Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Lack of international qualification hurting local engineers

Published:Sunday | December 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Chartered engineer, Professor Gossett Oliver, has charged that some locally trained engineers are receiving less pay than their colleagues from abroad while working together on development projects in Jamaica.

According to Oliver, the disparity resulted from the absence of recognition of locally trained engineers by international accreditation bodies. He noted that the qualifications in engineering received from local institutions were recognised mainly in Jamaica.

Oliver made these observations while addressing a recent seminar on International Engineering Registration held in Kingston.

"We want to develop a pathway for students of engineering to earn the best money," said Olivier, who heads the Kingston-based Institute of International Recognised Qualifications (IIRQ).


Accessing programmes


The British-trained engineer argued that while it is very costly for local educational institutions to meet the requirements of international accreditation bodies, locally trained engineers have the alternative of accessing these qualifications through programmes offered by City & Guilds of London Institute. IIRQ has been approved by City & Guilds to provide the programme of studies in Engineering #2850 that provides progression from Level One (entry) to Level Seven (chartered engineer).

Oliver explained that the engineering students sit exams administered by City & Guilds then serve specified periods of apprenticeship under the guidance of IIRQ instructors.

He underscored the point that the professional qualifications received from City & Guilds are already internationally accredited because they are linked to three international agreements signed by major countries.

The City & Guilds engineering programme is accredited by the United Kingdom Council of Engineering.


International agreement


The Washington Accord is an international agreement among national bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. It recognises the substantial equivalency of programmes accredited by those bodies and recommends that graduates of programmes accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognised by the other bodies as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering. The Washington Accord governs/designates chartered engineer.

Flowing from the Washington Accord, a similar agreement was developed for engineering technologists or incorporated engineers, called the Sydney Accord, which was signed in June 2001.

Signatories have full rights of participation in the accord; qualifications accredited or recognised by other signatories are recognised by each signatory as being substantially equivalent to accredited or recognised qualifications within its own jurisdiction.

Next is the Dublin Accord, which is an agreement for the international recognition of engineering technician qualifications. This designation is available after achieving the Level Three of City & Guilds' Engineering. Successful holders are able to use the appropriate post-nominal letters (Eng Tech).