| 19 January 2023

Preparing for mandatory registration of electrical and electronics engineers in Victoria

From June 1, 2023 electrical and electronics professional engineers practising in Victoria will need to be registered. This also includes engineers living in other states and territories but working on projects based in Victoria.

As there is a backlog of applications with assessing authorities like Engineers Australia and the Business Licensing Authority (BLA), it’s recommended that engineers commence the process as soon as possible. We suggest you complete the first step of applying for a competency assessment by March 2023 at the latest.

To support electrical and electronics engineers get a better understanding of who needs to be registered and what they need to do, Engineers Australia is running free information sessions specifically on Victorian registration on 1 February and 1 March 2023. These sessions are being run in addition to our existing program of registration info sessions.

The sessions will provide valuable information about registration requirements and competency assessments. Attendees will also be able to ask Engineers Australia’s team of experts any questions about the assessment and registration process.

Speaking about the importance of mandatory registration of engineers in Victoria, Jane MacMaster FIEAust CPEng, Chief Engineer with Engineers Australia said the compulsory registration of professional engineers will enable significant enhancement of public safety and consumer confidence.

“Registration helps to ensure that only those with suitable qualifications, enough relevant experience, and a proven commitment to ongoing training and professional development can provide engineering services,” MacMaster said.

The registration process

Registration of engineers in Victoria is carried out by the Business Licensing Authority (BLA), however first an applicant must be assessed by an approved entity, of which Engineers Australia is one.

The assessment process has two components:

  • an 'Entry to Practice' assessment to determine the adequacy or otherwise of the applicant’s qualifications; and
  • an 'independent practice' assessment to determine the acceptability or otherwise of the applicant’s experience and competency.  

Engineers Australia recommends engineers start the registration process at least three months prior to the date by which they are required to be registered. This will help to ensure you can continue to provide professional engineering services in Victoria. It will allow six to eight weeks to gain an assessment from Engineers Australia, and 28 days for the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) to process the application (as recommended by BLA).

Why is registration so important?

Registration raises the bar on public safety, lifts consumer confidence, and increases the integrity of the engineering industry. It helps to ensure that only those with suitable qualifications, enough relevant experience, and a proven commitment to ongoing training and professional development can provide engineering services.

Engineers Australia had been advocating for the statutory registration of engineers for the past two decades. Indeed, Engineers Australia was instrumental in the introduction of mandatory registration for professional engineers in New South Wales and Victoria almost two years ago.

Victoria’s scheme underscores growing momentum for mandatory registration of professional engineers around Australia.

In Queensland, registration has been necessary for all engineers for the past ninety years. New South Wales introduced a scheme for mandatory registration of some engineers in 2021,

Legislation is also progressing in parliament in Western Australia and the ACT.

The benefits of getting assessed by Engineers Australia

Alesha Printz FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER, General Manager, Victoria, Engineers Australia highlighted the benefits of getting assessed by Engineers Australia.

“Engineers Australia is the only one stop shop, able to provide outcome reports for all five Areas of Engineering, and statements of eligibility for building industry endorsement in all five Areas of Engineering,” Printz said.

“Engineers Australia is also able to undertake assessments for engineers who do not hold a Washington Accord degree and is the only Australian assessment entity who can do so.”

Importantly, you do not have to be a member of Engineers Australia to be assessed.

“If you are a Chartered member of Engineers Australia, or have membership with Engineers Australia and are registered on the National Engineering Register you are eligible to apply for state  registration without further assessment of qualifications, experience and competency. These members can download a Victorian Registration Outcome report from MyPortal – accessed via the Engineers Australia website.” Alesha Printz said.

“That is, of course, unless you need to be registered in an area of engineering for which you are not Chartered or registered on the NER.”

What are the implications of not being registered?

From June 1, 2023 there will be serious implications for anyone attempting to provide professional electrical or electronics engineering services in Victoria without registration.

If you are not registered, you will either need to work under the direct supervision of a registered engineer or only work in accordance with a prescriptive standard to not commit an offence under the legislation.

It is an offence under sections 67 and 68 of the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 to provide professional engineering services without registration or to hold out to be registered or endorsed without registration; with those breaching the rules risking fines of up to $90,870 per offence.

For further information on getting assessed for Victorian registration see our website.