Page 4121 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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The scheme will initially apply to the following five prescribed areas of engineering: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire safety. The scheme applies to
engineers who are providing professional engineering services, as opposed to those who are carrying out work in accordance with prescribed standards or under the direct supervision of a registered professional engineer. To be eligible for registration, applicants must be an individual; have the required qualifications, experience and competencies related to each area of engineering for which the applicant has applied to be registered; meet suitability requirements; and not be subject to the disqualification or cancellation of registration as a professional engineer under the bill or a corresponding law.

Applications for registration will include a report from an approved assessment entity about the applicant’s qualifications, experience and competencies that relate to each area of engineering for which the applicant has applied for registration. Additional eligibility requirements are proposed for engineers providing professional engineering services in the building and construction industry to support the government’s commitment to improving the quality of buildings in the ACT.

The bill provides that I, as the relevant minister, will set the qualification, experience and competency requirements for each area of engineering, through a disallowable instrument. This instrument will be developed in consultation with key industry stakeholders. This instrument will also include alternative pathways for those who do not meet all the stated qualifications, experience and competency requirements but may be assessed by an assessment entity as having the skills, knowledge and competency to provide professional engineering services in the area or areas of engineering for which registration is sought. The inclusion of an alternative pathway is in recognition of those who have taken a non-traditional university pathway to becoming an engineer or who have taken time out from the workforce. It is designed to support those already working in the industry to continue to do so.

This bill was developed in consultation with industry and the community. Peak industry bodies have been extensively involved in the development of the scheme and will play a key role in the successful implementation of the scheme. To support the object of the bill to uphold standards in the industry, registered professional engineers will need to satisfy the prescribed continuing professional development requirements in order to renew their registration and continue to provide professional engineering services under the bill.

The bill also establishes the role of the professional engineer registrar, who will be a public servant appointed by the Director-General of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, responsible for administering the legislation. The functions of the registrar include determining applications for registration and renewal; monitoring compliance with, and investigating and prosecuting alleged contraventions of, the legislation; referring registered professional engineers to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal for regulatory action; acting on complaints made about registered professional engineers; and keeping registers required under the bill.

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