We often hear concerns that the SAIMC has members from various types of companies, including suppliers, and that this could lead to unethical practices. It is quite understandable that with the horror stories coming from government circles, private industries and individuals in South Africa, the public is sensitive to situations like these.
However, it is important to understand the role that voluntary associations (VAs) of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) play and the Code of Conduct under which the voluntary associations and the Engineering Council operates. The compulsory registration of technicians, technologists and engineers hinges around three documents:
• The Council for the Built Environment – Act 43 of 2000.
• Engineering Profession Act – Act 46 of 200.
• Identification of Engineering Work (IoEW) – Government Gazette Volume 669, dated 26 March 2021, No.44333.
The Engineering Profession Act, 46 of 2000 (EPA) provides inter alia for the establishment of a juristic person to be known as the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).
“It is a special quality of a Profession to allow its conduct and ethics to be made subject to the scrutiny of its peers and the public. The objects of the Rules of Conduct for Registered Persons (better known as the Code of Professional Conduct) are to ensure that Registered Persons apply their knowledge and skill in the interest of humanity and the environment; to execute their work with integrity and sincerity and in accordance with generally accepted norms of professional conduct; and respect the interest of their fellow being and honour the standing of the Profession.”
Section 25 of the Engineering Profession Act makes provision for the recognition of Voluntary Associations or VAs that apply for membership and who comply with ECSA’s requirements. The VAs represent the various engineering disciplines of ECSA. The SAIMC NPC represents Mechatronics, Factory Automation, and Process Automation.
ECSA uses VAs to assist with creating various documents such as the Discipline Specific Training Guidelines used by assessors to assess the experience of candidates applying for professional registration, the Code of Practice, and the Identification of Engineering Work of the specific discipline represented by the VAs.
Companies not joining a VA because they are afraid of compliance issues are losing out on the opportunities presented to the industry to contribute to these important issues, not realising that their fears are addressed by the Act as well as by the Code of Professional Conduct.
Individuals not joining are losing out on the latest technologies represented at the various technical evenings, the CPD points they could earn, and the discounts from ECSA on their annual fees. Among the items addressed in the SAIMC’s Code of Conduct are:
Members of the SAIMC:
• Must discharge their duties to their employers, clients, associates and the public with integrity, fidelity and honesty.
• Must not undertake work under conditions or terms that would compromise their ability to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with acceptable professional standards.
• Must not engage in any act of dishonesty, corruption or bribery.
• Must avoid any perceived, real or potential conflict of interest.
• May neither personally nor through any other person, improperly seek to obtain work, or by way of commission or otherwise make or offer to make payment to a client or prospective client for obtaining such work.
• Must notify EXCO immediately if they become aware of a violation of these Rules by any other member of the SAIMC.
Dignity of the profession
Members of the SAIMC:
• Must order their conduct so as to uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of the profession.
• May not, whether practicing their profession or otherwise, knowingly injure the professional reputation or business of any other member of the SAIMC.
• May not advertise their professional services in a self-laudatory manner that is derogatory to the dignity of the profession.
Come and let us work together to establish a vibrant industry within South Africa based on sound business principles and dignity.
Yours in Automation,
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