Electrical Engineering Lecturer to evaluate foreign qualifications

Anil Lonappan

Engineering Council of South Africa’s (ECSA) stipulation that those involved engineering should constantly update their skills is bearing fruit for the University.  They have to do Continual Professional Development (CPD) as one of the requirement to maintain ECSA registration and to submit the CPD portfolio of evidence once in five years.  The Department of Electrical Engineering is a big beneficiary. The department’s lecturers, Anil Lonappan and Professor Ralph Naidoo have now been roped into ECSA’s processes because they are always on par – they take the necessary training on a regular basis.

On 25 September 2019 Lonappan received a letter from ECSA informing him that he had been appointed as an evaluation assessor for both South African and foreign qualifications. Now Lonappan is a gatekeeper who has to ensure that all candidates’ qualifications are in line with the Council’s requirements. “It’s a privilege being an ECSA accessor. We check the qualifications of those that apply for professional registration. At that stage the applicant may be called for an interview to defend his/her engineering qualification.  Our main goal is to maintain quality in everything ECSA does.”

Just a few months ago Lonappan was appointed as an assessor, interviewer and moderator. Lonappan said they have to assess post-qualification experience of applicants. “Applicants must have been practicing in their respective engineering field for a minimum of three months for them to gain professional registration. “If the candidate does not qualify for registration, we make appropriate recommendations. First we assess the candidate’s engineering experience, then moderate the assessor’s report, and then call the applicant for an interview where the competency of the candidate in the engineering field will be evaluated,” said Lonappan.

A successful applicant may be registered in any of the following three categories – professional engineer, professional engineering technologist, and professional technicians. Those registered with ECSA can practice in the United States, Ireland, and Australia as ECSA in one of the signatories of the Dublin, Washington, and Sydney Accords.