22 Nov Technologist prosecuted for practising while unregistered
A technologist has been prosecuted for carrying out professional engineering services while unregistered.
Queensland’s Professional Engineers Act 2002 (PE Act) requires that any person providing a professional engineering service in Queensland or for Queensland is registered as, or directly supervised by, a registered professional engineer of Queensland (RPEQ).
The Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ) brought two charges against the offender under section 115(1) of the PE Act.
The offender was not, nor has ever been a RPEQ. The court heard that the offender carried out professional engineering services while unregistered for a project in North Queensland. The offences were brought to BPEQ’s attention after the building company who received the compliance certificate (Form 15) for the project checked the technologist’s registered status.
BPEQ acknowledged that there were no failures or safety concerns associated with the professional engineering services carried out by the offender. However, there is a clear public interest in ensuring that the requirement to be registered and the standards required to become registered are enforced to guard against potential risks to public safety.
The offender cooperated with BPEQ’s investigation and entered a plea of guilty to both charges.
In sentencing the offender, the Magistrate considered the nature and seriousness of the offences, the offender’s personal circumstances and the need for general deterrence. The Magistrate imposed a penalty of $5,000 for both offences and ordered that the offender pay an additional $6,000 for legal costs incurred.
To obtain registration as a RPEQ, engineers must meet strict qualification (a four-year undergraduate engineering degree) and competency requirements. Technologists are, generally, unable to obtain RPEQ status without undertaking further study to achieve equivalence with the qualification requirements.
The registered status of all RPEQs is kept by BPEQ on its register, available at www.bpeq.qld.gov.au. If a person’s name does not appear on the register, that means they are not registered to practise as an engineer.
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