Inaccurate Reports on Local Building Regulations

The Chamber of Engineers would like to clarify an inaccurate report, in local online media, regarding Engineers and the role of Site Technical Officers (STO) as referenced in the latest amendments to the building regulations (i.e. L.N. 180 of 2019).

By stating that anyone who is, or claims to be, an engineer can undertake the role of an STO, is misguiding to the public as it gives the general impression that an Engineer operates in an unregulated profession. This is false, and risks undermining the stature of the profession.

The engineering profession is constituted by law under Chapter 321 – The Engineering Profession Act. This Act stipulates that in order to practice the profession, a person must be in possession of a warrant. A warranted engineer also holds the protected title of ‘Inġinier’ abbreviated as ‘Inġ.’, which carries with it certain responsibilities. It is also regulated by a Code of Ethics, which clearly states that any work undertaken by an Engineer should be within his/her competence.

The video report published by an online portal on the 6th June, puts the profession to ridicule by assuming that engineers without competence are undertaking such roles. The interpretation of the Perit’s ‘Method Statement’ which might involve requirements, amongst others; the type of machinery to be used, methods of coring, and generally the method how the contractor shall carry out his work, are perfectly in line with the professional competences of most Mechanical Engineers, depending on their line of work and professional experience, which could be highly varied. Unfortunately, this video report makes a very selective reference to engineers working in the IT sector, who most probably will not have the competence to undertake such works or any interest in the role. This convenient misguidance is a disservice to the public.

The position of the Chamber of Engineers as regards to engineers working as STOs was published on July 29th 2019, and remains unchanged:

“As regards to warranted Engineers, the Chamber would like to emphasise that Site Technical Officers holding a warrant of engineer under Chapter 321 – The Engineering Profession Act should follow the prescribed law to the book. This is not only limited to L.N. 180 but also to the Engineering Profession Act– in particular the obligation to follow the code of ethics.“

This position is in line with the Chamber’s objective towards moving to a self-regulated profession. Therefore, it feels compelled to clarify any misinformation which could have potentially serious and negative repercussions.

The Chamber welcomes open and frank discussions by stakeholders and external entities particularly when topics discussed can impact the health and safety of not only engineers but also the general public.

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