| 29 August 2022

Community consultation launched for ACT Professional Engineer Registration Scheme

The Australian Capital Territory Government has launched a public consultation for their proposed Professional Engineer Registration Scheme. The consultation period will run until 20 September 2022.

The government is seeking feedback on all key elements of the proposed scheme. Engineers Australia will prepare a written submission, which will include direct input from our members. We will also be providing feedback through direct consultation with the ACT government in the next phase of implementation.

Chief Engineer at Engineers Australia, Jane MacMaster spoke to ABC Afternoons Canberra about the scheme. She outlined Engineers Australia has been supportive of a professional registration scheme in the ACT, and across Australia, for some years now.

“Many of our engineered systems and technologies have critical safety and performance aspects. So it's important we all feel confident that the people doing engineering work, particularly design work which has performance and safety implications, are competent professionals,” MacMaster says.

ACT’s proposed scheme will make registration mandatory for those providing professional engineering services for projects and consumers in the territory or consumers outside the ACT from a location within the territory.

Senior engineers responsible for developing, or overseeing the development of, engineering designs will need to be registered. Engineers working under direct supervision of a registered engineer and in accordance with prescriptive standards will not need to be registered.

Initially the roll out of registration will apply to five areas of engineering. These are; civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire safety. Further categories may be added in the future.

Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria already have professional engineering registration programs. Western Australia also began consultation for its engineering registration scheme this year.

MacMaster told the ABC that alignment across the jurisdictions will be really important going forward as many engineers work across states and territories.

“Their [engineers] work is not limited to one state or territory. So alignment is really important, but it's also about consumer confidence in the work of engineers and building the trust of the engineering profession,” she said.

Engineers Australia has long been advocating for registration schemes to help lift the standards of the engineering practice across Australia.

“A registration scheme means the instances of poor engineering work should reduce and therefore the cost of rework should reduce as well. Registration will also make it easier to find professional engineers’ and check their qualification [or confirm their status] through a register. There are many of benefits from a professional engineering registration scheme.” MacMaster said.

You can also get in touch to provide written feedback on the scheme to the Canberra Division team at [email protected], so it can be considered Engineers Australia’s formal submission to the proposed scheme is prepared.

We encourage Engineers Australia members in ACT to have your say through the public consultation platform.