The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) is a statutory body established in terms of the Engineering Profession Act (EPA), 46 of 2000. The ECSA’s primary role is the regulation of the engineering profession in terms of this Act.
Its core functions are the accreditation of engineering programmes, registration of persons as professionals in specified categories, and the regulation of the practice of registered persons.
Consequently, the ECSA is the only body in South Africa that is authorized to register engineering professionals and bestow the use of engineering titles, such as Pr Eng, Pr Tech Eng, Pr Techni Eng, Pr Cert Eng, on persons who have met the requisite professional registration criteria.
BENEFITS AS INDIVIDUAL
By registering you receive recognition from the ECSA’s committees that you meet the minimum requirements expected of a professional person. This recognition extends to colleagues, as well as all other practitioners in the profession.
The professional recognition you receive by becoming a member of the ECSA instils a sense of confidence in the mind of the public, since they can be assured that your competence has been assessed by other professionals (knowledgeable in your field of expertise).
Membership of Certain Voluntary Associations
Many institutions, for example the SA Institution for Civil Engineering, requires that you be registered as a Professional Engineer before you can be granted corporate membership.
The ECSA is a co-signatory to the “Washington Accord” – an agreement in which the registering bodies of countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland recognise each other’s accredited university degrees in engineering. This not only confirms that your academic qualification is internationally acceptable, but also enhances your marketability.
More and more employers are requiring registration with the ECSA as a prerequisite for appointment to certain engineering positions. If you do not register, you will find it increasingly difficult to find employment in responsible engineering positions.
Exclusive Use of Reserved Names
When you register, the Act entitles you to use a particular name (and abbreviation), describing your particular type of registration – such as Professional Engineer (Pr Eng). Using any of these reserved names or abbreviations, if you are not registered with the ECSA, is a criminal offense.
The Engineering Profession Act, 2000, (Act 46 of 2000) as well as other Acts, provide for the reservation of work of an engineering nature for the exclusive performance by registered persons. While compulsory registration under Act 46 of 2000 is still being developed, examples of work reservation in terms of other legislation can be found in:
• National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998) (section 11(7)) – in terms of which an approved professional person must be “approved” before being permitted to undertake certain dam safety related tasks;
• National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 and regulations, in terms of which a “competent person” is defined as a person registered with the ECSA;
• Lifts, Escalators and Passenger Conveyor Regulations promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993.
As from the 1 April 2016 applications for registration as a Professional Engineer will only be considered in terms of the New Registration System. Applications for registration as a Professional Engineer in terms of the Legacy System will not be applicable or accepted from that date.
The new online registration system (NRS) for Professional Engineers and Candidate Engineers is not yet in operation. (Commencement date to be announced)
Registration changes for other categories will be made available as and when they are finalised. This notice will be updated from time to time.