The Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019 successfully passed through the Victorian Legislative Council as a result of Engineers Australia's advocacy.
The importance of the engineering profession is one step closer to being recognised in Victorian legislation, with the introduction of a bill to highlight the critical nature of engineering skills and increase public confidence.
Engineers Australia has been working closely with the Victorian Government to ensure the legislative framework provides assurance to the public, government and industry that engineers working in Victoria meet the professional standards and have the qualifications expected of the profession.
The Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 will require engineers who are providing professional services, or who are exporting professional engineering services from Victoria, to be registered.
Engineers Australia CEO Peter McIntyre said the legislation is one step closer to bringing Australia into line with global efforts to establish the reputation of engineering as a critical profession.
"Many countries see engineering as a critical profession, whose practitioners are recognised and registered by government.”
It is expected that registration on Engineers Australia’s National Engineering Register (NER) will be a pathway to registration in Victoria (as it is currently in Queensland) and also to other States/Territories as mandatory registration is progressively enacted across Australia.
See a list of FAQs below.
Until now, broad-based registration of engineers in Victoria was only a possibility; a legislative change that Engineers Australia had been striving to achieve. Now, broad-based registration for engineers will certainly be introduced via the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019.
- civil engineering;
- mechanical engineering;
- structural engineering;
- electrical engineering; and
- fire safety engineering.
The new laws will enable more areas of practice to become registered at a later date. We expect that the Government will want to bed-down the new laws with the five areas of practice listed above before considering expansion of the scheme.
The Bill will be signed by the Victorian Governor and become law. The provisions of the Act will only commence, however, after the supporting regulations are created and Gazetted. Regulations do not require debate in the Parliament so the timetable for their development and introduction can be controlled by the Government of the day. This is likely to take at least several months and will be followed by a period of phased introduction.
Nothing. Whilst we now know that broad-based statutory registration of engineers is certainly coming, there are a few steps yet to take place before anyone has to actually become registered. It would nonetheless be in engineers’ interests to become familiar with the new registration scheme. Engineers Australia will help with that process with communications to members.
Engineers Australia has made it clear to the Victorian Government that protecting professional standards is critical to the success of registration.
Many countries see engineering as a critical profession, whose practitioners are recognised and registered by government. Unlike many Asian and European countries and parts of the United States, the term ‘engineer ’is not protected by statute in Australia.
The proposed legislation being introduced provides the necessary framework to regulate the profession in Victoria. Further, the Victoria Government has been in dialogue with the Queensland Government, where registration is mandatory, to ensure mutual recognition between the registration schemes in those two States.
Engineers Australia has discussed the risks involved in professionals attempting to undertake engineering work without adequate skills or competencies.
Risks may include increased construction and rectification costs, litigation expenses, lost production and injury or death. Governments and companies cannot afford the associated loss of reputation.
Engineers Australia’s NER will provide information about expected professional standards and whether engineers have the requisite professional practices that support the services they offer.
Both users of engineering services and those who provide those services will have access to a complaints handling process. More information to come.
Registration of engineers assists in raising standards across the profession and reduces the risk of loss and harm to the public.
The NER not only fulfils engineers’ professional practice obligations but showcases their capabilities to prospective employers and consumers of engineering services.
Other benefits of the NER include:
- Reduced risks to public health, safety and welfare
- Legislative efficiency by reducing duplication
- Industry and consumer protection
- Professional recognition
- International mobility and trade in engineering services
Now is the opportunity to become registered on the NER before the Victorian legislation comes into effect.
Join the NER
+ NER Application Information
Note: All Chartered members of Engineers Australia are automatically eligible to apply to be on the NER.