The Code of Ethics (or the Code of Professional Conduct) ~ The by qQ6ww95


									An IEM Outreach Programme to G&S
The Code of Ethics (or the Code of
      Professional Conduct)
~ The Hallmark of Professionalism;
     Engineering in Malaysia

    By Engr. Rocky H.T. Wong, PEng, FIEM; Hon
   FAFEO-ASEAN Engr, Founding Fellow (AAET),
   Hon. Fellow (TEEAM); Chairman – IEM pro ETI
  Bureau, Past Chairman – ACEM, Past President -
      FACE, The Head Commissioner – ASEAN
       Engineers Register (AER) Commission.

     During the period before
  independence and immediately
thereafter, membership of learned
 societies for engineers (including
 “pupil engineers”), with the ICE,
  IMechE, IEE, and the IEM (after
    1959) was the Hallmark of
   Most Malayan engineers then were in the
    employ of PWD (JKR), CEB/NEB (TNB), MR
    (KTM), DID (JBS), Telecoms (TM), MU
    (UM) etc.
   A larger part of the early membership in
    the IEM came from amongst the rank of
    “engineers working for the government”.

   The earlier Past Presidents of the IEM
    were usually the “Heads” of those
    Government Departments and agencies.
  To be promoted in “government
  service” an engineer must prove
that he is a “Professional Engineer”
   - meaning, he is a “M.I.E.M”~ a
      gold standard hallmark of
 professionalism; much respected
    by peers and allure respect by
On the other hand, in the private
sector, an engineer with IEM corporate
membership such as; MIEM or FIEM
meant that he had the “license to
practise” consulting engineering in the
field of his engineering discipline.
A competitive consulting engineer
would endeavour to attain corporate
fellowship in the IEM and additionally,
in a UK based engineering “learned
society” of his discipline e.g. ICE or
IMech or IEE, etc. and would have
earned him the “CEng“ status.
However, membership in the IEM
(before the existence of BEM)
entitled the engineer to pre-fix his
name the appellation: “Ir.” – a
qualified practitioner of
engineering; equivalent to the
status of C.Eng.
The Code
To qualify for membership in the
   IEM meant and continue to
 mean, that a person conforms
 to a “Code of Practice” defined
        by what follows:-
   The Engineers’ Code of
Practice of five (5) components.
1. Accreditation Procedure; an
   engineering education programme
   and IHL audit process of
   qualifications for the purpose of
   membership entry consideration.
2. Code of Ethics (or Code of
   Professional Conduct);

3. Professional Interview (PI); for
   the purpose of admission into
   Corporate Membership by way of
   peer-based assessment which
   includes the following:-
i.   Actual face-to-face interview

ii. Part A; Written Exam on training and
    experience gained during the prescribed
    pupilage or PDP period

iii. Part B; another written exam on the proper
     order of action required of a professional
     engineer, in situations that may result in a
     conflict between an Engineer’s self interest
     and his duty to others i.e. his COE .
    Life long learning to keep
 obsolescence at bay (now known
 as CPD) as per the objectives of
the IEM, i.e “…….. to promote and
     advance the science and
    profession of all aspects of
 Public Interest driven science,
 engineering & technology (SET)
   centric design codes and
   standards, addressing the
essential requirements of: safety,
  health and the welfare of the
community and the environment
The Registration of Engineers
   Act, 1967 - the REA ’67
The Registration of Engineers Act was
passed by Parliament in 1967 but was only
implemented on 23 August 1972 when the
Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM) was
BEM registers ALL:-

 Professional Engineers,
 Graduate Engineers, and

 Foreign (Temporary) Engineers.
The REA ’67 over 41 years, has been amended
6 times:

   The first two minor amendments of 1972
    (Act A132) and 1973 (Act A173) for
    orperationalising the BEM;

   Amendments in 1974 (Act 218) gave rise
    to the much talked about Clause 7A –
    “Body Corporate” which may practise as
    consulting engineers – hitherto was only
    restricted to the natural persons. And the
    power of the President of the BEM was
    further boosted!
   Amendments in 1987 (Act A662)
    introduced the “temporary
    registration as a Professional
    Engineer of any foreign engineer”
    and making the Act explicit in the
    restriction on employment of
    unregistered person as an Engineer:
    “No person shall employ as an
    Engineer any person who is not
    registered under this Act”.
   Amendments in 2002 (Act A1158)
    introduced the term “Engineering
    Consultancy Practice (ECP)” under the
    amended Clause 7A; “…. a sole
    proprietorship, partnership or body
    corporate may practise as an Engineering
    Consultancy Practice and recover in any
    court any fee; remuneration or other form
    of consideration for any professional
    engineering services rendered……..”.
New clause 7B permits a body
corporate ECP in providing combined
engineering and architectural
consultancy services, together with
quantity surveying services. It deals
with details concerning the Board of
Directors, and permitted percentages
of equity by the various parties.
Act A1158 created the perception that there
are two categories of P.Eng’s, viz the
original category P.Eng having the inherent
“right to practise” and the newly defined
ECP P.Eng.

A new Clause 10B deals with the registration
of Accredited Checkers who have proven
“……practical experiences in the design and
construction of buildings as defined in the
Streets, Drainage and Building Act 1974
(Act 133)”.
The latest amendments passed as Act
A1288 early last year (i.e 2007) aligns the
REA with the introduction of the C.C.C.
policy (implemented on 12 April 2007). The
issuance of the Certificate of Completion and
Compliance was launched by the PM on 13
April 2007.

The C.C.C. replaces the Certificate of Fitness
for Occupation (CFO) previously issued by
Local Authorities.
A new Part IIIA on “Disciplinary
Committee” has been introduced. The
intention of this is to provide the
necessary confidence among the public
that when ECP P.Eng’s as submitting
persons signed off the CCC – they do
so professionally, after due care and
The BEM is the domestic Regulator of
the practice of engineering in Malaysia.
In the context of the ASEAN MRA on
Engineering Services, the BEM is
Malaysia’s designated Professional
Regulatory Authority i.e. PRA for
Engineering Services.
An Engineer can only be a “Registered
Engineer” with the BEM and NOT call
oneself a “member” of the BEM.

Whereas the same engineer when he
joins the IEM becomes a “Member”
and “….. shall be entitled to the use of
the title Engr. placed before (his/her)
The REA ’67 provides for the BEM to
work closely with the IEM vis-à-vis the
Engineers’ Code of Practice in most
In the early days of the BEM and
before the coming into force of the
“Registration of Engineers Regulation
1990”; to be registered a Professional
Engineer, the engineer must first have
been accepted into the IEM as a
Corporate Member.
Even with the introduction of the BEM’s
Professional Assessment Examination (PAE),
the “equivalence” of IEM Corporate
Membership with P.Eng status has been

Section 10(2)(i)(b) says; Quote:- Subject to
this Act, the following persons shall be
entitled on application to be registered as
Professional Engineers. Any person who has
passed a PAE conducted by BEM, or is a
Corporate Member of the IEM; Unquote.
Section 7(i)(aa)(iii) of the REA ’67, on
the issue of “Restriction on
unregistered persons, Graduate
Engineers etc”, says; Quote: No
person shall, unless he is a
Professional Engineer be certified to
describe himself or hold himself out
under any name, style or title using
the abbreviation “Ir.” before his name
or the abbreviation “P.Eng” after his
name or in any way in association with
his name. Unquote.
Registration with the BEM is renewed
annually ~ a “valid license to
practise”; the rights of the natural
person who’s a registered professional
engineer having the title “Ir.”, and to
use the stamp as prescribed in the
Second Schedule of the Act.
The Institution of Engineers,
Malaysia (The IEM):-
   The governance, management and
    administration of the IEM is by way
    of it’s Constitution, its Bylaws and its
    Regulations on Professional Conduct.

   The encapsulation of what is IEM; is
    by way of the IEM’s Vision, Mission,
    Functions and Objectives,
    reproduced as follows:-

Vision, Mission, Functions
      and Objectives
           IEM’S VISION

The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia
aims to be the premier professional
organization pivotal to Malaysia
achieving Vision 2020.
             IEM’S MISSION
   IEM shall promote sound professional
    engineering practice in support of the
    socio-economic development objectives of
    the nation.
   IEM shall service the needs and interests
    of its members and the public and uphold
    the social standing and image of the
    engineering profession.
   IEM shall contribute towards nation
    building and shall strive to enhance
    society’s consciousness of science,
    engineering and technology.

  IEM is a society established to
promote and advance the Science
 and Profession of Engineering in
  any or all its disciplines and to
     facilitate the exchange of
 information and ideas related to
The objectives of The Institution as set
out in the Constitution shall include
the following:-

a. to uphold meetings, exhibitions and visits, and
   such other activities as The Institution may
   deem incidental or conducive to the promotion
   or attainment of the profession of engineering;

b. to raise the character and status and advance
   the interests of the profession of engineering
   and those engaged therein;
c. to promote honorable practice, and
   professional etiquette among members of
   The Institution;

d. to communicate to members information
   on all matters affecting the profession of
   engineering and to print, publish, issue
   and circulate such publications as may
   seem conducive to any of the objectives
   of The Institution;

e. to do such other things as The Institution
   may think incidental or conducive to the
   attainment of the objectives of The
     Membership in the IEM:-

Corporate membership in the IEM, viz.
MIEM and more so FIEM (in due
course), is the measure for peer
acceptance of professional standing
and it further represents the time
honoured public recognition hallmark
of ethical professional excellence.
The IEM welcomes engineers to become
Corporate Members and hence attain the
status of Professional Engineer, those who

 Ethical,
 Competent,

 Intellectual,

 Mature, and

 Responsible.
They shall prove to their peers that they are
qualified to be M.I.E.M, because they are:-

   able to analyse and solve engineering
    problems by the application of science,
    engineering and technological knowledge;
   experienced and have the skills for good
    management and communications;
   able to perform design, or able to
    integrate systems, and have relevant site
   confident and mature to assume
IEM membership generally consists of

• Those who are engineering students who will
  one day graduate as “Engineers”;
• Graduates enroute to be Corporate members
  in due course,
• Corporate Members who form the greater part
  of the membership strength.
Besides engineers, IEM offers
membership to other engineering
services professionals, such as:-

 Incorporated Member;
 Affiliate Member; and

 Associate Member.
The     aforesaid   exemplifies   the   IEM’s
perspective; how about the aspect from the
BEM? Registration of an engineer with the
BEM equates to legal recognition of
qualification(s) and a BEM license to practise
as an ECP provides the benchmark for QA
professional      services    meeting     the
expectations of public interest. Only ECP’s
qualify to be UBBL defined “Submitting
Persons” empowered to signing off the
various forms aggregating to a project
specific CCC.
The Engineer’s Code of Ethics
Why is the Code of Ethics important to

   It is a HALLMARK of Professionalism;

   A BASIC qualifying requirement;

   An EDGE in competition;

   Ultimate BENEFIT of the profession.
Adhering to the Code of Ethics, the
engineering profession will benefit in
promoting its reputation, credibility
and respect. The result: the
engineering profession will maintain its
attractiveness as a rewarding and
respectable profession.
The Engineer’s Code of Ethics is a
constellation of noble ideals binding
   the following into a virtuous
 paradigm of what a Professional
 Engineer and his upright bearing
             should be:-
   The Profession: An Engineer shall at
    all times uphold the dignity, standing
    and reputation of the profession by his
    behaviour, actions and words.
   With Colleagues: An Engineer
    shall not maliciously or recklessly
    harm or attempt to harm whether
    directly or otherwise the
    professional reputation of another
    engineer, but shall however foster
    the reputation of colleagues for the
    advancement of the profession.
   Towards Employers and
    Clients: An Engineer shall serve
    employers and clients with
    honesty, loyalty and integrity in
    conforming to the highest
    standards expected of their
    respective community.
   The Public: An Engineer in
    providing his services shall at all
    times be governed by the paramount
    interest of the public, in particular
    their welfare, health, safety and
   Oneself: An Engineer shall
    maintain and enhance his health
    and competency in subscribing to
    self and continuing professional
 The BEM’s Code of
Professional Conduct
The BEM’s Code of Professional
Conduct governing every registered
Engineer is detailed out in the Part IV
of the “Registration of Engineers
Regulations 1990” (Revised 2003)
which came into force 10th November
The IEM Regulation on
Professional Conduct
Article 2.18 of the IEM Constitution states
that; Quote: Every member shall so conduct
himself as to uphold the dignity, standing
and reputation of the profession. He shall
be bound by the Regulation on Professional
Conduct. Unquote.
Then, in the IEM Bylaws, we have Bylaws
9.2, 9.3 and 9.6 which also deal with the
professional conduct of members, and the
formal set of “Regulation of Professional
Conduct” which has been made by the IEM
Council under the provision of Section IX of
the IEM Bylaws.
What are the differences among:
     COE, COPC and ROPC?
   The Engineer’s Code of Ethics represents
    the collective stance and the shared
    conviction of the Fraternity of Engineers.
   The sanctity of the Code amounts to a
    Honour Pledge which when breached
    brings shame and dishonour to both the
    transgressor and the profession.
   There is no legal enforcement; only self-
    respect and self esteem, and the chosen
    inviolable value of life for someone
    belonging to a noble profession.
   If we don’t respect ourselves, who would,
    - that is the point and the bottom-line.
The BEM’s Code of Professional
Conduct represents the “Law” and
when broken, investigation and
disciplinary processes follow; akin to
the legal procedures of the “Court”.
Should the respondent registered
engineer be found to have indeed
“broken the law”, his act unbecoming
of a registered engineeer will be
The IEM’s Regulation on Professional
Conduct is a consensus among
members, which will be reviewed
periodically and made relevant.
Enforcement is by way of peer-
judgement followed by a complaint in
Should the prescribed peer-judgement
be taken to its logical conclusion, and
the complaint substantiated, the
member may be expelled; perhaps
reprimanded or fined – otherwise
expulsion. There is a long list of what
may follow - but by then, the
adjudged member would have
Conclusion: cliché as it may, a
professional engineer inspired by the
Engineers’ Code of Practice, and
believes without reservation the
Engineer’s Code of Ethics, abides by
the BEM’s Code of Professional
Conduct, and subscribes to the IEM’s
Regulation on Professional Conduct as
an active IEM Corporate Member; this
Engineer would have attained the
Hallmark of Professionalism.

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