How I got onto the National Engineering Register

This week I managed to get myself onto the Engineers Australia National Engineering Register (NER) as a registered Professional Engineer (MIEAust) – Electrical, you can search for me here.

This now makes me eligible to apply to the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland (BPEQ) for Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ) registration.

The National Engineering Register is a comprehensive directory of Australian engineers who have met the high standards of professionalism expected within the industry. Engineers Australia created the NER to provide engineering professionals and employers with a tool that connects talent to opportunities.

The NER is available to allow consumers to search for a qualified engineering practitioner by name, area of practice and geographic location.

Engineering practitioners fall into three categories:

  • Professional Engineer (MIEAust or FIEAust) – completion of an Engineers Australia accredited four or more years engineering qualification in Australia, or equivalent.
  • Engineering Technologist (TMIEAust or TFIEAust) – completion of an Engineers Australia accredited three year engineering technology qualification in Australia, or equivalent.
  • Engineering Associate (AMIEAust or AFIEAust) – completion of an Engineers Australia recognised two year engineering associate qualification in Australia, or equivalent.

How I got registered

I am already a member of Engineers Australia (MIEAust), so I started my registration via their website here: Join the NER

Registrants on the NER need to confirm the following eligibility criteria:

  • a recognised qualification
  • relevant professional practice
  • currency of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)
  • a commitment to ethical practice

Recognised Qualification

I have a university degree, so was able to select the Professional Engineer pathway.

Relevant Professional Practice

Engineers must demonstrate that you have accumulated a minimum of five (5) years of engineering experience in the seven (7) years prior to applying for registration on the NER relevant to the area(s) of practice in which you are seeking registration.

I have over 16 years practical experience working as an Electrical Engineer specialising in Industrial Control Systems.

As part of the assessment for the NER, Engineers Australia has to confirm that your technical competencies are currently functional in the area(s) of practice in which you are seeking registration, and that you are practising in an ethical manner.

I completed the optional Acquired Competence Self-Assessment Worksheet, and a Work Experience Statement.

Competence is characterised by the four areas that make engineering what it is:

  • your personal commitment;
  • your obligation to the community;
  • your value in the workplace;
  • your technical proficiency.

When considering each competence, assess the extent to which you believe you demonstrate each competence by ticking the relevant column as ‘Developing’, ‘Functional’ or ‘Proficient’. For more details, see the Work Experience Statement Guidelines.

I made sure I was proficient at all competencies before submission.

My Work Experience Statement was based on my resume and laid out in the following manner:

  • Personal Details
  • Mailing Address
  • Qualifications and Education
  • Contact Details
  • Career Overview
  • Employment History
  • Project Experience – I used individual projects to link in with my Acquired Competence Self-Assessment Worksheet. Where I could see that I completed a competency on a particular project, I filled out the information in detail under each project.
  • Referees – At the end of the work experience statement I included the details of two professional referees the Engineers Australia Assessor was able to contact to discuss my work experience and claims of competence.

Additionally, I submitted a Site Induction Register which is extra to the application, but I thought it might help my case.

  • Site Induction Register – All inductions I have completed in the last 7 years. It was in this format.

Currency of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

I completed a CPD Activity Report. My report over the last 3 years was quite extensive as I had over 280 hours Education and 500 hours of Volunteering. 50% of the activities on the report should be focused on your technical area of expertise, and can include tertiary courses, short courses, seminars, inspections, technical meetings, site inductions, private study, community engagement, and conferences. See here for full types and examples.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

When applying for registration on the NER, registrants need to satisfy the requirement that they have the benefit of PI Insurance and that they can maintain PI Insurance for the duration of their registration which covers them for the period(s) in which they are providing engineering and/or engineering related services.

The requirement for registrants to have the benefit of PI Insurance is three fold – to satisfy government regulations, to satisfy contractual obligations and as a risk mitigation measure for professionals to protect their business and personal assets.

The company I work for has Professional Indemnity Insurance, and so I was able to supply a copy of this.

Check with your employer what PI insurance arrangements are in place.

If you are a contract engineer or are between jobs, you are still required to have PI Insurance.

A Commitment to Ethical Practice

As engineering practitioners, we use our knowledge and skills for the benefit of the community to create engineering solutions for a sustainable future. In doing so, we strive to serve the community ahead of other personal or sectional interests.

As members of Engineers Australia, we commit to practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics and accept that we will be held accountable for our conduct under Engineers Australia’s disciplinary regulations.

Interview

My submission was checked by an assessor, after which he followed up with my referees and a 15 minute Skype interview.

I was not sure what to prepare for in the interview, so I went through the code of ethics and my Work Experience submission information.

The assessor was quite happy with my submission, and followed up with two extra questions, which were to do with competencies that I had not answered in the Work Statement. I was able to answer these quite easily as they were questions regarding risk assessments and peer review of projects.

If you have any specific questions regarding my application to the register, ask below, or contact the Engineers Australia Member Services Team directly for information specific to you.

Contact

Engineers Australia Member Services:

[email protected] 

+612 6270 6555 or Toll Free: 1300 653 113

Member services are available Mon–Fri 8:30am–6pm AEST

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