The Namibian Consulting Engineer

The Engineering Profession Act, 1986 (Act 18 of 1986), as amended in 1991, is the founding legislation covering registration pertaining to Engineering in Namibia. The Act established the Engineering Council of Namibia (the ECN), indicates the requirements for registration and specifies some fines for non-compliance. In addition the Act also contains clauses empowering Incorporated Engineers in terms of some works reserved for Professional Engineers. The definition of works reserved for Professional Engineers is given in the “Notice No. R 3063 dated 8 August 1969, in Terms of Section 7(6) of the Professional Engineers’ Act, 1968 (Act 81 of 1968) 1”.

In regard of Act 18 of 1986:

  • Any person performing work in engineering (i.e. work reserved for Engineers) must be registered in full or in training with the ECN in one of the following categories: Professional Engineer, Incorporated Engineer or Engineering Technician (Clauses 11(12)(a), 12(8)(a) and 13(8)(a)),
  • Any person performing work in engineering (i.e. work reserved for Engineers) and who is not registered with the ECN in one of these categories is guilty of an offence for which the prescribed fine is N$ 10 000-00 (See clauses 16(1) and 17(1)).
  • Persons registered in training must at all times work under the supervision of a person who is fully registered within the same discipline and within at least the same category of registration, the sequence in accordance with the Act being Professional Engineer; Incorporated Engineer; Engineering Technician.
  • Anyone employing an engineer who is not registered with the ECN to perform engineering works, either as an individual or as a sub-consulted company, is guilty of an offence for which the prescribed fine is N$ 10 000-00 (Clauses 16(3) and 16(5)(3)).
  • Non-residents performing work in Engineering (i.e. work reserved for Engineers) must be in possession of a valid work permit and must register with the ECN. Temporary registration with the ECN is permissible, and renewable every 12 months. No differentiation is made in the Act for non-residents and the offences and fines indicate above are applicable for non-registered personnel (Clauses 11(6), 12(6) and 13(6)).
  • It is improper conduct to entrust reserved work to a person not registered with the ECN (Clauses 18(1)(a) and 18(2)(a)).

It is clearly the intention of the above that, firstly, the day-to-day work conducted by Consulting Engineers is in practice work reserved for Engineers and that, secondly, anyone conducting this work must be registered with the Engineering Council of Namibia.

The Association of Consulting Engineers therefore reminds all parties that it is a legal requirement that engineering work conducted in Namibia be conducted by Namibian registered Engineers.

Since registration in Namibia is a key requirement for membership if the Association we may confirm that all members of the Association meet with this requirement.

In addition to the legal aspects, it should be noted that the use of a locally experienced Namibian Consulting Engineer will provide the following benefits:

  • Advice on efficient and economical designs as required by the unique conditions prevalent in Namibia
  • Advice on the application of appropriate local techniques
  • Advicee on all local circumstances
  • Advice on in the promotion of the maximum use of resources available locally
  • The Design of efficient and functional systems
  • Control  quality to applicable local standards
  • Provide an efficient and prompt service
  • Be immediately available for all discussions, meetings, co-ordinational requirements and the like.

Where a project entails specialist input or close liaison with a Client based outside of Namibia, the Association recommends that the work be conducted under a joint agreement between a Namibian and a non-Nambian Consulting Engineer whereby the legal requirements may be met.