NATION

New Building Association Formed

Within the building construction in­dustry there are a number of differ­ent Associations that serve smaller groups within the overall industry and most have been established for a long time. There
03 Nov 2018 11:00
New Building Association Formed

Within the building construction in­dustry there are a number of differ­ent Associations that serve smaller groups within the overall industry and most have been established for a long time.

There has remained a gap where a signifi­cant number of professionals could not find an association that suited their needs or ser­viced that section of the industry they were working in.

With the Government being clear that they wanted the entire industry covered by regu­lation and licensed to protect the general public it was clear that a new entity was re­quired and for this reason the founding ex­ecutives moved to establish a new entity.

The new group, the Fiji Building Designers Association (FBDA), initially has 52 regis­tered members, mostly from the Western & Central divisions and some from the north­ern zone and they have plans to include more people working in the building construction industry.

The association is described as a group of professional and industry qualified in­dividuals such as Architectural designers, structural engineering technicians, building services specialists, quantity surveyors and government and statutory bodies such as municipal councils.

Some are members of other associations and the FBDA will accept dual membership from suitably qualified individuals or com­panies.

Association’s target

The association is targeting the small to me­dium business in the industry by providing an affordable and easily accessed entity to suit their needs.

The initial interest from industry and their workers has indicated that there is a lot of need throughout Fiji for this type of profes­sional organisation

The association was created at an Annual General Meeting held in May this year and has formed committees to attend to various areas identified at the AGM.

The association is endorsed and recognised by the Ministry of Employment.

At the AGM the chairman of Fiji Building Standards, also managing director of Irwin Alsop Pacific Limited and a qualified me­chanical engineer made a presentation.

In this he highlighted some of the key points that needed to be taken into consid­eration by the association.

He pointed out that the major objective was to “develop a registration and licensing framework for skilled professionals in the building sector and to appoint an independ­ent Board to work with the Agency to look into the requirements of the Licensing.

The Board will also determine fees and charges applicable to members and provide training and capacity building.

This board will also develop requirements and competencies for registration relevant to the different industries it represents.

It was also agreed that the association would work closely with the Construction Industry Council, an umbrella organisation and an industry voice and it was stressed that it was critical that FBDA play an active role and be part of the industry, rather than try to operate alone.

Development

The FBDA needs to develop so as to repre­sent the 75 per cent of individuals who are not part of the existing associations.

An important aspect of the FBDA is that it will provide member’s clients with the assur­ance that members are fully qualified and licensed practitioners and will deliver good quality and legally compliant work is all as­pects of a project.

The association will provide lists of mem­bers to the public and will create awareness of the security provided by commissioning members of the association to carry out work for their clients.

FBDA will also develop a fee framework so that the general public are financially pro­tected.

To ensure that members are kept up to date with the latest technological advances and changes in required building standards in Fiji, the FBDA will conduct workshops and training courses and make sure these are available throughout Fiji.

The association will also provide a list of members to banks and other financial insti­tutions for reference of the funding bodies in the country.

The Government has indicated their sup­port for the association and their long term plans for the industry.

Seminars and workshops

The association also plans to bring in over­seas experts to run seminars and workshops to enhance local capabilities.

Funding for this sort of extension of the as­sociations work will need financial support from government as well as industry related sponsors.

The building industry in Fiji has been, for a long time, an industry that is easy to en­ter and has drawn a number of business that may not be technically up to the standard the government believes that Fiji now needs to continue the strong development that it has enjoyed for the past 10 years.

For this reason there is a need for a founda­tion that will provide professional oversight and the provision of technical and other ar­eas of education to be created to allow the standards to be achieved.

Since its creation in May there has been growing acceptance in the industry that such a body is needed to that the industry continues to grow and to deliver the level of standards the Government is now insisting on.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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