Engineers Australia recently welcomed a new law for regulating engineering that will help in reforming the building sector of NSW and introducing a scheme of registration for professional engineers. This new law has passed Parliament of NSW.
What is this law about?
According to this law, “professional engineers need to become compulsorily registered for practicing engineering”. This will be implemented in three of the largest states in Australia. However, the remaining five states and territories, without any reasons, are not required to introduce similar laws as soon as possible. This will be applied to the building sector along with the other sectors of engineering.
This reform was pushed by the Berejiklian Government, specifically Hon Kevin Anderson MP who is the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation. Engineers Australia acknowledges him as well as Ms Yasmin Catley MP, Shadow Minister for Building Reform and Property, for their effort.
Moreover, until and unless the engineers are ‘registered professional engineer’ and have the right qualifications and competency level, it will become an offence for an individual to use this title.
Why is the New Laws for Regulating Engineering enacted?
As per Dr. Bronwyn Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers Australia, “the Design and Building Practitioners Bill passed through the NSW Parliament will make historical development in the regulation of Professional engineers in Australia. This new law will definitely benefit the community and engineering profession significantly.” In addition to this, the professional standards will be lifted for the 60,000 engineers who work in NSW and who are important to the recovery of state’s economy from the coronavirus pandemic.
Following this law of compulsory registration of engineers will help in the minimization of the risk of more major incidents, for instance, Opal and Mascot Towers or bridge collapses that have been occurring in Australia as well as all over the world.
What Engineers Australia has to say about this New Law?
The reforms for compulsory registration of engineers is immensely supported by the members of Engineers Australia and are pleased to have played a leading role in them becoming law. They look forward to continuing the work beneficially with the Government as well as other key stakeholders as the regulations to the legislation are developed.
- This law of registration will be initially applied to the professional engineers related to civil, structural, electrical, mechanical and fire safety engineering. The additional engineering fields can be added via Regulation.
- This law will apply not only to the engineers, but anyone willing to provide professional engineering services. However, they need to be either under the direct supervision of an appropriately registered engineer, or applying only a prescriptive design.
- Even though the law for engineer registration is embedded in the building sector reform legislation of NSW Government, this will be applied to engineers working in any industry.
- If a person falsely claims to be registered as an engineer, it will become an offence.
- Regulations that are expected to be finalized in 2020 will provide the benchmark required for being registered. On the basis of qualifications, experience and commitment to “Continuing Professional Development, strong minimum standards will be advocated by Engineers Australia.
- This new law will probably be commenced on 1 July, 2021.