Update from the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland
2023 is turning out to be a remarkable year for the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (Board) – with more practising registered professional engineers (RPEQ) than any other time in the organisation’s ninety-plus year history.
Currently, the Board has more than 18,000 practising RPEQs. For engineers working in or for Queensland, becoming a RPEQ is not just a nice-to-have qualification, it is the law.
As Chairperson and Regional Representative for the Board, Australia’s oldest independent statutory body regulating the engineering profession – it is exciting to see so many engineers going through assessment and becoming RPEQs.
I am encouraged to see engineers working with AusIMM, one of the Board’s assessment scheme partners and becoming RPEQs in the areas of environmental, metallurgical, mining, and geotechnical (mining) engineering. You can find out more about this process here.
In 2016, I went through this pathway as well. I was assessed by AusIMM, applied for registration with the Board and I am now a geotechnical (mining) RPEQ.
As a geotechnical engineer, I work on mining sites all around Queensland. I always enjoy meeting other RPEQs when I am out in the field, so if you see me – say hello.
When I am out on site, sometimes I get questions about the Board and what laws apply or do not apply to engineers in the mining industry.
Nearly one hundred years have passed since the original PE Act was passed in 1929. Even after all that time, the objectives of the PE Act remain the same: protecting the public, maintaining public confidence in the engineering profession, and upholding the standards of RPEQs.
The Board accomplishes these objectives by administering the RPEQ system, investigating and prosecuting offense against the PE Act, and taking disciplinary action against RPEQs whose conduct falls below the agreed standards.
The Professional Engineers Act 2002 (Qld) (PE Act) regulates the practice of engineering in Queensland. Simply put, the PE Act restricts the carrying out of ‘professional engineering services’ in or for Queensland to registered RPEQs or persons who are under the ‘direct supervision’ of an RPEQ who is responsible for the provision of the services. Breach of this restriction constitutes an offence.
The PE Act is not industry-specific and applies to all professional engineering services in or for Queensland, including those carried out on mine sites.
The PE Act provides an exception to the requirement that professional engineering services be provided by, or under direct supervision of, an RPEQ. That exception applies where the engineering work is provided only in accordance with a ‘prescriptive standard’.
If you are carrying out a professional engineering service – I would encourage you to work with AusIMM or one of our eight other assessment entities, have your skills and competencies assessed and then register with the Board as a RPEQ.
You can find more about the process on BPEQ’s website, by talking to one of our friendly staff or chatting with the AusIMM team about assessment.
The University of Queensland’s Professor Roger Hawken was the driving force behind the RPEQ system. More than ninety years have passed, but Professor’s Hawken’s vision to protect the public and maintain high standards of confidence in the engineering profession still guide the Board, and my actions today.
Professor Hawken was RPEQ #1, and I am proud to be RPEQ #17,943.
You can learn more about becoming a RPEQ at the Board website www.bpeq.qld.gov.au. The renewal period for existing RPEQs is now open and will remain open until 31 May 2023.