ITC-SA trailblazers in KZN. Colin Armstrong and Bobby Shoayb attended the very first meeting of the organisation 49 years ago.

Regional Meetings of the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) are not-to-be-missed opportunities for young professionals to catch up with the latest industry news, share experiences and meet some of the local the trailblazers who have been part of the ITC-SA since it was established 49 years ago.

The ITC-SA’s General Manager Erik Söderlund welcomed the enthusiastic group of professionals from all membership categories to the meeting. “The excellent turnout at the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Regional Meeting confirms the members’ dedication to creating and maintaining the engineered timber roof truss industry’s highest standards,” he remarked.

The purpose of the Regional Meeting was for Söderlund to explain why it is vital for all members to appreciate the significance of the Institute’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), its Professional Body status and recognition as a Voluntary Association by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

“The SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognises that the ITC-SA is a Professional Body with professional members. SAQA further stipulates that the Institute can award the professional status to a qualifying individual but unfortunately not to a company,” Söderlund explained.

Good governance

The Companies Act legislates that the ITC-SA, like all Non-Profit Companies, complies with and adheres to good corporate governance practices. “The Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) prescribes the governance practices of the ITC-SA. Every company must have an MOI filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC),” Söderlund said.

According to the MOI, the objectives of the ITC-SA include:

  • Monitoring the members’ delivery of professional services and products to all consumers in the built environment.
  • Continuously improve standards by participating and supporting standards development organisations in setting timber industry norms and standards.
  • Promoting and marketing engineered timber structures in the residential housing market.
  • Overseeing the development and progression of ITC-SA members to ensure relevant and up to date information is communicated and services delivered.

Professional Code of Conduct

Söderlund’s presentation spelt out the MOI’s guidelines for membership categories, the proceedings of the annual general meeting (AGM), the composition and authority of the Board of Directors and the ITC-SA’s Code of Conduct.

He said the MOI describes the due and fair process for reporting and investigating members alleged to be guilty of conduct that is harmful or obstructive to the interests and objectives of the organisation or that contravenes the published Code of Conduct.

“It is the responsibility of every member to know and understand the ITC-SA’s Code of Conduct. The code is a crucial document and a requirement for recognition by SAQA as a Professional Body and the Engineering Council of SA (ECSA) as a Voluntary Association,” Söderlund pointed out.

Designation and CPD

” ITC-SA has the authority from SAQA to award various Professional Designations to individual members that meet the requirement of the various registered Professional Designations. The professional title confirms that the member has the knowledge, qualifications, and experience, is competent to practice in an aspect of the engineered timber roof truss industry and has a support network of peers.

“As with all Professional Bodies, to retain a Professional Designation the registered person must comply with three requirements annually. These are to pay the annual membership, comply with the Professional Bodies Code of Conduct and meet the Professional Bodies Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

Söderlund’s speech prompted much discussion among the attendees about their responsibilities as ITC-SA members with Professional Designations. They also emphasised the need for vigilance to protect the public by reporting illegal construction and erection activities of site-made trusses.