, which recognises the substantial equivalency of engineering degree programmes accredited by the responsible bodies in each of the signatory countries.
Washington Accord is an agreement among the engineering quality assurance organisations of several nations that recognises the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by those organisations.
The agreement paves the way for mutual recognition of accredited programmes, establishing the notion that graduates have met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering in any signatory country.
Signatories have full rights of participation in the Accord; qualifications accredited or recognised by other signatories are recognised by each signatory as being substantially equivalent to accredited or recognised qualifications within its own jurisdiction.
Admission to the Accord is more importantly an endorsement that the engineering education system of the member nation has demonstrated a strong, longterm commitment to quality assurance in producing engineers ready for industry practice in the international scene.
As a Washington Accord signatory, Malaysia’s degrees that have been accredited by Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) will be accepted by other Washington Accord signatories.
This means that students who study in universities with engineering degrees that are accredited by MQA and Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) may find work in other countries that have signed the Washington Accord.
Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) uses as a guide the list for Professional/Chartered Engineer by the accreditation organisations of the country where the degree is issued. Candidates are advised to check with the relevant Engineering Accreditation bodies’ web site for the list recognised degrees of professional chartered level. However, Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) reserves the right to review the list at any time without notice.
The recognition of engineering degree from overseas (full time/twinning) will be based on the accreditation given by professional bodies who are signatories of Washington Accord:
Country / Jurisdiction
|United Kingdom||The Engineering Council (EC)||www.engc.org.uk|
|United States||Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology, US||www.abet.org|
|New Zealand||The Institution of Professional Engineers, New Zealand||www.ipenz.org.nz|
|Australia||The Institution of Engineers, Australia||www.ieaust.org.au|
|Canada||Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, Canada||www.ccpe.ca|
|Ireland||Institution of Engineers of Ireland||www.iei.ie|
|South Africa||Engineering Council of South Africa||www.ecsa.co.za|
|Hong Kong||The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers;||www.hkie.org.hk|
|Japan||Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education||www.jabee.org|
|South Korea||Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea||www.abeek.or.kr|
|Singapore||Institution of Engineers Singapore||www.ies.org.sg|
|Chinese Taipei||Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan||www.ieet.org.tw|
Engineering Degree from these countries will be considered on case to case basis:
Country / Jurisdiction
Engineering Accreditation Body
|France||Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur||www.cti-commission.fr|
|European Countries||European Federation of National Engineering Association (FEANI)||www.feani.org|
The Path to be a Professional Engineer in Malaysia after completing a 4-Year Engineering Degree
The recognized academic qualification for registration as a Graduate Engineer with BEM includes the as a Graduate Graduate Engineer Engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) includes includes the following:
- An engineering degree accredited/recognized by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) available in an approved list maintained by BEM
- A pass in Part I & part II of the Engineering Council Examination of United Kingdom or Part I & Part II of the IEM/BEM Graduate Examination in any particular branch for qualifications that is not branch for qualifications qualifications that is not accredited/recognized by BEM/IEM.
- An engineer who has just graduated with a recognised qualification must register with the Board of Engineers Malaysia. He/she can then start to obtain the necessary training and experience, normally four years, before he/she can attempt to sit for the Professional Interview, an exam to qualify Graduate Members of IEM to be transferred to Corporate Members. Corporate Members of Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) can then apply to upgrade their status to P.Eng. with the Board of Engineers Malaysia.
After graduation, an engineer needs to register with Board of Engineers Malaysia to be a graduate engineer. After a few years of practical experience (supervised by a professional engineer), the graduate engineer can apply to sit for Professional Interview (with IEM). If he/she passes the Interview, he/she can apply to Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) to be a Professional Engineer that entitles him/her to use the title Ir.
- Engineers Act 1967 requires every engineer to be registered with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM).
- Graduates from recognised degree programmes shall be registered as Graduate Engineer to work as an engineer.
- Practical training of more than 3 years is required for application to sit for Professional Interview (PI).
- A PI candidate will be required to show that he can apply theory in engineering projects, and has acquired the skills of investigation, planning, and design.
- Upon passing the PI, the candidate can then apply to BEM for registration as a Professional Engineer.
Frequently Asked Questions about Board of Engineering Malaysia (BEM)
1. What is accreditation?
Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) accreditation is to ensure that graduates of the accredited engineering programmes satisfy the minimum academic requirements for registration as a graduate engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and for admission to graduate membership of IEM.
- Why the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) Accreditation is important?
- Accreditation helps students and their parents to choose quality college programmes.
- Accreditation enables employers to recruit graduates they know are well-prepared.
- Accreditation gives colleges and universities a structured mechanism to assess,
- evaluate, and improve the quality of their programs.
3. Is it true that BEM do not recognize three (3) year degree programmes and only four (4) year programmes are recognized?
All institutions of higher learning in Malaysia have been informed since 2000 that no engineering programmes with 3 years duration of study would be acceptable for BEM’s recognition or accreditation.
Only a four year (or more) programme is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC).
The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) however provides a pathway for unrecognized engineering degree holders, but they would only be considered upon completing a top up Master programmes (taught mode) in related engineering discipline, on a case to case basis. It must be noted that the 3 year programme will still remain as unrecognized despite the holder having achieved the Master degree.
All Un-Recognized Engineering Degree must do a Top-Up in order to make their degree acceptable by BEM. The Top-Up can be in the form of a “Master Degree” in Engineering by Coursework. An Un-Recognized engineering degree can join IEM as an Incorporated Member
4. What is the requirement to register with BEM as Graduate Engineer and how can I apply?
The main requirement to register with BEM as Graduate Engineer is that the person must graduate from a recognized / accredited degree by the BEM. The list of accredited degree for local IHL is provided in the EAC and BEM website. Please visit the www.eac.org.my and www.bem.org.my. You can make an application to register as Graduate Engineer by filling up the Borang A at the BEM website. The procedures for the application is stated in the Borang A.
5. Does Board of Engineers Malaysia recognize degrees obtained via online?
Presently, the BEM does not recognized nor accredit any distance learning programme.
6. If a person has recently graduated with (2+2)/ 3+0 twinning programme BEng (Hons) and also a 1 year Master in engineering (coursework) from the same local Malaysian college, will he be allowed to register with BEM?
Provided the twinning programme fulfils the residential requirement in the UK (2 years) and the degree is recognised by ECUK as partially fulfilling the Chartered Engineers (CEng) requirement. Master by coursework in a related discipline is still required for registration.
Note: EAC does not accredit twinning programmes. Only registration with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) requires graduates to have an accredited degree from EAC or recognised by EAC. For twinning programmes of UK, the residential requirement of 2 years in the UK is necessary. It must be an MEng 4 year programme accredited by ECUK.
7. If a student enrolled in any accredited programme, but later on during the programme the accreditation status is withdrawn, then what will be the status of the degree that the student has obtained?
Accreditation with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) is voluntary. However, MQA requires all programmes in Malaysia to be accredited. If it happens that the programme is not accredited, there is not much recourse except the graduate may sue the University for not maintaining the standard to such an extent that accreditation is withdrawn. That is why it is the best that you look for universities with good track record.
8. What is Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)’s Policy on Recognition for Overseas Programme?
- If the country is a signatory member of the Washington Accord, Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) will recognise the engineering programme based upon the recognition given by the accrediting body of that particular country.
- If the country is a provisional member of the Washington Accord,Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) will recognise the engineering degree programme on a case by case basis based upon the recognition given by the accrediting body of that particular country.