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:
BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYERS
You can be assured of the professionalism of your staff. Since not all employers necessarily have an engineering background, registration is widely regarded as an additional and objective indication of competence.
In the event of improper conduct by an employee registered with the ECSA, employers can lodge a complaint with the ECSA. “Improper conduct” is defined as ranging from incompetence to gross negligence. The ECSA will then investigate the complaint on its own merits and take appropriate action. An employer’s benefit lies in the fact that a finding of "guilty" by the ECSA may provide grounds for dismissal.
The public - potential clients - respond well to the fact that an organisation employs professional people as a matter of principle.
Legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 and Regulations, holds employers responsible for the safety of their employees. By appointing an appropriately registered person, the employer not only takes appropriate action aimed at safeguarding the public, but is also complying with statutory requirements.
BENEFITS FOR THE PROFESSION
Systems of professional registration are common in South Africa, and across the world, and are generally recognised as conferring professional status onto those registered under said system. The ECSA provides the only recognised registration system for engineering in South Africa - recognised both locally and abroad, as well as by other professions.
The informed public recognises the value of professional registration, for the same reasons as in inter-professional recognition; it affords them an additional measure of protection and "peace of mind".
BENEFITS FOR THE COUNTRY
The ECSA sees itself in partnership with the State as, apart from precautionary measures taken by the State in its own right, registration serves as an additional safeguard against unsafe practices. This is the engineering profession’s contribution towards promoting public safety, health and interests.
Ever-increasing globalisation, and South Africa’s participation in it, has made it critical for this country to become competitive at an international level. Registration with an organisation contributes substantially to this process, and the ECSA’s continued international recognition is a very important part of the maintenance of high standards.
Due to the ECSA’s efforts, South Africa is recognised by many other nations as an engineering "powerhouse", which has distinct political and socio-economic advantages for the country.