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The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

From Academic Kids

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer (or Kipling Ritual, or Iron Ring Ceremony) is a ritual dating from 1922 for students about to graduate from an engineering program at a Canadian university. Honorary inclusion is also offered to any Canadian registered professional engineer who has received his training elsewhere. The ritual was created by Rudyard Kipling at the request of an organization comprised of seven past-presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada. The ritual is presently administered by a body called The Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc./Société des Sept Gardiens inc.

The Obligation, which is not an oath but a solemn expression of intention, is subscribed to at the ceremony. The Obligation essentially states the duties and responsiblities of the engineer. Following the Obligation, the Iron Ring is placed on the little finger of the working hand, and is worn by the engineer as a symbol and a reminder.

The Obligation is private, though not necessarily secret. However, it is customary for those who have gone through it to not discuss the details of the Calling with others, even engineers from other countries. The ceremony was originally only open to the candidates, and to others who have already gone through the ritual. However, the rules were changed in the late 1990s to allow two guests of a candidate to attend the ceremony.

It should be noted that those who have been through the Iron Ring Ceremony are NOT yet qualified engineers. To become qualified and licensed requires registration with the relevant professional organization, testing, and several years of on the job experience. During this period, the apprentice engineer hold the title of E.I.T. (Engineer-in-training) or M.I.T. (Member-in-training) (In French, "ingenieur stagiaire" or ing.stag.).Only a Professional Engineer (Eng. or Ing. in Quebec, P.Eng. in the rest of Canada) designation given by provincial or territorial licensing bodies signifies this. The iron ring is trademarked. If a person receives an iron ring from other than a recognised body, the wardens of the iron ring will try to enforce their rights of trademark.

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