Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019

IPWEA Victoria overviews the Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019

The recent passage of the Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019 through the Victorian parliament is a game changer for civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire-safety engineers and their employers. The Bill will establish a level of professional recognition that will lead to greater career mobility and we believe, provide employment advantages for registered engineers. It is expected that the Bill will commence operation in mid-2021 and be fully implemented by mid-2024.

The Victorian State Government has introduced this legislation for several reasons, which will have long term impact for engineers, consumers, employers and the greater public. Registration protects the title “professional engineer” and maintains public confidence in the standard of service provided by engineers. As with other professions such as lawyers, doctors, nurses, architects and teachers, registration is a strong check and balance for the industry that undertakes complex and important work.

Registration means Victorian engineers comply with well recognized and internationally understood benchmarks, and aligns with registration schemes both internationally and domestically, with QLD already running a registration system, and other states expected to develop their own schemes over the coming years. Given the size of the state government’s infrastructure spend in the years ahead it’s important that Victoria has local, highly qualified and experienced engineers to meet this demand. The registration scheme provides the government and major international construction companies with a practical means of verifying the capability of those supplying engineering services.

Registration will be required for those who engage in “professional engineering services” such as design, construction, production, operation or maintenance activity relating to engineering, and it is expected registration requirements will include:

  • a four year Washington accord degree
  • five years’ relevant work experience
  • continuing professional development (CPD) of 150 hours over 3 years

There will be two broad exemptions, that fall within the following scope:

  • direct supervision exemption – an engineer working under direct supervision of a qualified and experienced registered professional engineer who reviews or signs off on work to ensure it is of an appropriate standard.
  • the prescriptive standard exemption – a non-registered engineer avoids registration if the design work is straightforward and does not require engineering judgement or advanced calculations.

Draft Regulations to the Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019 are expected to be prepared during the coming months and IPWEA Victoria will seek comment from members and partners when they become available.

In the meantime, IPWEA (Vic) will be presenting a Registration Update at each of their upcoming Sustainable Infrastructure workshops, so all engineers are encourage to attend.

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