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Issue 27 - October 2018
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What`s inside

01 Editors Note
02 ECSA Celebrates the Selfless Contributions of Engineers at Its First Engineering Awards Ceremony
03 ECSA hosts the newly initiated MEng Qualification Standards Workshop
04 VA`s host an engineering professional’s forum in Bloemfontein
05 ECSA wraps up the investigator training workshop for 2018/19
06 ECSA increases its pool of University Accreditation Assessors
07 ECSA Presents its Road to Registration Process to the Department of Defence



Dear Reader


The third quarter of the year has come and gone and the festive season has gone too. It is time to reflect, plan for the new year ahead.

This edition of the newsletter will reflect on what was the biggest event for the Engineering Council of South Africa.

The first ECSA Golf Day and Engineering Awards were hosted on 01 November 2018 to honour the work and selfless contribution of engineers to ECSA and the engineering profession vas a whole.

ECSA also went across the country hosting Accreditation Assessor Training Workshops which aimed at building the pool of engineers who will form part of the accreditation visits at higher learning institutions.

The theme of learning and development continued with ECSA hosting the Masters in Engineering Qualification Standard Industry Consultation Workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to present the Masters in Engineering qualification standard articulation path as per Higher Education Qualification Sub-Framework (HEQSF) from Professional Engineering Technologist to Professional Engineer.

Lastly this edition concludes with an article where one of our professionally registered person attended an event at the Department of Defence to present the road to registration process aiming to grow the profession and improve on its excellence.

Enjoy the read.
Millicent Kabwe




ECSA Celebrates the Selfless Contributions of Engineers at Its First Engineering Awards Ceremony


The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) on Thursday, 01 November 2018, hosted its first engineering awards at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. The awards ceremony brought together in one room, men and women from the engineering profession, academia, government, stakeholders, the council and staff of ECSA with the hope of paying tribute and awarding those who have contributed selflessly to ECSA and the profession as a whole.

These individuals have given their time working for ECSA in different roles as, but not limited to assessors, moderators, evaluators or accreditation visits. These are men and women in the engineering profession who have dedicated their time and expertise in furthering the skills development agenda for greater good.

Delivering the key note address on behalf of Honourable Thulas Nxesi, Minister of the Department of Public Works, Mr Jacob Marogoa said, “as the department of public works, we consider this initiative as a significant milestone in ECSA ‘s effort to acknowledge and appreciate hard working engineers who are making a constructive contribution to the growth and development of the engineering profession”.

The awards were made up of 14 categories which represented the work of ECSA. The winners of these categories were selected through an internal process which reviewed the work and contribution of these individual. The winners are presented below:

    1. Best Registration Professional Assessor Award: Ms Abimbola Olukunle
    2. Best Registration Experience Reviewer: Mr Dumisani Mqadi
    3. Best Registration Moderator: Mr Jerry Kae
    4. Accreditation Visit Leader: Professor Hugh Jeffery
    5. Best Qualification Evaluator: Mr Didier Nyembwe
    6. Volunteer of the year Professional Engineer: Mr Serge Banza
    7. Volunteer of the year Professional Certificate Engineer: Mr Mathau Botsane
    8. Volunteer of the year Professional Engineering Technologist: Mr Jones Moloisane
    9. Volunteer of the year Specified Categories: Ms Rachel Ledwaba
    10. Best Stakeholder Award: South African National Roads Limited

The awards also had a special category which sought to recognise the contribution of what ECSA deems to be pioneers of the engineering profession. This recognition was awarded to the following pioneers:

ECSA Pioneer Recognition: The late Mr Du Toit Grobler, the late Mr Alec Hay and Mr Phillipus Erasmus.

The award ceremony followed the Golf Day at the Modderfontein Golf Course which was attended by executives from ECSA together with registered persons and stakeholders in order to facilitate networking among participants and to enforce patriotism to the ECSA brand.

The Golf Day also had its fair share of winners with three trophies awarded for the golf clinic and the award for the Best Golfer was awarded to Mr Njabulo Nhleko. The awards are the first of what will be an annual series of awards that seek to give due recognition to the individuals who have toiled the ground to make the Engineering Council and engineering profession what it is and seeks to achieve.




ECSA hosts the newly initiated MEng Qualification Standards Workshop

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in this quarter conducted a MEng Qualification Standard Industry Consultation Workshop at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, in the Gauteng region.

The purpose of the workshop was to present to professionally registered persons’ the Masters in Engineering Qualification Standard articulation path as per Higher Education Sub-Framework (HEQSF) from Professional Engineering Technologist to Professional Engineer.

In introducing the new pathway, engineering professionals from across the sector were presented the proposed new pathway which embraces the internationally demonstrated “3+2” model which consists of a three-year Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEng Tech) followed by a one-year BEng Tech Honours degree and a one-year professionally-oriented Master’s degree.
Moreover, this pathway would consist of a carefully curriculated combination of qualifications that when offered as a structured whole could be determined through a process of accreditation to meet the educational requirements for registration in the category candidate Professional Engineer.

Engineers present at the workshop welcomed this pathway and also engaged on a significant discussion about the opportunities available to those Professional Technologists who had completed a BTech qualification in the past and had been working at the level of engineer for several years. The participants were introduced to the existing ECSA policy E-17-P that has successfully been used many times to recognise those technologists working as engineers and enable them to be registered as Professional Engineers.

Although the deadline for comments for the pathway has lapsed which was 15 December 2018, engineers are encouraged to read up on the pathways as well as on the associated standards.

This new path comes amid the changes made to the Higher Education Qualification Framework in 2013. In explaining this change and the effects to the engineers present at the workshop, Professor Collier- Reed said, “one of the consequences of this change is that the well-known BTech qualification will no longer be offered after next year at institutions of higher learning”.

Professor Collier-Reed added that, “through the Research, Policy and Standards Committee, ECSA has been developing standards for new suite of qualifications with the first graduates expected next year. Adding on the above, the new standards are now outcomes-based, in line with the requirements of the International Engineering Alliance”.

The cancellation of the BTech degree as articulated by Mr Rod Harker was influenced by the fact that although the BTech degree is a specialised degree within a sub-discipline, however, the knowledge area profile of the BTech degree does not meet the requirement of the BEng degree. Mr Harker added that, the curriculum of a BTech degree lacks the broad-based discipline specific engineering sciences within a discipline and it is not geared towards solving complex problems.

It is acknowledged that the Engineering Council of South Africa has also been looking at how the new qualification can be used to enable a pathway for students who have completed their stage One(qualification) requirements for registration as a Professional Technologist to continue their education, and on completion, to have met or exceeded the requirements to be able to register as a Professional Engineer.




VA`s host an engineering professional’s forum in Bloemfontein

Voluntary Associations (VA`s) at the end of the third quarter hosted an engineering professionals` forum in Bloemfontein. The Forum was a partnership between the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), the Central University of Technology (CUT) and the various VA`s representing mechanical, electrical, civil, agricultural and consulting engineers.

The Forum was hosted at CUT Prosperitus Auditorium with 70 engineering professionals from the Free State and Northern Cape Provinces. CUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alfred Ngowi delivered the welcome address and introduced the Heads of Departments from the University including the Acting Dean from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology as well as the Head of Engineering Science from the University of the Free State, Mr Louis Lagrange.

Mr Sipho Madonsela Chef Executive Officer (CEO) of ECSA was present at the forum and led a panel discussion which comprised of the CEO from the South African Institution for Mechanical Engineers (SAIMechE) and the Branch Chairpersons of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE),  the South African Council of Educators (SACE), South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and the South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers (SAIAE) who deliberated on matters including the Continuous Professional Development (CPD),  collaboration between VA’s and the merits and demerits of professional registration.

Speaking at the forum Mr Madonsela urged engineers to embrace the online technology to teach and added that ECSA has recently started issuing electronic Registration Certificates to persons applying for ECSA registration for the first time and those that are renewing their registration.

The Forum concluded with a networking session and SAIMechE CEO Mr Vaughn Rimbault gave a vote of thanks and encouraged VA’s to cooperate and establish local branches in the Free State and Northern Cape Provinces.  




ECSA wraps up the investigator training workshop for 2018/19

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) on Thursday, 29 November 2018 wrapped up the investigator training workshop in Durban. This workshop was part of a three-part series, which started in Cape Town in September and moved to Johannesburg in November to conclude in Durban.

The workshop sought to refresh the memory of registered persons on the investigation process that an investigator would undertake and to also build the database of registered persons who would form part of the investigators.

In all three workshop Advocate Gert Swanepoel, Mr Siphiwe Madondo as well as Dr Tony Cooksey presented to registered persons the process of testifying as an expert witness at a disciplinary hearing and compiling investigation reports, explaining the role of the Administration, the Investigating Committee and the Disciplinary Tribunal.

Presenting on the mandate of the Investigation Committee, Adv. Gert Swanepoel, said the existence of the committee is informed by Section 14 (g) of the Engineering Profession Act (EPA): which notes that, “Council may, in addition to other powers in this Act, take any steps it considers necessary for the protection of the public in their dealings with registered persons for the maintenance of the integrity, and the enhancement of the status of the engineering profession “.

Furtheremore, Section (17) (a) of the EPA states that: “The Council may establish any committee, including an investigating committee, to assist it in the performance of its functions and may appoint any person as a member of that committee.”

The execution of this legislative imperative according to Adv. Swanepoel lies squarely on the lap of ECSA’s Investigations committee (IC), supported by the Legal Services Unit as a statutory function.

In his presentation Adv. Swanepoel highlighted the strides achieved by the committee in managing to reduce the backlog of cases from 199 open cases in 2017 to 37 open cases in 2018. The cases brought forward have also decreased from 175 in 2016 to 34 in 2017. This is a reflection of the work of the committee together with the registered persons through their cooperation with the processes.

The investigation process is also bound by principles that need to be upheld and in explaining these, Mr Siphiwe Madondo said in order for a good report to be released, proper application of technical principles, suitable application of principles of natural justice including inter alia during investigation, both the positive and negative aspects of the investigation need to be provided.

Most importantly Mr Madondo said the investigation needs to be conducted by an investigator who has sufficient expertise to understand the issues being investigated and needs to disclose any interest in order to ensure that the results of the investigation are fair.

Dr Cooksey’s presentation provided practical aspects of the investigation process.

The workshop sought to certify that registered persons in the execution of their engineering work apply their knowledge and skill in the interest of the public and the environment, execute their work with integrity and in accordance with generally accepted norms and professional conduct, respect the interests of the public and honour the standing of the profession.

Furthermore, the training workshop aimed at encouraging registered persons to strive to improve their professional skills and those of their subordinates, to refrain from prejudicing health and safety, to ensure the engineering sector remains accountable to the public and to promote excellence in the engineering profession. 




ECSA increases its pool of University Accreditation Assessors

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in its quest to increase its pool of university accreditation assessors undertook a national tour and conducted accreditation assessors workshop in the third quarter.

The workshops sought to train registered persons of ECSA across the country on the processes of how to conduct an accreditation visit at universities that are accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa based on the BEng and BEng Tech Manuals.

ECSA is empowered by the Engineering Profession Act to conduct accreditation visits to providers engaged in engineering education and to conditionally or unconditionally grant, refuse or withdraw accreditation to programmes in engineering.

The accreditation visits are undertaken to determines whether graduates meet the requirements for registration as a candidate and the educational requirement toward registration as a professional in the relevant category. The accreditation visits establish whether the graduates of a programme are ready to enter engineering employment and are equipped to continue learning throughout their careers. Furthermore, the visits establish the international comparability of engineering educational programmes under agreements to which ECSA is a signatory and also assures the public of the quality of the programme and encourages improvement and innovation in engineering education in response to national and global needs.

Registered persons across the country who are already part of accreditation visit teams facilitated the workshops and in pursuit of recruiting more members emphasized the importance of familiarizing themselves with information prior to the accreditation visit.

Mr Rod Harker led one of the workshop alongside Dr Terry Stidworthy in Cape Town and explained some of the common pitfalls experienced during the visits which include not studying the documentation thoroughly; not sticking to the policy and getting into arguments.

Mr John Cato the executive of the Engineering council of South Africa outlined the expectations from the administration board that will give guidance to the newly recruited members namely; spirit of volunteerism, professionalism, acknowledge receipt of any communication, team work and the study of documentation provided by the University.

The workshops were concluded in Mpumalanga and Limpopo and the registered persons who will form part of the different teams as per their expertise will be further trained prior to them starting the accreditation visit.




ECSA Presents its Road to Registration Process to the Department of Defence

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in its effort to ensure excellence in the engineering profession sought within this quarter to engage the Department of Defence (DoD) on the road to registration process.

The presentation was done at the DoD Engineering Science and Technology Conference (DESTC) hosted by the South African Air Force (SAAF) under the theme DoD moving towards Professional Development in Engineering Science and Technology at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

From ECSA, Mr Lukhanyo Nyakaza who is registered as a Professional Technologist, took the delegates who were present at the conference through the process of registration and outlined the benefits of being registered with ECSA.

Nyakaza emphasised that the registration opportunity was open for everyone including potential candidates with foreign qualifications. Nyakaza further added that “getting registered with ECSA increases your responsibilities as an individual and one can be trusted to work without supervision.”

During the presentation Nyakaza explained the registration procedure as well as the different categories of registration and the times it takes for the application to be processed and approved. Nyakaza further elaborated that one can register as a Professional Engineer, Technologist or Technician and the registration process is also open for foreign candidates whose qualification will go through an evaluation process.

Nyakaza added that the professional recognition that you receive by becoming a member of ECSA instils a sense of confidence in the mind of the public, as they are assured that your competence has been assessed by other professionals who are knowledgeable in your field of expertise.

ECSA will continue engaging with its stakeholders through this platform in the aim to reach more engineers and emphasise the importance and benefits of a registered engineer not only for the organisation but also industry recognition for the engineer itself.

Thank you for reading...until next time:

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