08 Mar Engineers crucial to building confidence
The Building Confidence Report, and other proposals that have emerged from it, provides a way forward for better regulation of the building and construction sector but may also provide the springboard to a national system of registration for engineers based on the Queensland model, writes Dawson Wilkie.
After seeing off 2020 we can all now turn our attention to 2021. The year of vaccinations and a slow return to what might be the new normal. For the Board, 2021 will bring many challenges, as we grapple with the complexities of engineering registration schemes in other states. The Board has always been supportive of a national scheme – to be a leading authority in the progression of a National Professional Engineering Registration Scheme is one of the Board’s strategies – and we will continue to advocate for it. The test, however, is how the Board deals with the ‘in between’. Victoria and New South Wales are moving to registration schemes which is excellent and the Building Confidence Reports also calls for greater registration of engineers. Neither the NSW or Victorian schemes will be as comprehensive as Queensland’s and as a result we must be careful not to compromise the RPEQ system.
With all these proposals and amendments underway, the Board has provided advice into the discussions and reviews. Our focus has been on ensuring the rigorous process that we have in Queensland is not watered down by either expediency or a lack of understanding.
One of these issues that has come before the Board is the move to automatic mutual recognition (AMR). AMR allows registered / licenced professionals in one jurisdiction to utilise that registration / licence to become registered / licenced in another state or territory. This is a great idea but needs to be considered with caution. Provided the qualifications and experience required are the same in all jurisdictions then this is a no brainer, however with new registration schemes for engineers still not finalised it is difficult to determine their equivalency to Queensland. The Board is adamant that the standards required for becoming a RPEQ are essential in keeping Queensland safe and will not support any process that could bring that standard into contention.
Other proposals in response to the Building Confidence Report are also out and include:
- building design acceptance
- mandatory inspections
- independent third-party reviews.
These are things that the Board has been supportive of in the past and will continue to support. Our responsibility is to ensure that the only qualified and competent professionals carry out these services, i.e. RPEQs.
The Building Confidence Report, and other proposals that have emerged from it, provides a way forward for better regulation of the building and construction sector but may also provide the springboard to national systems of registration for engineers based on the Queensland model.
Chair and regional representative
BE Civil, FIE Aust, FIPWEAQ, RPEQ, GAICD, CPEng, EngExec, APEC Engineer
Mr Wilkie was first appointed to the Board as Chair and regional representative in January 2015 and was re-appointed in April 2018. A qualified civil engineer working in private consultancy, Mr Wilkie has worked in the profession for more than 35 years. Graduating from the Queensland Institute of Technology…