New engineering registration legislation will increase public confidence in the profession.
Engineers in Victoria are being urged to prepare for the introduction of a state-wide mandatory engineering registration system. The Engineers Registration Bill will require engineers who are providing professional services, or who are exporting professional engineering services from Victoria, to be registered.
A consultation paper prepared by the Victorian Government states that the “primary rationale for intervening in the case of engineering in Victoria is to increase public confidence that minimum standards are being met”.
Engineers Australia CEO Peter McIntyre said the organisation 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.
“A key discussion topic has included protecting the term ‘engineer’ by highlighting the importance of professional practice,” he said.
“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.”
Queensland is currently the only Australian state or territory to apply a comprehensive registration system for engineers. The Victorian Government has been in discussions with the Queensland Government to ensure mutual recognition between the two registration schemes.
McIntyre expects 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 and territories, as mandatory registration is progressively enacted across Australia.
“The NER not only fulfils engineers’ professional practice obligations, but showcases their capabilities to prospective employers and consumers of engineering services,” he said.
“Now is the opportunity to become registered on the NER before the Victorian legislation comes into effect.”
He said 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,” McIntyre said.
“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.”
For more information on the NER, click here.