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Thursday, 12 December 2019
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Upholding Ethics for the benefit of Society and the National Interest.

The Chamber of Engineers expresses its concern with respect to the unfolding of recent events which led up to current situation in Malta. The reputational damage being suffered by our country, due to these ongoing developments, will unfortunately have rippling effects on various sectors of the economy, and hence affecting several professions.

In respect of engineers exercising their professional duties in local business, and professionals in other sectors as represented by respective Chambers, the Chamber appeals for the correct and immediate measures to be taken.

The Chamber recommends its members to clearly understand the seriously negative implications that are induced by unethical behaviour. As an organisation, the Chamber of Engineers has invested heavily in promoting ethical behaviour amongst members of the profession and this policy is kept alive through the ethics committee, which has a primary role of being the guardian of the Code of Ethics for engineers.

The Chamber takes this opportunity to highlight the vital importance of ethics throughout professional practice and reminds its members of their duty to uphold ethics, to exercise their professional duties without fear or favour, of their obligation to speak when witnessing unethical behaviour and of their responsibility to work in favour of common good.

Finally, the Chamber urges the country’s leadership and institutions to take the necessary action and attenuate the negative impact on society and the economy. This should be done without hesitation in order to safeguard the national interest.

 
Health and Safety, security of basic needs and industry | Not to be compromised

Proposed Engineering Profession Act draft Amendments to the Engineering Profession Act (Cap. 321) could lead to potential degradation of services with serious implications on health and safety standards, security of basic needs and an impact on industry.

The recently proposed changes to the Engineering Profession Act (Cap 321) are considered to be of grave detriment to the engineering profession in Malta and as a result not only pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the Maltese population but also threaten the professional activities of more than 2000 professionals in Malta".

This statement was issued by the Chamber of Engineers after reviewing the proposed changes to the Act.

The Chamber explained that Amendments to the Engineering Profession Act  (Cap.321) were triggered because of breach with respect to provisions in EU directives relating to - Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Directive;  Services Directive and the Professional Qualifications directive.

The Chamber explained that such proposals were initiated back in 2016, when changes had started to be proposed.  The Chamber, took an active role in discussions with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and proposed a number of changes. It was only until June 2019 that a  new set of changes to the Act was drafted.  Once again the Chamber raised a number of pertinent issues and new propositions were made, with the board advising that a new version would be available later for consultation. The new draft was received on the 7th of November.

The Chamber highlighted a number of significant issues in the proposed Act.

The definition of ‘Engineer’ is deleted entirely and a new definition of ‘Engineering Services’ is introduced. The Chamber strongly feels that by using the definition ‘engineering services’  coupled with allowing any legal person to provide such services means that the law, as being proposed, will give leeway for less qualified persons (any legal person) to perform engineering services..

Furthermore, the revised act contemplates that Reserved Activities of the Profession of Engineer refers only to the certification of any engineering service of a mechanical or electrical nature. This is deemed too limited a definition and does not reflect the reality of the Maltese industry. In Malta, the certification of engineering systems is required by law in only a handful of instances. In simple terms, the revised law may allow individuals with little engineering education or charlatans posing as engineers to not only design engineering systems but also get away without proper certification of their designs given that there are no existing barriers presented by law.

The Chamber emphasised that  Engineering Services under the law (Engineering Profession Act) should not be performed by non-qualified persons in view of public health & safety. Adding insult to injury, the legal person who does not hold a warrant of engineer, can perform any engineering service without the need to have a professional indemnity insurance. This could lead to severe consequences to the industry but also to the general public.

“Whilst the Chamber understands the necessity to amend the Act from time to time, it does not agree to broadening of the context of such Act which will lead to potential degradation of health and safety as well as the quality of the whole spectrum of industry, “ explained Dr Inġ. Daniel Micallef, President of the Chamber of Engineers. “The proposed amendments could effectively allow abuse from industry who may bypass professional inputs to cheaper alternatives with the ultimate victim being the general public. The Chamber will continue to actively discuss and negotiate this Act to ensure that any changes are reasonable and acceptable without compromising quality and safety”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 10:35
 
Industrial Excellence Award 2019

The Chamber of Engineers invites all members to the Projects’ Presentations for the Industrial Excellence Award 2019 being held on  Wednesday 13th November at 18.00.

The full programme of events can be found here.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 November 2019 10:01
 
BOV Awards 2019

The Chamber of Engineers reminds all members that the BOV Grant Presentation Ceremony for the Final Year Best Students' Projects of 2018 will be held tomorrow Thursday 7th November at the BOV Centre in Santa Venera.

The full programme of events can be found here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2019 17:14
 
Engineering Education in Malta: Paving in Way for Future Industry

 

The Chamber of Engineers’ raised concerns over a general negative trend in the intake of engineering students, which in 2017, triggered the Chamber (under the Presidency of Ing. Norman Zammit), to form an Education Sub-Committee.

The Sub-Committee was tasked with an in-depth investigation which led to the launch of a project titled Engineering Education in Malta: Paving in Way for Future Industry.

The Project’s aims were three fold;

  1. To determine whether the problem was a reality or a perception,
  2. To identify the reasons behind the declining numbers’ and,
  3. To propose a way forward with solutions to address the issue.

The Methodology behind the study consisted of a thorough analysis which included assessing the trend of students taking up the University of Malta’s B.Eng. (Hons.) degree. Such degree provides eligibility for the Engineering warrant as per the Engineering Profession Act – Cap. 321, the critical points in students’ lives in which decision making may potentially lead to an engineering course, and the progression of students from such stages into the engineering course at the University of Malta.

Concurrently, a survey was commissioned to further research the reasons for such a decline. The audience included students, parents and educators and concentrated on their perceptions, attitudes. It also tackled students’ critical decision-making time-points and the influences on their choice of studies.

The entire study resulted in eight key findings, which were used as a platform to identify recommendations on which the Chamber would focus their efforts to improve the current situation.

Empowerment, resourcing, stakeholder collaboration and a long-term vision are critical factors which will support the gradual achievement of the goals identified through this project.” explained Chamber President President Dr Ing. Daniel Micallef. “The Chamber and the Sub-Committee members for this project, have already started to work on a number of initiatives to address this challenge and will continue spearheading future activities”.

The Chamber appealed to the stakeholders of the importance to have factual and transparent visibility at all levels of society, which should mitigate any misconceptions and wrong perceptions on the profession.

“The engineering profession is a fundamental cornerstone of every modern society. Educators have a pivotal role to play in portraying the correct picture of what an engineer is. When the industry invests in engineers, it effectively invests in critical thinkers which are nowadays fundamental to remain competitive. Salaries of engineers still have a long way to go in Malta compared to mainland Europe and if Malta wants to become a technological hub, salaries of professionals must reflect this ambition.” continued Dr Ing. Micallef.

The Education Sub-Committee was led by Dr Ing. Micallef and included Dr Ing. Marc Anthony Azzopardi, Dr Ing. Brian Zammit & Dr Ing. Daniel Buhagiar. Funding for this study was made possible through the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (MCVS) under the Voluntary Organisations Projects Scheme (VOPs).

Detailed information on the commissioned study and its results can be found here.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2019 15:59
 
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