It was interesting to see the comments around Cuban engineers being imported to do engineering work in South Africa. This brings me to the Identification of Engineering Work and Professional Registration of Technicians, Technologists and Engineers.
I have been told many times in the past that it is not worthwhile to register with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). It is true that registration has never been compulsory and that engineering work has never been gazetted, which has led to the illusion that registration is worthless. Let’s look a little deeper.
What does professional registration entail?
Firstly, the qualification is inspected and has to conform to certain international standards. Since most tertiary education institutions in South Africa, certainly the main ones, have had their engineering education assessed and certified by ECSA, it means that most of the individuals that qualified in South Africa have a ‘valid’ qualification as far as these international standards are concerned.
But then we get to the next step. Candidates are assessed by their peers to determine whether their practical experience is at the correct level and broad enough in scope to allow them to practise as a technician, technologist or engineer.
How does this work?
Firstly, the candidate applies with examples of his/her work in 11 different outcomes. This is sent to three people and assessed. Once these assessments are complete and the candidate has supplied sufficient examples of work done at the level required for the qualification, the candidate is invited to an interview, again by three (but this time a different three) peers.
Once the candidate passes this step, the application is sent for a final check. (Should the candidate not provide sufficient information, there are various steps to follow, but these do not form part of this discussion.)
For those who are not registered, this is a wakeup call. The Identification of Engineering Work was Gazetted in March 2021 and you now have roughly three years to comply – depending on your surname. Do not assume your current experience is sufficient for registration, check our website www.saimc.co.za and start the process.
Next time I will talk about companies, their responsibilities, which you, as a registered professional or candidate, should reconsider when looking for work.
The age of the Professional has arrived.
Yours in automation,
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