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Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers
The Professional Engineers’ Registration Council
Joint Secretariat: Government Office Compound, New England

 Re-Engineering the Engineering Profession in Sierra Leone.


The Professional Engineers Registration Council or PERC is the body empowered by an Act of Parliament of 1990 to regulate and control the practice of engineering in Sierra Leone among other responsibilities stipulated by the Act. 


sensitize all stakeholders about the PERC Act and its importance to the practice of engineering in Sierra Leone. 

enhance the practice of the profession and will assist professional engineers in discharging our social and developmental responsibilities to the nation.


The fundamental reason for regulating and licensing of the profession of engineering is to ensure that set standards are maintained to protect the health, safety and well-being of the public and the safeguarding of the environment. Regulations, ethics and standards are at the heart of the development and growth of the engineering profession.  In fact these are the areas that PERC, in collaboration with other stake holders must show their greatest commitment.


More often than otherwise, deficiencies in engineering practice and ethics are the root causes of engineering failures; sometimes with catastrophic consequences.  To mitigate the risks of such failures, PERC will be responsible for the development of standards, regulations and appropriate sanctions.     


 The Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers body was formed in 1970 and became a statutory body by an Act of Parliament which was passed into law on 13th March 1990.

The main objectives of the Institution are, inter alia:

  1. Faciliating the advancement of Engineering in all its branches for the improvement and development of Sierra Leone.
  2. Promoting and maintaining the Unity, Public usefulness, honour and interest of its members.
  3. Promoting sound Engineering Practice, Engineering Education in schools and Gender Participation in Engineering
  4. Advising Government on all Engineering Matters.

Within the decade and a half of its existence, the Institution has formed useful relationships with sister Institutions of the Sub Region, i.e. Nigeria and Ghana. The Institution is also registered with the Commonwealth Engineers’ Council and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations both of which the Institution is a fully paid-up member.


State House, Freetown, Thursday 31 January 2019 – The Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers, SLIE, and the Professional Engineers Registration Council, PERC, have met with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio at State House to update him on their activities.

Professor Jonas Redmond-Sawyer of SLIE said the institution was a body aimed at fostering the practice of engineering in Sierra Leone, saying that they were delighted about the President’s pronouncement, during his State Opening address in Parliament, to partner with professional bodies like SLIE in addressing issues of development in the country.

He mentioned that that was a brilliant step because it would create a forum for dialogue and interaction between the government and professional bodies, which in turn would create a more efficient pathway to development in the country under the New Direction.

President of PERC, Engineer Tani Pratt, said they were a body empowered by an Act of Parliament of 1990 to regulate and control the practice of engineering in the country. He said they were beginning to fulfill some of their wider regulatory mandates, adding that they had started providing certification services to the Mining Industry by introducing a scheme for Mine Manager’s certificate of competency for surface.

He noted that despite the successes, PERC was concerned that its 1990 Act was unable to adequately provide them with the mandate to address all of today’s challenges, disclosing that they had started discussions with the Ministry of Works on ways to strengthen PERC and the engineering profession for greater impact on the ground as well as to facilitate the body’s increased involvement in national development.

“Failure to implement the improved regulations is one of the greater risks to the safety of our citizens as multi-storey buildings continue to be built without adequate regulations. These are incidents waiting to happen as have been demonstrated in similar situations in Sierra Leone and the subregion,” he said.

On his part, President Bio thanked the two bodies for updating him on their various activities, saying that that had given him an insight on the ways they could help in developing the nation. He said different nations chose different pathways to development but noted that whatever ways a nation chose, engineers would form an important component. He added that the experiences already gained by members of the two bodies would be vital for the development of the country.

President Bio also said that he had always grumbled about engineers when considering the level of experienced engineers in the country as opposed to the kinds of poorly constructed buildings around, especially in the capital city, which was becoming a perennial problem.

On the proposed new Act, he said: “The Act itself must be made current and as soon as you present us with the reviewed Act, we will quickly move it through the natural stages of governance and get it back to you so that you have a new document that will empower you and also bring you to date.”

1.1 The Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure is responsible for the construction and maintenance of all Government Buildings including the Airport. It key functions include:  Developing regulations for buildings and civil engineering standards;  Identifying Quarrying sites;  Registration of all civil works Contractors;  Developing and implementing a National Housing Policy;  Providing housing for Public servants and Low cost housing for the communities;  Approving Building Plans and issuing Building permits;  Ensuring compliance with building regulations;  Collaborating with other MDAs/Institutions to develop a National Infrastructural Policy;  Providing professional advice to all MDAs/Institutions/Non-state involved in infrastructural development (These include for example electricity, water, sewage and sanitation);  Providing oversight responsibilities for the Sierra Leone Housing Corporation (SALHOC) and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA).
 1.5 The Ministry has undergone several cosmetic structural changes over the years, resulting in changes in nomenclature.  While the changes occurred, the operational structure had little or no change until in 2002 when the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) was created by an Act of Parliament, hiving-off the largest operational unit, i.e., the Roads component, from the Ministry.  Despite this major restructuring, very little was done by way of reviewing the new functions and human capacity needs of the Ministry.  For example, the Roads Division had plants, machinery and fleets of vehicles, with a functioning Mechanical Engineering Division. When the roads component was hived-off, much was not done to adapt the Mechanical Division to the new challenges.  To date, there is only one qualified engineer overseeing a dysfunctional Mechanical Engineering Division.  
1.6 With the hiving-off of the Roads component, the Ministry was left with the following Divisions: Civil Engineering; Architectural Design and Construction; Housing; Mechanical Engineering; and Administration. Up to the period of this review the newly added Housing Division was in the process of being properly incorporated into the Ministry and the Building Inspectorate Unit was moved only quite recently over from the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.

 The main strategies identified in the National Housing Policy are:
 To achieve the objective of ensuring an orderly and more efficient use of urban land, Government will:  Revise land laws to ensure efficient land management and promote land equity in the country.  Institute the appropriate machinery to speedily produce urban development plans and detailed planning schemes to guide the development of Freetown and the provincial urban centres, and to ensure effective land use control. In this regard, Government will ensure that the process of preparing a Structure Plan for Greater Freetown which was interrupted in 1997 due to the civil conflict, be revived and completed as a matter of priority.  In the short term, and in view of the lack of sufficient town planners and the required support staff and equipment, seek donor technical assistance to assist in the preparation of a national planning framework for the country and the preparation of town plans for the main urban settlements;  Ensure greater co-ordination between the Surveys and Lands, Country Planning and Environment and other agencies including the Ministry of
Works, Housing and Technical Maintenance and the Office of the Administrator and Registrar General.  Ensure that land use is sustainable and will not result in environmental degradation;  Adopt, in relation to the various residential areas, appropriate plot sizes for residential development and upgrading to facilitate access to land by low-income groups through smaller plot sizes with a view to maximize land use and enhance affordability.
2.5 Functions The key functions of the Ministry currently include:
 Development of appropriate policies and programmes for the improvement of public infrastructure including housing.
 Construction and maintenance of Government Buildings.
 Oversight of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA).
 Regulation of civil Building and Civil Engineering Standards.
 Registration of Civil Works Contractors
 Sea face Protection 
 Identification and approval of Quarry Sites
 Implementation of the National Housing Policy
 Provision of housing for public servants
 Establishing Low cost Housing Schemes
 Development of local building materials
 Approval of Building Plans an issuance of Building Permits
 Enforcement of development control and building regulations
 Develop a National Infrastructure Policy
 Provide advice to all MDA’s involved in infrastructural developments

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