Building confidence, the public will welcome compulsory registration of engineers

28 OCTOBER 2021

Building confidence, the public will welcome compulsory registration of engineers

A Charles Sturt University engineering academic argues that as examples of structural flaws in residential apartments are uncovered, the registration of engineers in NSW should provide a level of quality assurance and oversight that has been lacking.

By Mr Joshua Devitt (pictured, inset), Senior Engineer-in-Residence and Course Director in engineering in the Charles Sturt School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering.

Overall, my Charles Sturt University engineering colleagues and I feel that the introduction of the requirement for formal registration of engineers in NSW is a positive change, as recent examples of structural flaws in residential apartments have been reported.

We believe it will lead to greater confidence in the engineering profession and provide a level of quality assurance and oversight that has been lacking until now.

This will give members of the public greater confidence that those employed as engineers are equipped to safely and responsibly carry out their duties.

There are still many unknowns about how these requirements will impact the engineering sector, and it is still very early days, but I remain optimistic that in the long run this will be a positive change.

It is important to note that the mandatory registration of engineers in NSW which commenced on 1 July 2021 only applies to engineers working on Class 2 buildings: residential apartments.

But it is widely expected that registration will eventually be rolled out to cover all engineers, in a similar manner to registration schemes in other states.

The process is managed by the NSW Department of Fair Trading and requires applicants to register in one of six categories, providing proof of relevant qualifications and experience.

There are also processes underway to enable assessment and registration through professional industry bodies such as Engineers Australia.

The registration of engineers will provide a level of quality assurance and control to the engineering profession.

Only those who have appropriate qualifications and experience will be eligible for registration and the title of ‘engineer’ will become a protected term.

Registered engineers will also be required to complete a set amount of continuing professional development, ensuring their skills and knowledge remain up-to-date with industry best practice.

Therefore, members of the public should have greater confidence that those employed as engineers are equipped to safely and responsibly carry out their duties.

One of the potential negatives to come out of the process is that some who are currently employed in the engineering sector in engineer-level positions due to their experience may lack, or have insufficient, formal qualifications.

In almost all cases, experience alone will not be sufficient to gain registration in the future.

However, this is where CSU Engineering can help, as we offer several pathways through our degrees whereby engineering professionals can upskill their qualifications to meet the registration requirements.


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Mr Joshua Devitt contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or news@csu.edu.au

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