Not A Single Chartered Engineer In The Entire Barbados Civil Service!

“Do you know the principal reason why Barbados is experiencing so many flooding problems in 2008?  Perhaps this can help. In the 1970’s there were several Chartered Engineers working in the Ministry of Public Works. Today, there is not a single Chartered Engineer in the entire Civil Service of Barbados. It is a lack of knowledge problem.”

… from Grenville Phillips II’s article Dear New Drainage Minister

Is Barbados A Real Country?

Sometimes you come upon something so absurd that it just stops you cold. Grenville Phillips II’s statement “Today, there is not a single Chartered Engineer in the entire Civil Service of Barbados” did it for me.

Assuming this statement is true (and truly, Grenville is a straight forward person. I’d be very surprised if the statement isn’t 100% accurate) then maybe Grenville has found not only the root cause of the drainage problems, but one of the reasons that Barbados gets taken for a ride every time we construct a major project like the prison, the Oval, the flyovers etc etc etc.

You can bet the people we’re dealing with have a chartered engineer or five on staff!

Not to mention that Barbados lost an entire family in 2007 due to a lack of professional engineering knowledge.

What About It, Prime Minister Thompson?

Mr. Prime Minister… after a year, your government owns the mess. What have you done to ensure that Barbados has professional engineers supervising every design and construction project our country undertakes?

Oh… I see.

Nothing.

Yup… same old, same old.

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45 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Consumer Issues, Disaster, Offshore Investments, Politics, Technology

45 responses to “Not A Single Chartered Engineer In The Entire Barbados Civil Service!

  1. cl8

    This cannot be true.

  2. whats his definition of chartered? They all probably have degrees in the field and are members of BAPE. Are you saying thats not enough? are you saying no one in the civil service is a MICE or MIStruct or MITE or has no other professional certification beyond a degree in civil?

  3. question

    Grenville Phillips needs to clarify his statement and why a chartered engineer has a higher precedence over other degrees and experience?

  4. Hi cl8:

    It is true.

    Hi jdid & question:

    Professionals should become both academically and professionally qualified. The basic degree only gives them the tools for the job, and then they need to practise using them. After practising for a few years, they can apply for membership in the appropriate professional institution, and if they pass the examination, they are admitted.

    When persons graduate with their degrees, they may have averaged 60% or 70%, which could mean that they did not understand 30% or 40% when examined. That is why professionals cannot “practise” on the general public until they receive some carefully supervised on-the-job training, which for Engineers amounts to at least 4 years. They must learn to use their tools.

    Given the severity of the consequences if some professionals make a mistake, Chartered professional institutions, and their equivalent, put applicants through a rigorous qualifying examination before certifying that they are fit to practise on the public.

    So there are accountants, and there are Chartered accountants, they are surgeons, and they are Chartered surgeons, there are engineers, and they are Chartered engineers.

    Regards,
    Researching

  5. Pat

    I guess what he refers to as a Chartered Engineer is what we in NA call a Professional Egineer (P.Eng). After graduation, an engineer has to work for 5 (five) years under a senior professional engineer(s) before he can get the designation of P.Eng. When you get your P.Eng, you can work for yourself and charge professional fees in accordance. Most graduates work for firms of engineers until they become P.Eng.

    The civil service will have to probably come up with a new class/group/salary scale for P.Engs. I cant see them working for those mickey mouse salaries paid the civil servants.

  6. Sad To Say

    BFP: Abdul Pandor is the de facto Chartered Engineer (Professional Engineer) for the Government or is it government of Barbados. Do some research and find out what his fees are for the redesign of the ABC and his forensic engineering audit of 3S.

  7. Side Line

    I think Esther Byer-Suckoo is chartered. A chartered, ah – whatcha’ call it? Slips me.

  8. BFP Robert Not Signed In

    Sad to Say says “Abdul Pandor is the de facto Chartered Engineer…”

    Is that like someone might be a “de facto 747 pilot” at Virgin Atlantic?

    You either are, or are not, ticketed to fly the Fat Alberts.

    Please help me understand what a “de facto Chartered Engineer” is. Perhaps it is someone who people think could pass the qualification but hasn’t bothered to apply?

    If I can convince enough people that I think I can be a brain surgeon, is that good enough for me to be a “de facto” brain surgeon? Or perhaps I have to find a couple of idiots willing to let me take a shot at it for the first time?

    What the HELL is a “de facto” Chartered Engineer?

  9. Hants

    Barbados has Engineering firms with Engineers on par with a P.Eng in North America.

    It is not likely that any of them will go and work in Government for chump change.

  10. Hants

    From the University of Sheffield

    “What is a Chartered Engineer?
    Chartered engineer status is the highest level you can achieve within the engineering profession. After you have passed your professional review, you earn the right to use the title ‘CEng’.

    Chartered Engineers are characterised by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change.

    Professional judgement is a key feature of the role. A chartered engineer must be able to effectively manage projects from both a technical and personnel perspective. They are able to profitably manage industrial and commercial enterprises.”

    To become a chartered engineer you must:

    Do an accredited degree
    Gain a minimum of 2 years practical experience working in an engineering company
    Undertake a Professional Review
    Accreditation of degree courses is given by engineering institutions

    The quickest and easiest way to become chartered is to gain a 4 year MEng degree combined with appropriate working experience.
    It is also possible to become chartered by doing a 3 year BEng degree. However you must then obtain additional qualifications prior to taking your professional review.

  11. @ Researching

    Pray tell us what government would want with a chartered engineer!! Are these not professional people who take their ethical responsibilities seriously? Would they not be seeking to ensure that money is efficiently spent and that contracts are air tight, and in the interest of their customers?

    Researching, can you not see the difficulties it would cause should such persons be employed in Government? Do you think that you for example (as a chartered engineer) could have presided over the ABC /flyover project? would you not have defied the then minister/ prime minister and cabinet to get a sound contract and sensible plan with transparent tenders?

    …how long you think you would have lasted?

    What chartered engineer what?

    Did the former PM not cuss you at a public consultation…? you really think politicians want PROFESSIONAL advice? Is BAPE popular with politicians after their stand on flyovers?

    The Civil service is staffed exactly as it suits our leaders (and in the long run, our people) with a large number of chartered lackies who do whatever nonsense they are told. In the meantime, the elected ‘experts’ experiment with our resources while enriching themselves and their families and friends.

    …we like it so.

  12. reality check

    Bush Tea

    bang on

  13. 199

    Hants, r u indirectly, telling us that you’re a chartered engineer?? If so, hearty congrats! Going to work in Bim??

  14. Hants

    @ 199

    I am not an Engineer. I don’t have a university degree.

    I am planning to work in Bim.

    I am a Bajan.

  15. Sad To Say

    BFP: Lighten up. You can’t tell a joke(r) when you read one.

    FACT of the matter is that Mr. Abdul Pandor services has been contracted for MILLIONS of $ to advise the government of Barbados on civil engineering issues.

    This is going to be a BIG ONE when this story finally breaks. There were those BLP yardfowls who sucked millions from the Barbados treasury, however, there is no one that has made Pandor’s type of money within the first five years of the last BLP admin. George Payne was no sweet bread but John Boyce is miles ahead of Payne (and Romel Marshall) when it comes to making sure that the party stalwarts are well looked after.

    BFP if you really want to be taken seriously take on the challenge of digging up the dirt on the Pandor-MTW-Boyce relationship. Drop me a wink if you need some help.

    *******************

    BFP says… OKAY… we’re winking. Write up an article and send it to our email barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com and we’ll try to fill in some of the holes if any – and we’ll publish it.

  16. ru4real

    ‘BFP: Abdul Pandor is the de facto Chartered Engineer (Professional Engineer) for the Government or is it government of Barbados. Do some research and find out what his fees are for the redesign of the ABC and his forensic engineering audit of 3S’
    ————————————-

    Isnt he the guy who built the bridges that fell down in St Kitts?

  17. ru4real

    They all probably have degrees in the field and are members of BAPE.
    ———————————————

    That’s a comfort.
    Barbados association of procrastinating engineers?
    Bunch of nitpicking foolish virgins

  18. ru4real

    The Civil service is staffed exactly as it suits our leaders (and in the long run, our people) with a large number of chartered lackeys who do whatever nonsense they are told. In the meantime, the elected ‘experts’ experiment with our resources while enriching themselves and their families and friends.

    …we like it so.
    ——————————————-
    Very true Bush Tea
    We ignore advise from international experts who have international experience cause we know better. Aint they all comin to rip us off ?
    We can do that jus fine all by ourselves?

  19. Sargeant

    Wuhloss…..Bush Tea and RU4Real on the same side, now I’m waiting for RU to convince Bush Tea that his international experts are superior to the locals especially with respect to 3S etc.

  20. @Sargeant

    Wuh he got the Bush Tea here mash up too…. But i think ru4real pulling a big foot move there….

    ..trying to set up a straw man so he can burn um…..

    What ignore advice from international experts what?!?
    Bajans DO LOVE to take advice from such persons… we only frighten for ones like 3S and Danos who under investigation for fraud, and who are so blatant with their underhand dealings that it is obvious.
    …and YES we CAN do better all by ourselves if we use our best brains (like chartered engineers) instead of idiots…. like who ever decided to waste the $millions on those concrete dividers along the ABC. …What a stupid and continuing waste of time, effort and money…

  21. Hants

    There are Engineers (and Architects Surveyors and Planners) in Barbados who got their degrees from top class Universities in The UK,USA and Canada.

    The projects that require foreign professional expertise does not include road building and building construction.

    Barbados has a lot of competent professionals.

    A few may be lazy and unmotivated but the majority are professional.

  22. The Devil

    The Chartered Engineer (CEng) designation is a UK qualification. The Barbados ‘equivalent’ status is being registered as an engineer with the Engineer’s Board. The BAPE is an association of engineers and while closely associated with the promotion of engineering matters of interest, the statutory authority for the determination of competence as an engineer lies with the Board not BAPE. There are more than a few (maybe the majority!) professional engineers practising in Barbados who do not have the CEng designation as there is no legal requirement to do so. A professional engineer is a person so designated by the Engineering Board. There are only 2 or 3 Chartered Structural Engineers in Barbados (of which Mr Phillips is one) and they certainly are NOT responsible for most of the structures being built here. The point being made here is that many non-civil service engineers also do not have “Chartered Engineer” status.

    Mr Phillips may have unintentially thus revealed a sense that the promotion and control of professional standards of competence and of work in Barbados by local bodies is weak to non existent. While engineers are the subject of this thread, the same concern could be leveled at doctors, attorneys, land surveyors, dentists, accountants, architects etc.

    This is not to say that these professionals are not competent nor do good work in Barbados but that there is an ad hoc adoption of standards mainly from the UK and other Commonwealth countries and the USA and more critically that there is a dependence on the voluntary attainment of higher levels of certification and the adoption of professional standards. (I know of at least one obstetrician and at least one cardiologist who are practising in Barbados and have been doing so for many years each of whom have NOT attained any post graduate professional certification that would normally qualify one to practise in either the UK or the USA.)

  23. ru4real

    YES we CAN do better all by ourselves if we use our best brains (like chartered engineers) instead of idiots…. like who ever decided to waste the $millions on those concrete dividers along the ABC. …What a stupid and continuing waste of time, effort and money…
    ———————————————————–

    Bless me I am agreeing with BT again.
    The concrete barriers were not in the original design plan proposed by 3S they were requested by the local experts MPT.

    These was one of the reasons for the increase in costs!

  24. @ru4real
    “….The concrete barriers were not in the original design plan proposed by 3S they were requested by the local experts MPT.”
    ************************************************
    …so why were we paying these international experts if all they did was to follow instructions from local nincompoops? You think that Engineer Phillips would operate so? or engineer Browne that had the public cuss up with Gline Clarke?

    I will answer that for you ru4real; Because 3S were just a front for a scam which was designed to generate a ‘free flow’ of funds from the Barbados treasury.

    No professional worth their salt would have their name and reputation associated with such a stupid plan. The road is not yet finished and those barriers have been put in and removed multiple times. They have already caused numerous accidents, and most of all they limit the options of emergency personnel in responding to situations on the highway.

    Most laughable, the ONLY place on the highway where some could be justified (the Bermuda triangle) has none.

    What international consultants what?!?

    More like contracted lackies.

  25. ru4real

    3S were an honest professional company prepared to build a visionary and practical traffic free flow project.

    The barriers were proposed by MPT as a safety measure they were offered other alternative and less costly barriers.

    The barriers are made locally by a local constructor.

    There have been barely any serious accidents on the highway since its construction – in that the barriers are very effective.They prevent potentially fatal head on collisions – there were plenty of these prior to the construction of the barriers.

    Again I find myself in agreement with you BT the local nimcompoops ( they call themselves engineers like Nash Lovell and team of the MPT) seem to have taken delight in refusing all international advice from more experienced engineers because it goes against the grain to take advice period.

    International experts are often what they seem – international experts.

  26. @ ru4real
    Can we stop this ‘agreeing’ ru4real? it is spoiling our whole relationship….

    How about agreeing on one last thing….

    ….That we will go back to disagreeing..

    No back to the chase ru…

    You go to a big-up doctor (a consultant) and after assessing your condition, he prescribes a course of medicine to fix you up.
    Your old aunt (in house adviser who you can’t fire) tells the doctor that he should prescribe a dose of bush tea instead.

    (that is a bad example cause bush tea is usually right on LOL….but..)

    Are you saying that the doctor goes with the bush tea …..and continues as your doctor of record AND SENDS A BILL FOR HIS SERVICES???

    …come on ru4real…..that doctor would have to be getting a cut of the bush tea sales….

  27. ru4real

    Moreover the barriers have not ‘been put in and removed ‘ numerous times.

    Nor have they caused any accidents themselves

    Nor do they impede any access to accidents at all for heavens sake there is no great distance to a roundabout for access.

    Its supposed to be a highway not free access for all and sundry – get some advice from some local nimcompoop engineer!

  28. ru4real

    BT
    Thank Goodness we not agreeing anymore it wus making me nervous.

    Your old Auntie may well be right or wrong but I wouldnt go against the consultants advice.

    However if the consultant gives his advice and it is disregarded by the patient in favor of your Auntie and her BT he has every right to charge for his services.

    Advice dont come free ( ask any lawyer)

    Nor would I go against numerous consultant s with regard to experts in traffic management.

    But unlike your Auntie and her bush tea the local nimcompoops have their own AGENDAS and with this in mind couldnt care less if its the RIGHT/BEST /CORRECT thing to do but whether or not it fits the bill for their AGENDA.

  29. You obviously don’t live ’bout here – or don’t pass the highway….

    of course they don’t ’cause accidents by themselves’ people hit them. Just the other day, someone hit one,lost control and overturned -that I know of….

    At the slightest incident, there is a huge backup and there is no option for the police to divert around it by using one of the lanes from the opposite carriageway, nor can persons behind make u-turns, as would otherwise be possible.

    Why ask a nincompoop when I can go all the way to the bottom of the heap -and ask you?

  30. ru4real

    There is a huge backup because it takes the police forever to get there take photos and organize the traffic to get past the incident .

    To say nothing of the idiotic rubber necking and parking any old how of people who have nothing to do with the accident want to voyeur .

    There are hard shoulders each side of the highway that can be utilised to avoid this situation – that is what they are for.

    People hit the barriers because they are bad drivers – if the barriers werent there they would be careering straight into oncoming traffic -and cause major fatal pile ups ( Just as they used to do)

  31. ru4real

    Why ask a nincompoop when I can go all the way to the bottom of the heap -and ask you?
    —————————————

    True I’m only a ‘de facto’ nimcompoop.

    For the real McCoy try Bape or MPT where there are a large selection.

  32. Sargeant

    On the subject of the jersey barriers I agree with RU4real, they save lives. There are bad drivers everywhere and Barbados has its fair share. If someone hits the barrier they were not paying attention or lost control due to excessive speed. A few months ago one sped past me on the highway by CBC in the midst of construction and for a moment I wondered where is the fire? If the would be Lewis Hamilton had hit someone coming in the other direction everyone would be in a world of hurt, well maybe not him as he was driving an X5.

    I don’t mean to compare countries, but in the Ontario/Quebec corridor the Ontario govt has placed these barriers all along the 401 where the roads are adjacent. They discovered that the old metal barriers did not prevent vehicles from coming through and striking another vehicle head on with resulting carnage. If that happens the only happy people are the undertakers.

    At least if you hit the Jersey barrier chances are you may be the only casualty.

  33. @ Sargeant

    The logic that you have used is a bit simplistic. “people drive badly so let us spend millions of dollars and inconvenience everyone least someone gets hurt…’

    Well Sargeant, people also drown in the sea, should we erect a fence with a back door on all the popular beaches?

    Planes crash from tie to time – maybe we should fit them with large parachutes????

    How about providing free body armour suits to everyone in case someone gets mugged?

    Sargeant, don’t listen to ru4real yuh…. that blogger has no regard for logic or reason…

  34. akabozik

    Small airplanes up to 6 place are fitted with large parachutes made by BSR Ballistic Recovery Systems. There have been dozens of saves where the pilot got into trouble and deployed the chute and gently lowered the airplane to the ground.

    It is a better way than crashing at high speed, but many pilots resisted whole-airplane chutes like many resist crash barriers that will prevent head-on collisions.

  35. @akabozak
    so all , or most small airplanes are fitted with this device? I think not. If money was no object we could even pave our streets with gold.
    Unfortunately we have to make intelligent choices between the many options of deploying our limited resources.
    Wealthy countries (or persons) face no such dilemma.

    But a relatively poor country like ours would be better served if some analysis is applied before committing millions of dollars to things like these when the hospital, sewerage needs, basic housing needs and other areas remain un-served.

  36. akabozik

    Most newly constructed small airplanes are offering the device and it is standard equipment on the best selling light aircraft line in the world – Cirrus.

  37. Sargeant

    @ Bush Tea

    Your argument has a whiff of Libertarianism i.e. against forcible government interference in one’s life. Are you against the barriers solely because of the costs? How much is one life worth? How much are a hundred lives worth? If over the course of the next ten years a hundred lives are saved because the Jersey barriers are in place do you think they would be worth it? Life is not without risks but societies are better off when some risks are reduced for everyday activities. If someone takes a swim in the ocean the only risk is to the individual, when you drive a vehicle many more lives may be at risk.

    About the parachutes on airplanes….. most of us don’t fly every day or even every year and they are not much use if you don’t know how to use them or if you are over the Atlantic or over the North Pole.

    As for RU we don’t agree on much of anything, I just think his point about the Jersey barriers is credible

  38. ru4real

    How much is one life worth? How much are a hundred lives worth? If over the course of the next ten years a hundred lives are saved because the Jersey barriers are in place do you think they would be worth it? Life is not without risks but societies are better off when some risks are reduced for everyday activities. If someone takes a swim in the ocean the only risk is to the individual, when you drive a vehicle many more lives may be at risk.
    ———————————————–
    Very well said.

  39. Obviously Bush tea will never win this argument. Seems that I am arguing with ‘those who do not want to see…’

    I have heard a number of my friends, who still live at their mother’s little chattel house, use similar arguments to explain why they needed to buy an expensive SUV ‘for the safety features’ – you know – the ABS and air bags and anti roll-over features….

    …lost those arguments too.

    …and akabozik, most new SUVs come with all these features- along with GPS, Cruise control and even heated gas pedals – for the convenience of those who can afford it as well as those with more dollars than sense.

  40. Hi Everyone:

    Let me respond to The Devil’s erroneous post.

    The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) is an International Institution with 23,000 members in 105 countries worldwide. There are nine chartered structural engineers in Barbados and 39 in the Caribbean islands. There are also several Chartered civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers in Barbados and the Caribbean.

    High technical and other professional standards are promoted by these Chartered Institutions. The IStructE rigorously examines the competence of applicants. Their examination is also used in parts of the US, Canada, China, for persons who wish to practise structural engineering.

    To practise engineering in some countries (like Barbados), rigorous testing is not mandatory. Persons simply comply with the minimum 4 years of supervised training and pay the registration fee. However, following fatal engineering failures around the world, higher design standards are normally one of the post-disaster recommendations.

    The reason why Chartered institutions are so attractive to us in the Caribbean, apart from the very high standards that they promote, is that membership is open to everyone in the world. The examining bodies in the US and Canada are reserved for their citizens and residents only. Barbadians can therefore get an internationally recognised qualification without having to leave Barbados. Therefore, all professional service providers practising in Barbados should have internationally recognised professional (not only academic) qualifications, especially in this global age that we have entered.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  41. ru4real

    @Bush Tea

    I am interested in your opinion now that it looks like the flyover project after much time and money wasting is said to going ahead with Clico?

  42. Today, there is not a single Chartered Engineer in the entire Civil Service of Barbados. If this statement is truI am astonished it has come to this. Why cant the government either trainee people to do this job, or if a quick fix is required sub out the work to contractors from the UK. Here with the recession biting there are around 1250 chartered engineers currently inbetween jobs, is this such a bad idea?
    Adam B (Trainee Chartered Engineer
    building surveyor) Brighton University UK

  43. PiedPiper

    No Adam, it’s not a bad idea but here’s the rub, it makes sense! Bajans and the Barbados government are the most self defeating people on the planet. Adam, you will be the wrong colour, not a Bajan and a whole big set of noise and confusion would take place that a “foreigner” was working for the civil service. They just can’t help themselves.

  44. Wright B.Astard

    Did you know that some individuals who are registered with the Engineering Council in the UK, and who are entitled to the designation “Engineer”, are not accepted for membership in the local engineering fraternity.

  45. G Man

    If you British and white you can inflate your qualifications, the don’t check and will hire you automatically. This was going on 40 years ago and still is true. The Blacksmith at MCW back then would redraw the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s work because that pipe smoking fraud didn’t have a clue. Many of these so-called engineers need to work under real professionals before they branch out on their own. The British government would send student engineers to Barbados to get work experience. The genuflecting idiots in government would assign them projects which they usually botched up.