Nzangi Muimi

Role of NCA in the Construction Industry

In this article, we will look at the role played by NCA (National Construction Authority) in the Kenyan construction industry. We will cover its legal establishment, its mandate and the legal instruments that back up its functions.

What is NCA?

The National Construction Authority (NCA) is a state corporation that was established by an act of the parliament of Kenya, called the NCA At No. 41 of 2011.

The corporation’s main role is to oversee the construction industry and coordinate its development. This role is aimed at ensuring an effective and sustainable construction industry in Kenya.

Role (Mandate) of NCA

The role played by the NCA in the construction industry can be divided into four main areas. These include the following:

1. Construction Industry Regulator

As a regulatory authority, the National Construction Authority develops guidelines, rules, procedures and other regulations that govern the conduct of various construction industry stakeholders.

The main roles under this category are the following:

  • Registration and certification of contractors.
  • Accreditation of skilled construction workers and site supervisors.
  • Project registration and issuance of site compliance certificates.
  • Mandatory construction site inspections for quality assurance purposes.
  • Enforcement of the building code.

Their regulatory role helps to ensure that people and organisations working in the construction industry are properly registered, recognised with the relevant required skills and competencies and producing the right quality work for consumption by the general public.

2. Training and Capacity Building

Continuous professional development is important for the contractors, site supervisors and construction workers. It helps keep them in touch with the latest developments in technology, construction techniques and project delivery approaches.

Under that, the NCA does the training of their registered contractors, site supervisors and construction workers.

Attendance of these CPD training is mandatory and registered members are required to produce proof of attendance when applying to upgrade to a new category or renew their annual practising licenses.

3. Research and Advisory

The authority researches any matters affecting the construction industry and makes appropriate recommendations. This is one of their key mandates is promoting the advancement of the construction industry.

For example, they conducted research on the area of collapsing buildings and published a report; “Failure and Collapse of Buildings, 2019”. The report cited various causes of building collapse in Kenya and proposed mitigation measures to be implemented.

Also, the corporation hosts an annual research conference in the spirit of carrying out its research and advisory mandate.

4. Quality Assurance (QA)

The quality assurance role focuses on the procedures that the construction industry players have implemented to ensure that the design meets quality standards, and ensuring the highest industry standards are applied every step of the way.

It encompasses quality control exercises aimed at ensuring the new construction materials and techniques being introduced in the market meet the recommended quality standards.

Also, quality assurance is carried out on all construction sites in Kenya (whether public or private projects). This involves mandatory site inspection by the investigating officers (commonly known as compliance officers) to enforce compliance with the NCA regulations of 2014.

Consequently, a compliant site is issued with a site compliance certificate while a non-compliant site is marked with an “X” sign and issued with a notice of suspension of works.

However, the project owners have the responsibility of making an application to the authority for their projects to be registered. Also, they must maintain the required compliance status throughout the project construction period until the project is complete and issued with an occupation certificate from the relevant county government.

5. Other Functions

Other functions of the National Construction Authority are:

  • Enforcement of the building code,
  • Developing and publishing a code of conduct for the construction industry,
  • Encouraging the standardization and improvement of construction techniques and materials,
  • Initiating and maintaining a construction industry information system, and
  • Assisting in the exportation of construction services connected to the construction industry.

NCA Legal Instruments

As earlier discussed, this state corporation was established by law and its operations are mandated by the law. The following legal instruments guide them in carting out their roles in the construction industry:

  1. NCA (National Construction Authority) Act No. 41 of 2011,
  2. National Construction Authority Regulations, 2014,
  3. National Construction Authority (Defects Liability) Regulations, 2020, and
  4. National Construction Appeals Board Rules, 2021.

If you need a better understanding of the NCA, its roles, procedures and regulations, the above-identified guides will be of huge help.

Conclusion

We have seen the important role played by the NCA in the Kenyan construction industry as a regular, undertaking research and advisory, quality assurance of construction materials and sites, and training and capacity building of contractors, businesses, construction site workers and site supervisors.

Has the authority been able to discharge its duties well and perform its functions efficiently? Let me know your experience in seeking their services, in the comment section below.

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