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HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTE (IPET)

"The Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists is committed to:

The Goode Committee instituted by the Government in 1974 to report on the Education, Training and Status of the Engineering Technician in South Africa, published its Report in 1978. One of its recommendations was that a definite need now existed for the introduction of another member into the engineering team of professional and certificated engineers and engineering technicians. This person was to be known as the engineering technologist. A further recommendation was that societies should be established to look after the interests of technologists and technicians if they did not exist already.
 
On 5 February 1979, the convening and first meeting of the Interim Committee for Establishing Boards of Control for "Non-Professional Engineers" (ICBOC) took place in Johannesburg under the auspices of the Federation of Societies of Professional Engineers (FSPE). The first Chairman and Secretary was Professor G P R von Willich of the SA Institution of Civil Engineers, and D P du Plooy of the Aeronautical Society of South Aftica, respectively. The members of this Committee were nominated mostly by the various technical societies in existence at that time. It was instructed to investigate the feasibility of registration under a Board of Control for the above mentioned category of engineers. It took the Committee a little more than two years to find that such a need did exist. In the process, the name of the Committee was changed to the Interim Committee for the Registration of Technologists and Engineers (ICRTE).

 


The South African Association of Registrable Engineers and Technologists (SAARET) was formed in September 1981 and replaced ICRTE which was disbanded in November of the same year. John Galgut was elected as the first President of the new body. Apart from the recruitment of members for the Association, its main function at that time was to prepare the documentation for the establishment of the Board of Control for the Registration of Professional Technologists (Engineering). This became possible after the necessary changes to the Professional Engineers' Act of 1969 were made. SAARET completed this task in 1984 and the Board commenced its operations in 1985 by considering applications for registration as Professional Technologists (Engineering). Guthrie Head was the Chairman of the Board of Control from its inception until dissolution in 1990. SAARET changed its name to the South African Association of Registrable Engineering Technologists, the acronym remaining as SAARET. With the promulgation of the Engineering Profession of South Africa Act in 1990, the Board of Control was disbanded. The Act combined the Boards of Control for Technologists, Certificated Engineers and Technicians and the SA Council for Professional Engineers into one unifying body viz. the Engineering Council of South Affica (ECSA).
 
Very soon after the Engineering Profession Act of 1990 became law, SAARET received many requests from its members to meet not only their purely vocational but other needs as well. As a result, SAARET decided that it should also become involved in activities normally associated with those of learned societies. As a first step, in depth consideration was given to provide a name for this body more in line with the new thinking. At the Annual General Meeting held in August 1994, it was unanimously agreed that the name of SAARET be changed to Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists (IPET).

 


IPET strives to improve the image and status of engineering technologists of all disciplines and is hard at work to ensure that they get the recognition they so richly deserve. It determines the standards for the registration of Professional Technologists (Engineering). IPET has succeeded in getting the National Building Regulations altered so as to authorise professional technologists to sign building plans as competent persons. It has provided exclusivity in its membership by allowing only Professional Engineering Technologists as full corporate members of the Institute. IPET played a major role in the establishment of the Engineering Association (SAVI), a body considered by many to be the mouthpiece of the engineering profession in South Africa. It has for years been trying to get full recognition for the engineering technologist in the Government Service and it is continuing the battle. It is instrumental in the provision of Liability Insurance for its members in private practice. IPET assists applicants who have been unsuccessful in obtaining registration as Professional Engineering Technologists in obtaining this sought after status.
 

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