The title of Principal in a professional services firm is a special designation. This designation implies a level of responsibility and autonomy achieved after years of mastering the technical and business aspects of their profession.
The definition of Principal varies among engineering firms. In general, a Principal is an individual who acts as the responsible professional for projects as well as developing a ‘book of work’. At ECS, being a principal means all of that and more. ECS requires each principal candidate to go through a rigorous assessment process. The process begins with a nomination by their branch manager. Once nominated, candidates must provide documentation of their college education, years of professional experience, professional registrations and certifications, and completion of leadership and risk management training. They must also submit samples of their work from the initial proposal all the way through the final deliverable. This process culminates with an interview by three senior principals who practice in the same technical area as the candidate. The interview consists of questions about technical, business, risk mitigation aspects as well as company history and business development. If the candidate receives a favorable recommendation from the panel, they are presented to the board of directors and the candidate’s subsidiary management committee for endorsement and approval.
Each new principal is charged with maintaining the ECS standard for quality and service, as well as setting the example for those who will follow in their footsteps.