Victorian engineers with questions about the State Government’s mandatory engineers registration scheme are urged to check the facts with an FAQ document.
As an engineers registration system draws nearer in Victoria, the State Government has produced a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document aimed at helping the profession better understand the impact on practising engineers and the public at large.
At the time of writing, the Engineers Registration Bill 2018 – which is an election commitment of the Victorian government – is awaiting debate in the Legislative Council, having already passed the Legislative Assembly (the lower house of Parliament).
According to the Bill, its purpose is “to promote best practice in providing professional engineering services”. Currently, anyone can provide ‘professional’ engineering services without having the necessary qualifications and experience to practise. This poses a risk to the reputation of the profession, and the safety and wellbeing of a public who are the ultimate benefactors of the work of engineers.
The legislation will ensure engineers on the register meet appropriate minimum standards. The precise competency requirements will be established in regulations (which will be subject to further consultation with industry). It is expected they will include an accredited four-year qualification; at least five years’ experience working as a professional engineer in a relevant field; and have undertaken 150 hours of Continuing Professional Development over the course of three years.
It will be managed under a co-regulatory system with expertise leveraged from both the government and engineering sector. Members who are on Engineers Australia’s National Engineering Register will be deemed to have met those requirements. Initially, the scheme will cover civil, electrical, mechanical, structural and fire safety engineers, with the opportunity to add other disciplines later.
“Currently, anyone can provide ‘professional’ engineering services without having the necessary qualifications and experience to practise. This poses a risk to the reputation of the profession, and the safety and wellbeing of a public who are the ultimate benefactors of the work of engineers.”
The FAQ answers many of the key questions being raised by professional engineers, including why the government is proposing an engineering registration scheme, who will need to be registered and what constitutes professional engineering services.
While the cost of the scheme is yet to be determined, it is anticipated that this will be much lower than those that apply in Queensland, which has been the only state or territory to have an engineering registration system since 1929.
As well as Queensland and Victoria, registration is also being discussed by politicians in Western Australia, ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia.
Engineers Australia encourages all Victorian engineers to familiarise themselves with the FAQ and the proposed Engineers Registration Bill to get a full understanding of how the legislation will affect them and their business.
If you have more questions about what the Bill means for you, contact: [email protected]