Local governments put on notice to employ RPEQs

Local governments put on notice to employ RPEQs

Queensland’s anti-corruption body, the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), considers the providing of professional engineering services when not registered or directly supervised by a RPEQ to be corrupt conduct under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

The CCC formed the view following receipt of a complaint about the conduct of some engineers undertaking engineering services at a council without being registered or directly supervised. The CCC has now written to the chief executive officers of the 77 local governments in Queensland informing them of its view.

Chief executive officers are expected to take appropriate action to address, if any, contrary to the Professional Engineers Act 2002 and make inquiries to ensure that staff engaged – internally or externally – in the provision of professional engineering services to the council are appropriately registered.

A 2019 review of local government compliance with the PE Act found that there were 430 RPEQs employed directly by councils. The vast majority – 290 – were employed by the major councils in South East Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Logan and Toowoomba). As of 29 September 2020, the number of RPEQs employed directly by Queensland local governments had risen. This increase is positive but there are still councils who do not appear to employ RPEQs directly. The expectation for these councils is that they procure services externally from a RPEQ. The finding by the CCC supports BPEQ’s position that there should be more RPEQs employed in local government.

BPEQ has undertaken a comprehensive engagement plan with local governments across state – contacting all 77 councils with information about the PE Act and RPEQ system and holding seminars or meetings with all but 10 of them. BPEQ will continue to engage with local government and offer its education services.

Councils, and indeed all employers of engineers, are reminded that professional engineering services in Queensland are required by law to be carried out by a RPEQ or under the direct supervision of a RPEQ:


1. Qualification

graduating from a recognised tertiary institute with a four-year undergraduate degree in engineering (or equivalent)

2. Competency

gained through experience working as an engineer and carrying out professional engineering services; between 4-5 years

3. Assessment

qualification and competency assessed through an approved assessment scheme. Different assessment schemes operate for different areas of engineering. Assessment may involve formal interviews, a written career summary or sponsorship from a peer or supervisor

4. Registration

application submitted to BPEQ along with letter of assessment and fitness to practice declaration


Direct contact

(between RPEQ and student/graduate engineer) and actual knowledge (of the project or service)


(by RPEQ)


(by RPEQ)


(by RPEQ)

Full professional responsibility

(by RPEQ)

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