03 Sep Use of RPEQ title
The titles ‘registered professional engineer’, ‘registered professional engineer of Queensland’ or ‘RPEQ’ are protected under the PE Act.
A person who is not a RPEQ (or versions of the same title) must not use the title, claim to be a RPEQ, allow themselves to be held out as a RPEQ or knowingly hold out another person as a RPEQ when they are not.
These offences are contained in part 7, section 113 of the PE Act (p86-87) and all carry a maximum penalty of 1,000 penalty units. The penalty unit value in Queensland is $133.45 (as at 1 July 2019).
BPEQ has recently become aware of situations where unregistered persons are claiming to be registered when they are not, for instance:
- LinkedIn profiles
- other social media profiles
- website profiles
- general website information
- email signature blocks
- business cards
BPEQ reminds current and former holders of the RPEQ title to ensure they keep their details up to date and accurate.
BPEQ has prosecuted several offences in relation to misuse of the title RPEQ, including the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland v E (deidentified).
This case was a prosecution by BPEQ against E in the Magistrates Court for 21 instances of using the title RPEQ when not a registered professional engineer. E had not been a registered since 2005. E’s re-registration was refused in 2005 due to concerns regarding honesty.
Despite being unregistered, E continued to work for developers in the North Queensland area. The developer that E worked for during this period entered into a contract with a utilities provider for works at the nine locations across North Queensland. The provider required that certain documentation be provided to it by the developer’s RPEQ.
The provider further required the developer to retain a RPEQ to attend the ‘pre-start’ meeting where necessary and to complete certificates of completion and acceptance.
The developer retained E to perform this work and undertake these responsibilities for the project.
E admitted all the charges against E which related to E using the title RPEQ. The conduct considered at the hearing was therefore most relevant to the charges which allege
E allowed E to be held out as a RPEQ. In this regard, E admitted that at all times E was aware that the provider required the developer to retain a RPEQ to attend pre-start meetings and to complete certificates of completion and acceptance.
E was represented on documentation as the developer’s RPEQ. E recorded E’s old registration number on certificates of acceptance for the nine locations across North Queensland. During this time E also issued the certificate of completion for each of the nine locations, signing as the developer’s RPEQ and again recording E’s old registration number.
When questioned via email whether E was a RPEQ, E made a false statement. E stated that E had applied to BPEQ and was of the understanding that E’s registration was to be accepted at that time. E had not applied for re-registration.
E was charged and penalised, including playing BPEQ’s costs and the costs of investigation.
To read case in full visit Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland v E.