State and Territory Registration Requirements for Engineers in Australia

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In Australia, each state and territory has its own rules and requirements when it comes to registration of engineers. 

While many Australian states and jurisdictions require engineers to be registered to practise, there are some that do not have statutory regulations in place. If you are an Engineer considering working in Australia, it is vital to understand if you will need to go through the state registration process.

Engineers Australia

While Engineers Australia provides national accreditation and recognition of Engineers, it is not responsible for the registration of engineering professionals in each state or territory. However, Engineers Australia supports the nationwide compulsory registration of Engineers to enhance public confidence in engineering services and manage risks effectively.

Current state and territory registration requirements in place

The registration of engineers is important as it serves to validate that engineers have successfully achieved established benchmarks in education, training, professional ethics, and competence. This validation instills a sense of assurance in consumers regarding the capabilities of the engineers they hire.

Civil Engineers must be well-informed on the state registration requirements within their engineering field to ensure professional credibility and compliance.

New South Wales

The NSW Government introduced new obligations and mandatory requirements for practitioners. All industry professionals must ensure building work and designs comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). You must be registered if you are an engineer working on class 2 buildings or buildings with a class 2 part, class 3 or class 9c buildings.

Most professional Engineers, building practitioners, and design and principal design practitioners must be registered to perform work. The NSW Fair Trading registers professional engineers and design practitioners under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020.

Click here to see a full description of each building class.

Professional Engineer Registration

You must register under the Design and Building Practitioners Scheme if you are a professional engineer working on class 2, class 3, or class 9c buildings. Also, if you are doing professional engineering work within the civil, electrical, fire safety, geotechnical, mechanical, or structural industries. You do not need to register if you work under the supervision of a registered engineer.

Companies cannot apply, and only individuals can apply for engineer registration. You must have the appropriate qualifications as an engineer, meet insurance requirements, have a current National Police Certificate, and have the skills and knowledge.

Building Practitioner Registration

Registration is required before any building work commences. Only the principal contractor or the head building practitioner must register for a compliance declaration. You will need to register if you are:

  • A Building practitioner that is required to declare/lodge documents in the NSW Planning Portal
  • Working on a class 2, class 3, or class 9c building

Keep in mind that you will need to complete two online modules before you register as a building practitioner.

Navigating the Design and Building Practitioners (DBP) legislation

The value of Australian Standards

Click here to see all the qualifications and building experience you need to be able to register as a building practitioner in New South Wales.

Click here to register online.

Keep in mind that there is a payment fee.

From 1 July 2024, all building practitioners must obtain professional indemnity insurance. This can either be an individual, partnership or corporate policy.

Design Practitioner Registration

Design Practitioners are responsible for preparing and declaring designs that comply with the Building Code of Australia. You will need to register if you are:

  • A design practitioner who prepares regulated designs and makes a design compliance declaration about designs.
  •  A principal design practitioner who coordinates designs by other practitioners for the building practitioner.
  •  Work on a class 2, 3 or 9c building or involved in a project with a class 2, 3 or 9c project.

Click here to see which roles are included in the design practitioner registration class.

Click here to see if you are eligible and register online. Keep in mind that there is a payment fee.

What if I don’t meet the NSW requirements and qualifications?

Alternate pathways are available if you still need to meet the requirements or qualifications to register. Keep in mind that the assessment will depend on the path you have selected.

A Professional Engineer must complete a competency assessment through Engineers Australia to help you obtain your NSW state registration. Engineers Australia does three specific assessments: the ‘Pre-1989 engineering qualification’, ‘less than two years of Australian experience’ and ‘knowledge and skills assessment DP (VT)’.

Click here to see what you need to apply and complete the appropriate assessment.

If you register as a Design Practitioner, you must contact the Building Designers Association of Australia for a competency assessment.

Building Association of Australia

Last Update: 12 September 2023  

Queensland

All practising engineers must be registered to carry out professional engineering services. The exception is only if you work directly under supervision, as a registered engineer, or to the prescriptive standards.

To register as a Queensland professional engineer, you must demonstrate your abilities, qualifications, competency, experience, and ongoing commitment to development and learning in your engineering field. It is required that any individual delivering a professional engineering service in Queensland or for Queensland must ensure that standards are met to be registered as an RPEQ. This ensures that only competent professionals plan, design, build, develop, and maintain the infrastructure and services used.

What if I don’t meet the QLD requirements and qualifications?

For Queensland, the assessment pathway for state registrations depends on what assessments you have had previously to qualify for credentials. It also depends on whether you are a member of Engineers Australia.

For non-members

You can still conduct the competency assessments for state registration if you are not a member of Engineers Australia.

The ‘Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ)’ is designed to regulate the engineering professions through a fair set of standards across Queensland. Engineers Australia is an approved assessment entity for the BPEQ. It will depend on the qualification and competency to register and will be determined during the assessment process.

Click here to see the current engineering fields that engineers can apply for.

You must create a login on the member portal and apply from the QLD state registration eligibility webpage. Click here to view what documentation needs to be provided.

Remember that Engineers Australia will always charge a fee for the assessment. If a completed entry to practice or migration skills assessment has already been provided, you only need to pay $610 (including GST) for the state registration eligibility test. The total fee for non-members is $1420 (including GST).

Once you meet the assessment standards, you can download your registered professional engineer assessment letter. From there, you can apply for registration as a professional engineer on the BPEQ website.

For members

If you obtained a Chartered or NER credential, an assessment will not be necessary to register with the BPEQ. You can automatically apply for registration as a professional engineer on the BPEQ website after downloading the assessment letter in your Engineers Australia account’s ‘My Registration’ tab.

If you are a member without Chartered or NER credentials, you must complete a competency assessment to join the NER. Fees will depend on whether you currently reside in Australia or overseas.

Last Update: 12 September 2023

Victoria

If you work in specific fields of engineering in Victoria, then you must be registered to provide professional engineering services. The exception is only if you work directly under supervision, as a registered engineer, or to prescriptive standards. The five areas of engineering include fire safety engineering, structural engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering.

Click here to see a detailed description of the five areas of engineering.

You must be registered as a fire safety, civil, structural or electrical engineer. If you work in the mechanical engineering field, you must register with Victoria’s Business Licensing Authority by 1 December 2023.

Click here to see the registration steps compiled by Victoria’s Business Licensing Authority.

What if I don’t meet Victoria’s requirements and qualifications?

Requirements for state registration depend on what assessments you have previously taken to qualify for membership, credentials, or migration.

You don’t need another assessment to register if you obtain a chartered or NER credential. You can download the registration report and apply as a professional engineer on Consumer Affair’s Victoria’s Business Licensing Authority website. If you are a member without an NER and Chartered credential, you must apply for them to receive your registration report.

Click here to find out more information.

If you are not an Engineers Australia member, you will need to conduct a competency assessment from the Consumers Affairs Victoria’s Business Licensing Authority. A fee of $1420 will need to be paid for the assessment if you are not a member.

Click here for a complete list of the documents you need for the assessment.

Last Update: 13 September 2023

Tasmania

The Building and Occupation Services (CBOS) in Tasmania is responsible for registering engineers. Only certain areas of engineering are required for registration.

Three sub-classes of licensed engineers include ‘engineer fire safety’, ‘engineer building services’, and ‘engineer civil’. The Engineer building services may include mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic services. It also provides fire safety systems and acoustic and energy management in buildings. The engineer civil class is unrestricted in civil engineering and includes civil, structural, environmental and geotechnical engineering.

To be a licensed engineer in Tasmania, you must have a degree in the appropriate engineering field, meet all the requirements, and have experience. Another way to register is if you are a Chartered Professional Engineer recognised by Engineers Australia or are listed on the National Engineers Register.

Click here for the requirements, experience and other information on the roles you are applying for.

Last Update: 13 September 2023

Australian Capital Territory

The Professional Engineers Act 2023 passed the Legislative Assembly in the ACT in March 2023. On 6 March 2024, Engineers Australia welcomed the Professional Engineers Registration Scheme for engineering professionals in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The first phase of registration will open on 6 March 2024 for those providing professional engineering services in the civil and structural areas of engineering. The second phase is planned to open in July 2024 for professional mechanical engineers. Registration for electrical and fire safety engineers will open in November 2024.

From 6 March 2025, all professional engineers will be required to be registered and will be subject to compliance and enforcement activity.

Professional Engineers Registration Scheme opens to ACT Engineers

Registration requirements

The scheme will apply to individuals providing professional engineering services in the Australian Capital Territory or services supplied for regional projects. You must be in civil, structural, electrical, mechanical and fire safety to register and conduct a competency assessment if you still need to meet the requirements.

You will need to have Engineers Australia assess your qualifications, experience, and competence and obtain an assessment outcome letter. Next, you need to use the assessment outcome letter to apply for state registration with the ACT Government.

The registration must be renewed after three years to ensure your requirements meet emerging industry standards.

If you are taking a competency assessment, this will assess whether you meet the qualifications, experience, and requirements. Keep in mind that a fee will be charged for the services.

Read more about ACT’s Professional Engineers Registration Scheme here.

Last Update: 10 April 2024

South Australia

Currently, South Australia does not have a registration scheme for engineers. It presents a risk for individuals who engage with engineers and the extended public.

The Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has raised numerous concerns regarding having no official registration scheme for engineers based in South Australia. They are working to deliver a proposed scheme to create a registered board for engineers in South Australia. This will give confidence that work will be conducted with the relevant qualifications and abilities.

Engineering and construction fields will be announced in a staged approach to allow the industry an introductory period to the scheme. It is intended that categories, including civil, hydraulic, structural, mechanical, geotechnical, electrical and safety work in the building industry, are expected to be established in the first round of regulation.

The proposed scheme includes defining registration categories, the eligibility criteria for registration and renewals, and regulatory oversight by the Commissioner. It also has ongoing obligations to retain registration, such as ongoing professional development and compliance with the code of conduct. Like other Australian states, you will not need to register if you work under the supervision of a registered engineer.

Consultation closed on 8 September, and the South Australian Government will shortly announce more updates.

Last Update: 12 September 2023

Northern Territory

For the Northern Territory, registration is handled by the Building Practitioners Board and is required for all building practitioners and certain engineering fields.

About the Building Practitioners Board

The Building Practitioners Board is a statutory body regulated by the Northern Territory Building Act 1993. They are generally responsible for registering building practitioners, monitoring compliance with the requirements, monitoring competence and professional conduct, conducting inquiries into the practitioners’ work, developing codes of practice, and establishing and maintaining a performance reporting system.

Applications to become a registered engineer in the appropriate field offered by the Building Practitioners Board are lodged and recorded on forms. They can be completed at the Territory Business Centre in Darwin, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, or Katherine. They can also be scanned and emailed or sent by mail. Click here to see the full address.

You can become a registered practitioner if you are a certified mechanical, structural, and hydraulic engineer. Remember that if you are registered in these categories in other Australian States, you can apply under Mutual Recognition at a cheaper price of $1241 AUD.

Click here to see a full list of fees if you are applying to become a registered engineer for the Northern Territory.

Northern Territory funds Engineers Australia migrant work placement program

Last Update: 13 September 2023

Western Australia

From 1 July 2024, new laws will be in place that require certain engineers to be registered by the Building Services Board to carry out engineering work in Western Australia.

Registered registration is required if you carry out professional, or technical engineering work or work in more than one prescribed civil, structural, mechanical, or fire safety area. Also, you must register if you carry out design and construction activities related to building structures or work independently.

The registration will be conducted in two stages. There will be a two-year transition period that applies for each stage.

For stage 1, registration for structural and fire safety building engineers will commence from 1 July 2024. This will become mandatory for structural and fire safety building engineers on 1 July 2026.

The registration of civil and mechanical building engineers commences on 1 July 2025. From 1 July 2027, it will become mandatory for civil and mechanical engineers to register.

Registration applications will not be accepted until after the dates stated. Click here to see the registration framework for your relevant field in engineering.

Last Update: 13 September 2023

The state-specific registration system compiled by Engineers Australia provides a comprehensive framework for engineers seeking recognition across Australia. The diverse requirements and qualifications across states and territories reflect each region’s unique needs and standards. This approach ensures that engineers meet the local demands and adhere to specific regulations, contributing to the safety, innovation, and excellence of engineering practices nationwide.

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