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Engineering Council of South Africa

(ECSA)
An Overview
Council on Higher Education
28 February 2012

Dr Ossie Franks
ECSA
www.ecsa.co.za

Presentation Outline

History & mandate of the engineering profession in SA

Registration and challenges

Education functions

Accreditation of eng. Programmes and challenges

Regulation of professional conduct

Setting standards

Non statutory or strategic functions

The Engineering Profession

ECSA: A statutory body created by Acts of 1968, 1990, 2000

Regulates the practice of engineering in South Africa through


Registration
Accreditation of engineering education programmes
Regulating Professional Conduct
Setting standards for education and registration

Acts in the interests of the public, advises government, undertakes strategic initiatives

ECSA partners with the engineering voluntary associations, e.g.


SA Institution of Chemical Engineers (SAIChE)
SA Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE)
SA Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE)
SA Institution of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMechE)
More

Relationships in the Profession

ECSA
Functions:
Register
Accredit
Regulate Professional
Conduct
Set Standards
Act in the interests of
the public
Advise government

Recognition

Nominate Council and


Committee Members

Provider Peer Assessors,


Accreditors, Investigators

Presidents Forum

Engineering
Voluntary
Associations
AeSSA
SAIAE
SAIChE
SAICE
SAIEE
SAIIE
SAIMechE
SAIMM
CESA
IPET
COET
+ ..

ECSAs Core Functions


Registration of
Professionals
Candidates
Specified categories

Renewal of registration and CPD


Accreditation of engineering programmes
Recognition and evaluation of qualifications
Conduct examinations

Define and enforce professional conduct


Identification of work
Define guideline fees for professional services
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Protecting the Public Interest Through


Registration
Identify and recognise the competency levels of
members of the profession
Ensure acceptable educational standards
Ensure standards of practice in the profession; and
Control the professional conduct of members of the
profession.

Key Idea: The competence of


engineering practitioners is essential
to protecting the public interest
Policy Document 1999

Categories of Registration
Professionals

Candidates

Professional Engineers
Professional Engineering Technologists
Professional Engineering Technicians
Professional Certificated Engineer

Specified Categories
Lift Inspector
Lifting Machinery Inspector
Medical Equipment Maintainer
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Candidate Categories of Registration


Purpose: A candidate is training and gaining experience and may do
engineering work under supervision of a professional
Candidate Categories:
Candidate Engineers
Candidate Engineering Technologists
Candidate Engineering Technicians
Candidate Certificated Engineer
Requirements: The applicant must satisfy educational outcomes by:
Holding an accredited qualification; or
Holding a qualification recognised under an international
agreement; or
Is evaluated as substantially equivalent to an accredited
qualification

Professional Development Model

Practice

Professional Registration

Candidate Registration

Training
And
Experience

Graduation
Accredited
Programme

Observe Code of
Conduct and
Maintain CPD

Meet Standard
For Professional
Competency

Meet Standard
for Engineering
Education

Professional Development Process


Level

Problem Solving
In Engineering
Context

Attributes for
entry to
independent
practice

Taking
Responsibility

Attributes of a
graduate of
an accredited
programme

Management in
Engineering
Context

Time Minimum 3 years


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Professional Registration Requirements


For registration as a professional in a category, the
applicant must
(a) satisfy the relevant educational outcomes determined by
council
(b) demonstrate competence as measured against
standards determined by the council
Note: (a) is equivalent to the candidate requirements.
After graduation, at least 3 years (usually much more) of
training and experience required for registration
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Some Registration Statistics (as at 30 November 2011)


Professional Engineers
Professional Engineering Technologists

15115
3998

Professional Engineering/Other Technicians 3792


Professional Certificated Engineers

1066

Specified Categories

1048

Candidate Engineers

6480

Candidate Engineering Technologists

2421

Candidate Engineering Technicians

3771

Candidate Certificated Engineers


Total

257
38014

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Registration Challenges
Peer assessment relies on scarce volunteer engineering
practitioners as assessors
In throes of major revision to registration system:
Policy review and revision completed
Migrating from training standards (inputs) to competency
standards (outputs)
Moving from paper-based system to IT-based system with
workflow and document management

Training in industry toward registration (candidacy


programme) is not delivering

Countering the misperception that ECSA gate keeps


entry to the profession
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Programs Considered for Accreditation


Meeting Education
Requirement for

Engineering
Qualification

Univ/
UoT

Prog

52

Candidate and Professional BTech (after accredited


Engineering Technologist
National Diploma)

10

100

Candidate and Professional National Diploma


Engineering Technician

10

87

Candidate and Professional BEng/BSc(Eng)


Engineer

15

HEQF Migration
Meeting Education
Requirement for
Registration as
Candidate and
Professional Engineer
Candidate and
Professional
Engineering
Technologist
Candidate and
Professional
Engineering
Technician

Engineering Qualification
Existing

HEQF Compliant
BEng/BSc(Eng)
(No change)

BTech + National
Diploma

National Diploma

360 credit L7 Bachelor


or
360 credit L6 Diploma +
L7 Advanced Diploma
360 credit L6 Diploma
or
240 credit L6 Diploma +
L6 Advanced Certificate
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ECSA Accreditation Criteria (E-03-P)


Criterion 1: Programme objectives, structure, content,
balance, coherent core
Detailed programme type criteria in standard E-02-Px

Criterion 2: The specified exit level outcomes are


assessed
Outcomes for programme type criteria in E-02-Px

Criterion 3: Quality of teaching and learning


Incorporates agreed CHE criteria

Criterion 4: Resources for and sustainability of the


programme
Incorporates agreed CHE criteria
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Educational Accords
International educational agreements provide for:
Mutual recognition
involving periodic monitoring of signatories processes

Benchmarking,
via consensus graduate attributes and gap analysis

of programmes providing the educational foundation for


practice in each category
Washington Accord

Professional Engineer

Sydney Accord

Professional Engineering
Technologist

Dublin Accord

Professional Engineering
Technician

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Accreditation Challenges
Engineering academic community is overextended
Aggravates burden of quality and quality assurance
Participation of academics as ECSA accreditation
evaluators could be curtailed

HEQF migration for technology qualifications


Uncertainty about end date of revision of HEQF
Different providers moving at different rates

Regional Dimension
Already engaged with Namibia, Botswana interested,
Could soon have 50% increase in programmes to
evaluate
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Regulation of Professional Conduct


ECSA is required by the Act to:
Have a code of professional conduct
Investigate complaints of misconduct against registered
persons
Conduct tribunals
Alternate processes: guilty plea, .
Impose sanctions on persons found guilty

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Code of Professional Conduct


Rule of Conduct for Registered Persons requires
observance of
The interests of humanity and environment
Accepted norms of professional conduct
Work only within limits of own competency

Honouring the standing of the profession


Improvement of skills
Encouraging excellence within the profession
Act Ethically

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The Engineering Standards Generating Body


Roles & Responsibilities of the ESGB
Developing generic engineering qualifications,
Ensuring that the standards developed are internationally
comparable
Ensuring that standards conform to principles of the
National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
Ensuring that qualifications developed provide access
into the profession and provide articulation and
progression within the profession

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Standards in Existence
Candidate and Professional Engineer:
Bachelor of Engineering-type programmes
Candidate and Professional Engineering Technologist:
Bachelor of Engineering Technology
Advanced Diploma in Engineering

Candidate and Professional Engineering Technician


Diploma in xxxxx Engineering
Advanced Certificate in xxxxx Engineering
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ECSAs Strategic or Non Statutory


Functions
Research into key aspects of the profession
Funded candidacy phase training programme
National dialogue on stakeholder training responsibilities
Registration of foreign engineering practitioners
Registration value proposition (Why register with ECSA?)
Promotion of SET careers to attract diversity

Strategy for transforming ECSA & Engineering Profession

Hosting WFEOs Eng. Capacity Building Committee

Accreditation work with Southern African countries


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