As engineers carry out highly complex work, it is a requirement of the PE Act governing the sector that any professional engineering services in Queensland (or for a Queensland-based project) are carried out by a RPEQ. This ensures only qualified, competent and experienced engineers design, build, maintain and develop the products, infrastructure and services we use every day. The only exceptions are if an unregistered person carries out a professional engineering service* under the direct supervision of a RPEQ who takes full professional responsibility for the service, or the service is carried out only in accordance with a prescriptive standard*.
RPEQs are registered in the area/s of engineering relevant to their qualification and competency. There are 26 areas of engineering recognised by BPEQ, which includes major disciplines such as civil, electrical and mining engineering and specialist areas such as in-service inspection of amusement rides and devices, and petroleum engineering.
*Professional engineering service is defined as:
An engineering service that requires or is based on the application of engineering principles and data to a design or to a construction, production, operation, or maintenance activity relating to engineering (see pg. 113 of the PE Act).
**Prescriptive standard is defined as:
A document that states procedures or criteria for carrying out the service, the application of which does not require advanced scientifically based calculations (see pgs. 112-113 of the PE Act).
Graduating from a recognised tertiary institute with a four-year undergraduate degree in engineering (or equivalent).
Gained through experience working as an engineer and carrying out professional engineering services (between 3-5 years).
Qualification and competency assessed through an approved assessment scheme.
Made to BPEQ along with letter of assessment and fitness to practice declaration.
Mutual recognition is a process that allows people licensed or registered to practise an occupation in one jurisdiction to practise an equivalent occupation in other jurisdictions.
Engineers may be able to apply for registration through mutual recognition under:
Membership of or accreditation from a professional membership association (e.g. Engineers Australia) is not registration and does not entitle an engineer to apply for mutual recognition.
Engineers who believe they qualify to be registered under mutual recognition should contact BPEQ.
The PE Act has limited extraterritorial application, meaning professional engineering services undertaken outside of Queensland for any building, plant, machinery or product for specific use in Queensland must be undertaken by a RPEQ, or a RPEQ must provide direct supervision. For instance, the design of a high-rise structure or the manufacture of a bespoke piece of machinery to be used at a Queensland mine site would require the involvement of a RPEQ. A generic engineered product (e.g. a motor vehicle) with no specific connection to Queensland would not fall under the PE Act.