Earlier this month the Engineering Board’s draft changes to the Engineering Act were made public. Most notably amongst these changes, the definition of the term “Engineer” was deleted in its entirety and replaced with the term “engineering services” – a broad term describing a vast number of engineering practices and disciplines. Moreover, the “profession of engineer” was replaced by “profession of engineering”, referring to “reserved activities” which implies the certification of any service of a “mechanical or electrical nature”.
UESA condemns the aforementioned changes to the Engineering Act, which not only pose significant risks to public health and safety, but also endanger the profession and are disrespectful to all engineering professionals.
(1) The broadening and outright deletion of the defined term “Engineer” poses a threat to the quality of the profession as well as safety within the industry. It is imperative that the engineer’s role is never taken for granted and that the title of ‘Inġ’ is given the respect that it’s due.
(2) The engineer carries out far more work than what has been defined in “reserved activities”. Certification is probably less than 10% of what the majority of engineers do. This definition must be revised as it is simply disrespectful to engineers at present.
UESA understands that these proposed changes are partially a result of EU directives, however it is evident that there wasn’t adequate consultation with the profession. The organisation sympathises with and appreciates the efforts being made by both the Chamber of Engineers and The Malta Association of Professional Engineers* in response to these changes. That being said, we feel there is disharmony within the profession. This only leads to problems. Issues of this magnitude should include consultation with the entire profession to keep its interests at heart, and to tackle them with a united front.
* [The Chamber of Engineers has been in talks with the Board to provide an extension to the deadline to further discuss and resolve the issues in the draft whilst The Malta Association of Professional Engineers has taken the issue to court through a judicial protest – exact details are still not known]