Institution of Civil Engineers

Digitising Professional Development

3 min read
Design Research
Service Design
situation & task

Delivering quality experience to all users

ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) are an organisation driven by improving their services and guidance to trainee engineers. ICE provide support and feedback on evidence submitted for levels needed to become a certified engineer. A process that usually requires 4 years to complete.

The process of becoming a certified Engineer involves several different user groups. Trainees, Mentors, MDOs and company administrators. Trainees are engineering students or employees training to become as certified engineer and will submit evidence to prove they have achieved a particular level of engineering. This evidence is then reviewed and assessed by a mentor.

“It was taking longer for trainees to become certified even though they may have achieved the technical level needed”

There are a variety of mentors available, SCEs are company mentors, DEs work independently. In order for the trainee’s evidence to be officially approved it must be reviewed by an MDO. Lastly company administrators typically employees who work in HR, may want to review the trainees progress with the goal to more staff becoming certified engineers.

Spotless was asked to develop a customer centric approach to redesigning the IPD portal for trainee’s mentors, MDOs and company administrators.


Understanding user pain points and barriers

Initially we hosted workshops to talk through their existing system and understand the business dependencies. We wanted to know how users currently experienced the site: where things were working well and where there were barriers.

Using insight from the ICE customer experience team, we mapped out the current user journey with pain points, opportunities and plus points. We then asked the team to imagine the ideal user journey without budget or time constraints and how this would differ to the existing processes.

Through this process we were able to isolate the areas that were high priority for the users and the business. We found that trainee’s interaction with the portal was high in the beginning but often tailored off later as their use became more infrequent. This meant that it was taking longer for trainees to become certified even though they may have achieved the technical level needed.

Utilising touchpoints to provide system feedback to users

The solution was to design a system that kept trainees engaged throughout the process. We used touchpoints as a mechanism, to communicate progress and achievement to show trainees they are reaching their goals to help them remain engaged.

“Working closely with all the team members enabled the team to challenge existing processes to enhance the digital service.”

at a glance


Workshops, user journey mapping, co-design, discovery research, interviews

User-centred approach

ICE sought to improve the user experience for trainees, mentors, MDOs, and company administrators involved in the process of becoming a certified engineer.

Identifying user pain points

Workshops and user journey mapping were used to identify pain points, opportunities, and areas for improvement in the existing system.

Enhancing user engagement

The redesign aimed to keep trainees engaged throughout the process by using touchpoints to communicate progress and achievements.

Spotless package recommendation

Elevate Your Existing Business‍


Co-design workshops allowing the team to be immersed in the context

We carried out immersive co-design workshops with the ICE customer experience team because the design and development were heavily dependent on the processes involved in becoming a certified engineer. Working closely with all the team members enabled the team to challenge existing processes to enhance the digital service.

One of the goals of redesigning the portal was to reduce the need for a guidance manual, the new designs delivered the guidance not in a manual but with adaptive help; providing guidance to students as and when needed in bite sized chunks. This proved to be a success and ICE commissioned Spotless to work on other parts of the service. Including a new system for company Administrators to track trainees’ progress in which Spotless carried out discovery research and informal interviews with current Administrators in the service.


Direct insights from our valued partners, capturing the essence of Spotless collaborations.

"Spotless worked with us as our business partner, always going the extra mile to ensure our needs were met in a professional and timely manner."

Sharon Stinton, Learning and Development Leader
GE Money

"We required 'out of the box' thinking, meticulous attention to detail, an instinctive understanding of game design and a high-level of UX expertise. We got all of this and more."


"Spotless has been extremely professional and the team have worked closely with us to achieve our objectives and helped us frame our thinking in ensuring the outcome matched our initial scope."

Jennie Curran, Client Relationship Manager
BBDO Stoy Hayward

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