QS Acts Amendment 2015

Posted in General

A. BACKGROUND
 

The Quantity Surveyors Act 1967 [Act 487] was first enacted in 1967 (Act No. 67 of 1967).
It has been revised 3 times to date. The first revision in 1989, Act 487 took effect on 25 August 1989.
Second revision also on Act 487, took effect on18 March 1992. The final revision took effect on 30th January 2016.
The latest Act is cited as “Quantity Surveyors (Amendment) Act 2015”.

B. MAJOR CHANGES AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE LATEST ACT
 

The followings are the major changes that were introduced in the latest amendments to the QS Act:.

  • The Two-tier registration system
  • Abolishing the citizenship requirement
  • Introduction of Disciplinary Committee
  • Introduction of Dispute Resolution Panel
  • Consulting Quantity Surveying Practice
  • "QS Technologist"
  • Fines and Penalties
  • Saving and Transitional Clause
C. REMARK
 

This revised QS Act will definitely open up the Malaysian QS industry globally with the abolishment of citizenship clause,
and the introduction of experience route for members of allied organisation which was announced during the Pacific
Association of QS (PAQS) Board Meeting held in Christchurch in May 2016. Malaysia might also become a boon for
“education hub” with the foreign students staying back after graduating from the local universities. There is also a possibility
of influx of ‘low cost’ PQS from neighbouring countries. As the Act has only recently been in forced, all these
anticipated reactions are yet to be seen. However, the impending future might be quite near.

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1. The Two-Tier Registration System

Under the latest Act, the entrance gateway remains the same which is Provisional QS (previously known as Graduate QS). “Provisional QS” is used in lieu of “Graduate QS” due to the fact that some of them might have many years of experience and therefore might not seem proper to still be called a Graduate QS.

To become fully registered with the Board, the Provisional QS will be subjected to the 2-tier registration. The Provisional QS will be required to fulfil certain requirement under the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to become the 1st tier registered QS known as Professional QS (PQS); and shall be subjected to further test to be eligible for 2nd tier registered QS known as Consultant QS (CQS).

A PQS is allowed to practice as a QS including signing off documents, payments and any other QS work. However, to start a firm, the PQS must upgrade to CQS by passing the Tier 2 tests on Professional Practice Part I (comprising papers in business laws and accounts) and Professional Practice Part II (comprising papers in international contracts, procurement strategy, health & safety and business ethics). This procedure is almost similar to an Architect who has to sit Part II or Professional Engineer with the Practicing Certificate.

2. Abolishing the Citizenship Requirement

The sub-article [10(3)] in the previous Act has been repealed in compliance with Government’s directives on liberalization for services. This is in line with national agenda for autonomous liberalization but not a committed offer under the World Trade Organisation of Free Trade Agreements. As informed by the officer from MITI, QS services are in the negative list and excluded from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

With the abolishment of the citizenship requirement, all qualified non-Malaysians can apply for registration. Therefore, all foreign QSs who wish to work in Malaysia to be registered with the Board. The entry level of registration is Provisional QS with mandatory competency assessments thereafter. The non-Malaysians must be physically present in Malaysia for 183 days prior to application. Like all other QSs, they also need to renew their permit annually and comply with the CPD requirements.

3. Introduction of Disciplinary Committee

The revised Act introduces the Disciplinary Committee (DC) to deal with the disciplinary matters. Previously, all disciplinary hearing must be conducted by the Board comprising not less than 10 members. With this committee, it is expected to have faster resolution of all disciplinary cases as there is no necessity for full Board to convene for the hearing.

The DC will be appointed with each disciplinary case and will be assisted by the Investigation Committee. The DC will comprise of 3 members only with the Chairman to be Board Member while the other two must be CQS/PQS specifically stated as not from the Board. The DC members are fully indemnified from court action [Sect 29]. Powers previously vested with the Board are now vested on the DC including decision on actions / punishment to be taken.

4. Introduction of Dispute Resolution Panel

The revised Act also introduces a new ad-hoc Dispute Resolution (DR) panel to be appointed by the Board to mediate, adjudicate, arbitrate or resolve and determine disputes NOT relating to professional conduct or ethics of any registered QS, e.g. when one partner passed away. The cases must be referred to the panel by the Board and the panel will make a recommendation to the Board after conducting any hearing. The sub-section (italic as above) however, as it stands is anticipated to have possible further reaching implications.

5. Consulting Quantity Surveying Practice

The revised Act uses the term “Consulting Quantity Surveying Practice” (CQSP) to define firms or companies offering QS services. Under clause [7A(3)] – sole proprietorship and partnership, all partners must be CQS.
In the case of a body corporate:-

  1. The CQSP has at least 70% of the share equity be held by CQS whereas the remaining equity may be held by anybody, person or bodies
  2. The minimum paid-up capital is RM50,000.00; and
  3. Day to day affairs shall be under the control and management of a person who is a CQS and is authorized under a resolution of the board of directors to make all final quantity surveying decisions under the Act or any other laws. He may not be a director and (under the Rules) shall be physically present in Malaysia for not less than 183 days in any one calendar year
    1. Professional Practice
    2. Measurement (2 papers)

The registration of QST should not be confused with the registration of technologists and technicians by Technologist & Technicians Act 2015 (Act 769) under the Malaysia Board Of Technologist. The Technologist & Technician Act 2016 cannot register QST.

6. Fines and Penalties

Under the revised Act, [Sec 7A (5) (bb)], the fines for CQSP due to disciplinary breaches has increased from RM 50,000 to RM 100,000. However, other penalties remain unchanged. eg. [Sec 24(h)] – Penalties for impersonating PQS, CQS remains at RM 50,000 and [Sec 25(1) – general penalty remains as RM 2,000.

7. “Saving & Transitional” Clauses

The revised Act incorporates some saving clause under Sec 35 for the transition period.

All registered QS with 5 years post registration at the date the revised Act comes into force shall automatically become a CQS, though not strictly “automatic” as there will be forms to be completed. Those with less than 5 years post registration shall automatically become PQS. These PQS can opt either to wait to complete the 5 years to automatically become a CQS or sit for the Professional Practice exams under the 2nd Tier requirement to become a CQS. All registered graduate QS and Temporary Registered QS shall be named Provisional QS.

Download Material

QS Act 1967 (Incorporating Amendments Up to 2015) (Winzip 8.0 and Acrobat Reader is required)

QS (Amendment) Rules 2016 (Winzip 8.0 and Acrobat Reader is required)