Registration scheme for professional engineers now compulsory in NSW

With leaner resources and fewer engineers in government roles, how can the public sector make the most of its engineering staff?Engineers Australia has welcomed new laws, which have passed in NSW Parliament, to reform the state’s building sector and introduce a registration scheme for professional engineers.

The organisation had long advocated for compulsory registration of engineers, which will now apply to the building sector as well as others.

Registration laws will first apply to professional engineers in the civil, structural, electrical, mechanical and fire safety engineering sectors.

It will now become an offence for a person to falsely claim to be registered as an engineer. Engineers will now need to have the right qualifications and level of competency.

Engineers Australia Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Bronwyn Evans said the passage of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill through the NSW Parliament is a history-making development in the regulation of professional engineers in Australia. She said such a development will significantly benefit the community and the engineering profession.

“It will lift professional standards for the 60,000 engineers who work in NSW and who are vital to the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” Dr. Evans said.

“Australia’s three largest states now have laws which make it compulsory for engineers to be registered and there is no reason why the remaining five states and territories should not introduce similar laws as soon as possible.”

The organisation acknowledged the Berejiklian Government, notably the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Hon Kevin Anderson MP, for pushing forward with the reforms. It also recognised Shadow Minister for Building Reform and Property, Ms Yasmin Catley MP for her efforts.

“Among the other outcomes of the legislation are that it will become an offence for a person to use the title ‘registered professional engineer’ unless they are registered and have the right qualifications and level of competency,” Dr. Evans said.

“Compulsory registration of engineers will help to minimise the risk of more major incidents, such as Opal and Mascot Towers or bridge collapses that have been seen in Australia and around the world.”

Engineers Australia notes its members showed overwhelming support for the reforms.

“Engineers Australia looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government and other key stakeholders as the regulations to the legislation are developed,” Dr. Evans said.

This development for NSW follows a bill passed in Victorian Parliament last year which also requires engineers to be registered.

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