1. What is the Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc. and who are its members?
The Corporation is a Not-for-profit Canadian corporation responsible for the administration, maintenance and preservation of the exclusively Canadian tradition known as the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. Corporate Wardens delegate this responsibility through Charters that have been granted to 28 Camps across Canada in locations where there are educational institutions graduating future engineers.
2. What is a Warden?
A Warden is a volunteer engineer who is obligated (has made an Obligation) and is charged with the responsibility of administering the Ritual in Canada to eligible individuals. Corporate Wardens have responsibility at the national level; Camp Wardens have responsibility to a local Camp. In addition to Wardens, the Corporation and most Camps have Alternate Wardens who assist the Wardens.
3. What is an Obligation Ceremony? Kipling Ceremony? Kipling Ritual?
These are different names for the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer wherein a candidate obligates themselves to uphold high standards of conduct throughout their career. Attending a Ritual is a very personal and voluntary act. Older engineers are present to personally welcome candidates to the profession. The text of the Ritual has been copyrighted in Canada and in the United States of America.
4. What is the Obligation?
The Obligation is part of the Ritual where all those receiving an iron ring, along with previously obligated engineers who are attending, repeat word for word, the Obligation for all in attendance to witness. It comprises carefully selected words wherein the candidates promise to do their best in engineering practice, and to help and support fellow engineers. It charges each young candidate engineer that is soon to graduate with an obligation to high standards, humility, and ethics. It also reminds the older engineers present at the Ritual of their duty to assist the young candidate engineers throughout their careers.
5. What is the purpose of the iron ring?
The iron ring serves as a reminder to the obligated engineer to live by the high standard of professional conduct as stated in the Obligation. It is worn on the little finger of the working hand to remind the engineer of their ethical responsibility.
6. Where do the iron rings come from?
The iron rings are made under licence for the Corporation by a Canadian company. Contrary to a common misunderstanding, the iron rings are not made from the failed Quebec Bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River. The rings are protected under ownership by the Corporation of two trademarks, registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Registration Numbers TMA123535 and TMA442647. Any iron ring sourced from other than the Corporation’s associated Camps is a counterfeit product and MUST NOT be purchased. These providers are illegally infringing on the Corporation’s trademarks.
Rings were originally made of wrought iron. The material changed to a stainless-steel alloy that doesn’t rust and wears better than the original material. “Experienced” wrought iron rings are still available from some camps. Wrought iron rings are available upon request.
7. Can I purchase an iron ring to wear?
No. Only engineers who have been obligated by participation in the Ritual can wear the ring of obligation. The iron ring serves as a personal reminder to the engineer of that Obligation that was made in the presence of their betters and equals of their calling.
8. How do I participate in a Ritual?
An obligant must be either a student candidate who has successfully completed a CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) accredited engineering program from a Canadian University or College or a senior candidate that satisfies the eligibility rule: candidates who have confirmation of having met the academic requirements for licensure as a P. Eng/ing by a provincial or territorial regulator of professional engineers.
9. Where can I participate in a Ritual?
A candidate usually participates in a Ritual at a Camp located near the engineering institution at which they have studied. Engineering students in their final term, will automatically be invited to attend the Ritual held by the local Camp. Candidates who have been practicing for some time and wish to become obligated by attending a Ritual, should contact the Camp closest to them and follow their instructions. See the Camp Contacts page: https://www.ironring.ca/contacts-en.
10. Can I attend more than one Ritual?
Yes. Previously obligated engineers are welcome to attend a Ritual at any Camp and participate in welcoming young candidate engineers to the profession. Participation at later ceremonies allows engineers to renew their own obligation.
11. I have heard that the Ritual is a religious ceremony. Is this true?
Not true. The original Ritual written in the 1920s by Rudyard Kipling did contain some Judeo-Christian references but most of these have been removed in the current version of the Ritual. Those references remaining are made for their poetic and allegoric values.
12. How is the Corporation different from engineering educational institutions, Engineers Canada or provincial engineering regulators?
The Corporation is dedicated to enabling graduates of accredited engineering programs in Canada to commit to ethical conduct. The Corporation, the Ritual, the Obligation and the ring of Obligation are not associated with the regulation of the practice of professional engineering in Canada, which is the domain Provincial and Territory regulators. Likewise, the Corporation has no formal affiliations with any engineering institutions of higher learning, whose mandate is to provide the academic qualifications to engineering students. However, all these institutions are aligned in the pursuit of public confidence in the engineering profession.
13. How is the Corporation funded?
The Corporation is a volunteer Not-for-profit corporation that receives revenue from Camps through the sale of iron rings. The Camps provide the iron rings to newly obligated engineers at a Ritual or to previously-obligated engineers who require replacement iron rings.
14. What is a Camp?
A Camp is a group of volunteer engineers (called Wardens) who have made their own personal obligations and are chartered by the Corporation to perpetuate the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer in their local area. Each Camp operates independently of one another but in accordance with the standard of practice as prescribed by the Corporation. There are currently 28 Camps across Canada. See the Camp Contacts page: https://www.ironring.ca/contacts-en.
15. What activities does a Camp conduct?
A Camp will hold briefings to introduce student candidates and others to the background and objective of the Ritual. Registration for each Ritual is vital to ensuring only those qualified to attend are included. Camps may also conduct in-person ring fittings to ensure proper iron ring selection for each candidate. Conducting the Ritual and a briefing beforehand are the core activities of a Camp’s annual activities. Many Camps will hold more than one Ritual throughout the year. Some Camps provide modest scholarships to deserving students in need.
16. How do I get a replacement iron ring?
Replacement iron rings should be obtained from the Camp where the candidate was originally obligated. See the Camp Replacements page: https://www.ironring.ca/replacements-en.
Although counterfeit iron rings may be available online from time-to-time, these counterfeit iron rings MUST NOT be purchased by obligated Canadian engineers. These providers are illegally infringing on the Corporation’s trademarks for the iron ring.
17. Each Camp appears to have its own website. How do camps differ from the Corporation?
Each Camp operates as a Not-for-profit business. Costs of camp operations differs from region to region in Canada, and according to Camp size. Camps are the only entities authorized to conduct the Ritual in their local area and provide rings of obligation to those in attendance at a Ritual. The Corporation does not conduct Rituals. It ensures that the delivery of the Ritual is consistent and appropriate in all Camps across Canada.
18. Can my friends and family attend the Ritual with me?
Camps differ across the country in terms of allowing friends and families to witness the Ritual. Some camps are restricted due to the size of the venue in which the Ritual is conducted and other camps limit the attendance of friends and family to only other obligated engineers.
19. Can I exchange my iron ring for another one?
a. Iron rings can be exchanged by contacting the Camp that originally bestowed it. See the Camp Replacements page: https://www.ironring.ca/replacements-en.
There is usually a fee associated with an exchange.