Ireland’s reputation and export sector would be further boosted by better regulation

Ireland’s reputation and export sector would be further boosted by better regulation

20 January 2011 at 00:00
Ireland needs to learn from the mistakes of light or non-regulation of financial services and ensure there is adequate regulation of the professions including engineering, according to Engineers Ireland. 
 
Proper regulation of the professions in Ireland would be good for the country’s battered reputation and would support Ireland’s only bright spot, the export sector, according to John Power, who was speaking at a seminar on bridge maintenance management.
 
Mr Power, who has also just been appointed Chairperson of the Railway Safety Advisory Council, said there remained an ongoing danger to public safety from serious failures in the engineering environment due to a lack of a proper regulatory framework. “We are currently living with the consequences of serious failures in regulation regarding the banking system.  However, I am not being flippant when I say that the implications of any serious regulatory failure in the engineering sector are a whole lot more grave and could mean serious physical injury or even death.”
 
Mr Power also cited the business imperative associated with effective regulation of the engineering profession and the boost it could offer the export sector.  “We compete in a globalised marketplace.  Canada and Australia are well recognised as examples of international best practice in the recognition of engineering expertise with these countries noticeably prospering as a result.  International companies needing engineering expertise are naturally more likely to invest here in Ireland in the knowledge that there was a robust and efficient regulatory system of professional engineers.”
 
“But currently the profession is not subject to the same statutory rigours as other professionals in Ireland and this is an anomaly which needs to be tackled.  Engineers Ireland is now working with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, which has jurisdiction over the issue, as well as other relevant Government officials, to introduce statutory regulation of engineers.”
 
There were also presentations at the seminar which took place in Engineers Ireland from Liam Duffy, National Roads Authority; Jim Harvey, Waterways Ireland; Paul Fanning;  Eugene O’Brien, UCD; Alan O’Connor, TCD; Brian Devlin, CEI Collins Engineers Ltd; Edward Meade, NVM; Joe Kelly, Roughan and O’Donovan Consulting Engineers.