Building sector reform

Advocating for widespread reform in the building sector.

Engineers Australia understands the important role that we play in collaborating with government and the building sector on critical issues such as sector reform.

Our work includes active contribution to government-led sector reform throughout Australia.

Along with input from our members, we also work with the Australian Building Codes Board on a national level to promote good policies and achieve consistency.

Our main objectives for building sector reform are to:

  • improve engineering practice in the building sector
  • provide policy and advocacy input to government-led reforms
  • facilitate meaningful collaboration and conversation among members, industry bodies, regulators and policy makers.

Sector regulation

Although we strongly advocate for reform to the building sector, Engineers Australia is a voluntary membership organisation, not an industry regulator.

Engineers Australia isn’t authorised to investigate malpractice, ban members from practice or order customer compensation. These powers lie with the appropriate statutory bodies and courts in each state and territory.

To find out more about building regulation in Australia, visit the following regulatory bodies:

Our key contributions

Engineers Australia strongly supports the recommendations made in the Building Confidence Report commissioned by the federal government. This landmark report provides a package of reforms to establish a national best-practice model for compliance and enforcement in the building sector.

As a result, we work closely with government and the sector to implement its recommendations. This includes providing submissions and input to a wide range of reform initiatives.

Education

Engineers Australia is improving skills in the construction industry through education. This includes a partnership with the NSW Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC). The first two courses we are launching with the OBC are on cladding remediation, covering problem analysis and problem solution.

We also have a Construction Community of Practice with which we are developing a competencies framework and courses covering site inspection and testing and commissioning.

Professional standards framework

Engineers Australia is undertaking a review of its Professional Standards Framework (PSF), the current framework for ensuring the engineering profession practises to a high standard across all areas of practice and industries. 

The purpose of the PSF is to ensure that engineers practising in Australia are competent, ethical and high performing. It provides standards, assurance mechanisms and resources for engineers across their entire career.

Our PSF is considered the most sustainable and effective model to improve practice standards. It applies to all occupational categories and all Engineers Australia members. This contrasts with other professional standards models that may only address standards in certain disciplines and sectors or narrow classes of professional association member. 

Advisory participation

Engineers Australia is represented on several government advisory committees for the building sector across several states and is one of the largest providers of expertise to the development of standards.

As a founding member of Standards Australia, we see the development of standards as critical for public safety and the competitiveness of Australian businesses, and we encourage our members to contribute.

Submissions to government for policy and legislative reform

Engineers Australia has made more than 30 submissions to government policy reviews, parliamentary inquiries and legislative development processes related to construction and building sector reform since 2016.

Submissions have been made in all jurisdictions, though the most active have been NSW, Victoria and the Commonwealth. Learn more about our submissions to government.

NSW government

Engineers Australia is an avid supporter of the NSW Government’s building sector reform program. We were instrumental in having engineer registration included in the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020. Other recent submissions to the NSW government include:

Additionally, during 2019 and 2020 Engineers Australia led a successful campaign lobbying the NSW Government to introduce a registration scheme for professional engineers.

Victorian government

Engineers Australia engages with the Victorian government across many areas of reform. We collaborated closely with it to ensure the passing of the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019.

The registration laws started on 1 July 2021 and Engineers Australia has been appointed by the government as a recognised assessment entity.

In May 2021, we responded to a request from the expert panel for feedback on the Victorian government’s review of Victoria’s building system. Our submission provided detailed input on the Framework for Reform Discussion paper.

Learn more about our Submissions to Government.

Australian Building Codes Board

Our submissions to the Australian Building Codes Board’s Building Confidence Report Implementation Team include: