Introduction & Background

ECITB have developed the Graduate Development Grant to meet a demand from industry to support the development of engineering graduates’ soft skills against the standards set out in the Engineering Council Standard for Professional Engineering Competencies (UK-SPEC) C&D. The grant supports employers training graduates towards the outcomes expressed in these competencies. In implementing this grant, the ECITB are assuring consistency of development and providing all employers with the opportunity to develop their engineering graduates.

The funding is to support employers through the period of development for any new graduate entering the industry and supports the development of engineering graduates in areas which should lead to improved project delivery – specifically:

  • project capability
  • leadership
  • commercial awareness
  • interpersonal skills
  • diversity and inclusion
  • ethical awareness
  • communication and stakeholder management
  • risk management
  • negotiation skills
  • digital leadership
  • contributing towards the net zero economy

Developing graduates in these areas should increase their ability to bring value within the company and, in particular, the effective delivery of projects and the creation of a welcoming, forward thinking and innovative working environment.

Funding details

The funding value for this grant will be up to £12,000 across a three year period and will be paid against the following milestones:

  1. Company training plan approved and graduates’ eligibility approved by ECITB.
  2. Graduate still in employment, on approved training plan at commencement of 2nd year and evidence of training completed in year 1 provided to ECITB.
  3. Graduate in employment, and evidence of completion of training plan at the end of 2nd year provided to ECITB.

Applying for the funding – process and requirements

To be able to access this funding your company’s graduate training plan must be approved by the ECITB Graduate development grant panel and your graduates must meet specific requirements.

First, your company must submit evidence of how your company graduate training plan will provide training interventions for your graduates in the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) needed to deliver each work-based activity (WBA) that underpins the learning outcomes in the ECITB’s graduate development grant training framework. The same training intervention can underpin more than one WBA.

The ECITB’s training framework links to the Chartered Engineer standard for the Engineering Council’s UK-SPEC for providing technical and commercial leadership (C) and demonstrating effective interpersonal skills (D).

Your graduate development scheme may already link to these competencies. There are also recommended ECITB training courses designed to support development of some of these key skills.

The scheme that you submit can be a mix of training interventions on and off the job – the key thing is that at the end of the training, supported by this grant, your graduates have undertaken training to gain the KSBs needed to enable them to undertake work that provides evidence of competencies against the UK-SPEC for Chartered Engineer.

It is expected that this training will take around 24 months for the graduate to complete.

Once your company’s graduate framework training plan has been approved by ECITB then you must provide evidence for each graduate that they are eligible to receive this funding.

This funding is available for any engineering graduate who has graduated at either Bachelors or Masters level with an engineering degree which means they are eligible to be put forward for professional development against the UK-SPEC of the Engineering Council. For clarity, a list of institutions associated with the engineering construction industry is included in Appendix A. The graduates must also:3

a) Be employed by an ECITB in scope company throughout the duration of the training.

b) Have graduated within the last 24 months of starting the ECITB approved scheme.

Once submitted, your application is reviewed by the ECITB’s Graduate development grant panel to ensure it meets the requirements of the grant (for more information on these requirements see later in this document).

If it does, you will receive notification that your company’s training programme has been approved by the ECITB and you can move to the second stage of the process – confirming eligibility of the graduates to be developed.

Funding is managed through the Membership Services Portal (MSP) and, after the training programme has been approved by the ECITB and eligibility of the graduates confirmed, an Agreement between the employer & ECITB is required to be signed by both parties before funding can commence.

Each graduate is entered into the ECITB’s MSP system by your company. Your designated Account Manager will review the eligibility of each graduate and either approve or defer them. If approved this will trigger the grant. If deferred your Account Manager will contact you to discuss.

As the training progresses, interim evidence of each graduate’s individual training achieved at the end of year 1 and planned training for year 2 will be requested. This evidence must be mapped to the learning outcomes and each work activity as detailed on the template below.

Again, this is loaded into the MSP and then reviewed by your account manager.

This process is repeated at the end of year 2 where evidence of all training against each learning objective and each work activity must be provided for each graduate in order to be awarded the final completion grant.

Funding remains available for training against competencies A&B which support the technical knowledge of a graduate. This funding would be managed with an ECITB Account Manager in the normal account management meeting and training plan reviews.

The learning outcomes of this scheme will be reviewed and updated annually against UK-SPEC and any new product offerings from ECITB.

We encourage development of graduates in the areas of sustainable development and recognising their obligations to society and the environment (E) and are considering updating this scheme to include training that supports this.

British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT)

Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC)

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE)

Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE)

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) **

Institute of Acoustics (IOA)

Chartered Institution of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) **

Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IoM3)

Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM)

Institute of Physics (IOP)

Energy Institute (EI)

Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)

Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) **

Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) **

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

Institute of Water

Institute of Cast Metals Engineers (ICME) **

Permanent Way Institution (PWI) **

Institution of Engineering Designers (IED)

Nuclear Institute (NI)

Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET)

Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) **

Insitution of Fire Engineers (IFE) **

Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA)

Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM)

The Association of Cost Engineers (ACost)

Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)

The Society of Operations Engineers (SOE)

Institute of Healthcare Engineering & Estate Management (IHEEM) **

The Welding Institute

Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP)

Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST)

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

** These institutes/institutions are not included in the graduate funding.

Company Training Scheme Template
Graduate Development Grant Brochure

To apply, please click on the link below and contact your account manager.

Apply Now


This is a great opportunity to develop the soft skills of your graduates and claim an ECITB grant.

ECITB recognises the need to develop graduates in the areas of project capability, commercial astuteness, digital leadership etc.  – key areas of the ECITB strategy and also the professionalisation of graduates.

This grant provide the opportunity to train and furnish graduates with knowledge and skills needed to underpin their development en route to becoming a Chartered Engineer.

Training against recognised competencies.  Demonstrate strength of knowledge against competencies C&D against UK Spec.

£12,000 over 3 fiscal years, £4k per year.

Submitting the company graduate training plan via the online application form to the Graduate approval panel.

Yes, the criteria for approved schemes are that:

  1. The training interventions for the graduates map to the work-based activities and learning outcomes
  2. The graduates being funded meet the funding criteria

If the criteria above are met, then, it is likely that the company scheme will be approved by the ECITB GGAS panel.

If the specific graduates you are planning to train through an ECITB approved Graduate development grant scheme are already receiving the Train to Retain grant then NO, ECITB will not double-fund.

If the company plans to put different graduates through an ECITB-approved Grad dev grant scheme and claim the £12K grant to those graduates being funded by Train to Retain – that is acceptable.

The next GGAS panel meeting to review applications is mid-November 2020

Progress is reported at the end of year 1 and at completion on year 2 by uploads of agreed evidence into the MSP.

The UK regulatory body for the engineering profession, it holds the records for over 222,000 accredited UK Engineers, also provides the competency levels for the Engineering profession.  There are 40 Institutes registered under the Engineering Council including IMechE, IChemE, IET, Welding Institute.

There are 5 competencies under UK-SPEC, this funding links to C and D:

A – Knowledge and understanding

B – Design and development of processes, systems, services and products

C – Responsibility, management or leadership and demands from industry for improvement.

D – Communication and inter-personal skills  

E – Professional commitment