This course, which has been in operation for the past 7 years, was originally conceived as a means of simultaneously training professional engineers as well as MSc students. It is an optional course in our MSc Civil Engineering programme. Regarding the former set, the content of this course is essential for engineers in order to understand modern building codes which are needed for ensuring public safety. This is because there has been a revolution in the philosophy of the new building codes making them much more sophisticated. In fact, in January 2017 the new version of ASCE 7 will be released and is expected to promote performance-based seismic design as the standard approach for the design of new buildings.
The mechanism for including professional engineers as students of an MSc course is that they must register as an "occasional student". This classification is recognised on the application form. An "occasional student" attends and fully participates in class but does not sit the exam. The detailed registration procedure is shown on the next page. If a student desires to sit the exam, he or she would have to register as a "specially admitted" student. The first cohort of students for this challenging course included a number of professional engineers.
The Board of Enginering of Trinidad and Tobago urges all developers to use only registered engineers in the design and construction of any engineering work.
The Board advises that such a policy could mitigate potential disastrous consequences now and in future years, particularly in the present environment of accelerated development activity in the country. It would also help to ensure that the Country gets quality for money invested.
The Engineering Profession Act, 1985 makes provision for the registration of Engineers in Trinidad and Tobago. A Registered Engineer is bound by a strict Code of Ethics under existing legislation. However, there is no legal requirement that one must be a Registered Engineer to practise engineering in Trinidad and Tobago.
This contrasts with other professions, such as:-
The Legal Profession – where only lawyers accepted by the local bar can practise law.
Medicine – where only practitioners accredited to the Medical Board can practise medicine.
Plumbing – where only licensed plumbers can practise plumbing.
Electrical installation – where only licensed wiremen are allowed to wire buildings etc.