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The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL) established in 1956 was the successor to the then Engineering Association of Ceylon which was founded in 1906 at Anuradhapura by a few dedicated engineers serving in the public sector, with the objective of providing general advancement of science and practice of engineering in all disciplines concerned according to rules agreed to by its members. In 1968, the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka was made an incorporated body of the Government by an act of parliament. It represents the interests of the engineering profession and the general public its members serve.

The activities of IESL has become broader and diversified with time, and at present it has a significant number (IESL Member Directory) of engineering professionals of all branches of engineering serving in all parts of Sri Lanka and abroad.

One of the key functions of IESL is to ensure the quality standards of engineering professionals practicing in Sri Lanka, by conducting Professional Review of suitably qualified members for the status of ‘Chartered Engineer’ and ‘International Professional Engineer’.

The IESL conducts long and short term Continuing Professional Development programs, seminars, learned lectures and orations and also recognizes organizations that provide training for the charter candidates after a rigorous evaluation process. It also recognizes academic institutions that provide engineering education for the different levels of membership of the IESL and is the accreditation body for engineering degrees in Sri Lanka. Qualifications of graduates of institutions that are not accredited or recognized by the IESL are evaluated on a case by case basis, for acceptance for membership.

The governing body of IESL is the Council, elected by the general membership annually, led by the President. The headquarters of the IESL is located in a highly residential area of Colombo 07,Western Province, where the secretariat is established to serve the membership, and there are Provincial Centres established in all other Provinces of the country. IESL carries out business through the Sectional Committees, Standing Committees, Forums, Boards and Ad hoc Committees, supported by the secretariat.

The IESL became a signatory to the Washington Accord on June 13, 2014. Being a signatory to the Washington Accord, the four year full time engineering degree programmes accredited by the IESL will be considered as substantially equivalent to four year engineering degree programmes that have been accredited by the other signatories to the Washington Accord. A signatory to the Washington Accord is empowered by the Accord to accredit only those degree programmes conducted within the jurisdiction (country) of the signatory.

At the closed session of the signatories of the Sydney Accord held on June 21, 2017 in Alaska , USA as a part of the meetings of the International Engineering Alliance , the IESL was admitted as a provisional signatory to the Accord marking another milestone in the IESL.