Who is NCA?

The NCA (National Construction Authority) is a Kenyan government entity which was established by the National Construction Authority Act No. 41 of 2011 (Chapter 449a, Laws of Kenya). This authority has the responsibility of overseeing the Kenyan construction industry and coordinating its development in order to ensure an effective and sustainable construction industry.

The National Construction Authority (NCA) has a mandate that is geared towards streamlining, overhauling and regulating the construction industry that has for many years been fragmented and suffered poor legislative framework, dominated by unqualified persons.

The Authority (NCA) also serves to provide, promote, review and coordinate training programmes organized by public and private accredited training centres for skilled construction workers and construction site supervisors. In addition to this, the Authority is mandated to accredit and certify skilled construction workers and construction site supervisors.

Core Functions of the NCA

The core functions of the NCA include the following:

  • Promoting and stimulating the development of the construction industry
  • Registering and regulating the performance of local and foreign contractors and accredited skilled construction workers and site supervisors
  • Promoting and coordinating training programmes and research in the construction industry
  • Promoting quality assurance
  • Encouraging the standardization and improvement of construction techniques and materials

What the NCA ‘X’ Sign Means

The National Construction Authority carries out the inspection of construction sites all over the country as part of the duties that arise from the core functions listed above. When any construction site is found non-compliant to the NCA Act and Regulations, the inspecting officer marks it with an “X”.

Most people usually misinterpret the mark as an indication that the building/structure is structurally unsound and should be demolished, which is not true. However, the “X” means that the following parameters have not been adhered to and work on the site should stop immediately until they are met:

  • The project is not registered with the NCA (has no Certificate of Compliance)
  • There is no NCA registered contractor or accredited site supervisor executing the project
  • Lack of approved architectural and structural drawings for the project
  • No signboard on the construction site with the details of the professional consultants (i.e. architect, engineers, quantity surveyor, main contractor and sub-contractors) involved with the project.
  • Lack of protective gear, which compromises the health and safety of the construction workers
  • Insufficient or lack of hoarding around the construction site

Enforcement of NCA Regulations

Section 23 (2) of the NCA Act grants powers to the compliance officer inspecting construction sites to issue suspension orders if he/she finds out that a site is non-compliant based on the aforementioned parameters. The enforcement of those orders is a joint effort of the County Governments, the Police, Directorate of Safety & Health (DOSH) and NEMA (National Environment Management Authority).

The inspection of construction sites is a measure that is aimed at making sure that only registered contractors are undertaking construction works. Further, contractors who are found engaging in unethical practices risk being suspended, denied practising licenses or having their names removed from the contractor’s register. Such are also liable to prosecution through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Conclusion

As a contractor, it is very important for you to adhere to the NCA’s prescribed code of ethics for contractors. By meeting statutory and contractual obligations fully and in a timely manner, contractors will be able to run their business smoothly and avoid disruption of their activities. It is a way of ensuring value for their investments.