Market News

Lobby opposes single regulator plan for construction professionals


Workers at a construction site in Kisumu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Project and construction managers have opposed establishment of a single regulatory agency for built environment professionals, saying it will hamper development of various trades.

Association of Construction Managers of Kenya (ACMK) instead proposed self-regulation for all trades, saying this will improve standards and quality of work as well as nurture nascent professions.

ACMK added that any bid to create a single regulator would water down the quality of work, endangering lives as well as creating loopholes for quacks to thrive.

“The global construction industry has greatly evolved, so must we and it is our view that independent regulation of emerging professions like ours will not only promote them but also spur their growth for our country’s benefit,” it said.

The Proposed Built Environment Practitioners Bill 2017, now before Parliament seeks to collapse built regulatory environment boards into one agency that oversees contractors, architects, quantity surveyors, landscape architects and interior designers among others.

“To effectively regulate and promote the growth of any singular profession is a herculean task for any board; our existing professional board’s challenges attests to this. We therefore don’t see why Cap 525 should be expanded to include additional professions; this will be an overwhelming task for one board and will result to bias on the growth of some professions,” said ACMK.

READ: Logging ban hits construction sector hard as costs double

The boards, they said, was tasked with preparing individual Continuous Development Programmes (CPDs) while scrutinising training curriculum for their respective trades at tertiary and university level thereby helping maintain the standards.

The Engineers Registration Board has in the past loudly protested introduction of Bachelors degree and Master’s degree courses at local universities without their input and have denied graduates practising certificates.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology was among universities whose engineering courses were stopped compelling the management to seek the board’s clearance.

“We must make regulation for longevity and not one that will require amendments after a few years. The current proposal seems shortsighted and not even in line with the developments at our higher learning institutions,” it said.