Engineering Registration update
Following recent events, the three eastern Australian states are now committed to engineering registration, with Victoria and NSW moving forward following the introduction of legislation.
The Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ) credential has been in place in its current form since 2008 and has recently been reviewed by the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland (BPEQ). An updated set of documented instructions is now in place for Assessment Entities, with AusIMM seeking renewal of this role for engineering registration in Queensland.
Two key changes are the introduction of Professional Interviews, and the requirement for 70% of Professional Development hours to be undertaken in the technical disciplines. AusIMM is currently updating our Regulations to include these changes, for current and future candidates.
The Victorian government passed legislation for engineering registration late in 2019, and is now proceeding with the Stakeholders Consultation phase, which includes the AusIMM as part of the consultation group, for the drafting of regulations related to the assessment and implementations of registration.
Engineering registration will be implemented in Victoria on 1 July 2021, with the phased introduction of registration for selected disciplines on a six-monthly basis over two years. The mining engineering disciplines are likely to be included after this initial period when the more general categories are underway.
New South Wales
The NSW government recently passed legislation to include registration for building engineers but has expanded the requirements to cover all engineering disciplines over the medium term.
Similar to Victoria, NSW will introduce engineering registration for the building industry, followed by other general disciplines over a 2-3 year period. It is expected that the mining disciplines will be covered after this initial period.
AusIMM has approached the NSW authorities with a view to inclusion in the stakeholder consultation phase, which will commence in the near future.
The focus on engineering registration in WA is not as strong as the eastern states, due to the existing regulatory framework for mine management and related mine safety programs. However, there is some consideration of registration for the building industry. Further details will be advised when more is known.
Other states and territories
While NT and ACT have been positive on the introduction of engineering registration, the progress in the territories has been slow, as well as in South Australia and Tasmania. However, with some 80% of the population covered by engineering registration, it is expected that the less populous states will follow in due course. Of course, the mining industry interest is in WA, where so much of Australian mining is undertaken.
Mutual Recognition and Alignment of Regulations
AusIMM, along with other professional associations, are actively seeking close alignment between the state-based systems, to ensure that the registration credentials are mutually recognised across state jurisdictions. This is occurring in general terms; however, each state will likely have some nuances in the assessment criteria. There is some way to go with the consultation phase in both Victorian and NSW, as these states develop their regulations in line with the existing system in Queensland.
The coming months will bring further news in this regard, so another update will be provided in early 2021.