26 September 2023

New registration scheme for State engineers

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A new landmark registration scheme has been announced for building engineers to strengthen public safety, industry accountability, and professional recognition.

Impacting more than 1,000 engineers in the building sector, the scheme is expecting to deliver safer buildings and greater accountability.

According to the Minister for Commerce, Sue Ellery, it is the first registration scheme for engineers in Western Australia.

Ms Ellery said it would align the State with other jurisdictions and provide further peace of mind that buildings were safe and constructed to the required standards.

“The registration scheme is expected to increase building compliance, reduce rectification costs, increase public confidence in the building industry, and provide a formal recourse process for substandard engineering work,” Ms Ellery said.

“The public must have confidence that people performing this role are registered, have the right qualifications and skills and can be held accountable for any defective design or work,” she said.

According to Commerce WA, engineers perform an important role in the design and construction of buildings, often preparing critical design aspects such as framing, structural beams and loads, as well as important systems, such as fire safety, and mechanical ventilation.

“The register aims to strengthen building compliance, reduce rectification costs, and increase public confidence in the industry,” it said.

“It will also provide a formal recourse process for substandard engineering work.”

It said more than 860 engineering practitioners and 260 contractors were expected to become registered.

The Department said engineers would also benefit from greater professional recognition and consistency in their work.

“Two-year transition periods begin on 1 July 2024 for structural and fire safety engineers, and on 1 July 2025 for civil and mechanical building engineers,” Commerce WA said.

“Registration becomes mandatory for structural and fire safety engineers on 1 July 2026, and for civil and mechanical engineers on 1 July 2027.”

It said the scheme was part of a reform package aimed at modernising and improving WA’s building regulatory framework in response to recommendations from the national Building Confidence Report.

Funding has been allocated to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety to administer, enforce and communicate the requirements.

More information about the registration is available from the Building and Energy website which can be accessed at this PS News link.

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