As anticipated, last week the Victorian Government has opened a consultation on the regulatory Scheme which compliments the Professional Engineer Registration (PER) Act 2019 [1], [2 to 6].  We encourage you to have a look at this Scheme and Act and discuss it with your employer. If you wish to make a public or private submission to Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) then do so before the 7th of October.  If you would like the IEEE Vic. Section to incorporate your ideas then please do contact us to talk about these. We are also looking for some specific help with formulating a response on behalf of the Section and we have outlined this as the very last item.

As a potted summary, as far as electrical engineering is concerned, the Act and scheme intend to cover the following areas:

  • power engineering
  • control engineering
  • electronics engineering
  • electrical building services engineering
  • microelectronics and nanoelectronics engineering
  • signal processing engineering
  • signalling and communications engineering
  • radio-frequency engineering, and
  • telecommunications engineering.

It appears that the Act applies to engineers who are (1) in Victoria whether their work is for Victoria or used elsewhere in the World and (2) any engineer in the World whose work is for Victoria (again interpreted as intended for use in Victoria) [6].   It hasn’t been confirmed that the Act and Scheme apply to Australian Defence Force engineers, Federal Government engineers, academics who teach or academics who collaborate with industry.  When we receive advice about these issues from CAV we will update you.

The Act and scheme also place obligations on engineers to only supervise work which they themselves are competent in, and that the work of those being supervised will be treated as the work of the supervising engineers for the purpose of complaint procedures set out in the Act and Scheme.

The areas in which we could use some help with are:

  • if you have looked at the Scheme and the Act and have concerns, or would like to point out issues that we have missed, or see where we may have misinterpreted anything, then we’d appreciate you bringing these to our notice,
  • if there are any economic impact modellers who would like to give us a hand on understanding the impact of professional engineering regulation, then again that would be appreciated – this is not part of the consultation feedback the Government has asked for but it will help inform our subsequent discussions, and
  • if you know of any regulatory lawyers that would like to help in suggesting improvement to the Scheme during this consultation period, or the Act at some stage in the future, then please do contact us.

Les Davey (les.j.davey.gmail.com) and Enn Vinnal (e.vinnal@ieee.org)
for IEEE Victorian Section

References:

[1] Consumer Affairs Victoria consultation documents are at https://engage.vic.gov.au/engineers-registration

[2] Professional Engineer Registration Bill’s passage through parliament
https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/professional-engineers-registration-bill-2019

[3] Legislative Assembly Second Reading, Professional Engineer Registration Bill (page 730)
https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Assembly_2019/Legislative_Assembly_2019-03-06.pdf

[4] Legislative Council Third Reading, Professional Engineer Registration Bill (page 28)
https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Council_2019/Legislative_Council_2019-08-27.pdf

[5] Professional Engineers Registration Act:
https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/as-made/acts/professional-engineers-registration-act-2019

[6] Consumer Affairs Victoria background information
https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-tools/legislation/public-consultations-and-reviews/professional-engineers-registration-act-2019-information-forum

See previous news item: Professional Engineer Registration scheme consultation to open soon