Engineers Australia

Engineers Australia
Formation 1 August 1919 (1919-08-01)
Type Professional Society
Dr David Cruickshanks-Boyd
Stephen Durkin
Engineering House which is the national office for Engineers Australia in Barton, Australian Capital Territory.

The Institution of Engineers Australia, often shortened to IEAust and/or trading as Engineers Australia (EA),[1] is a professional body and not-for-profit organisation dedicated to being the national forum for the advancement of the engineering field within Australia and a member of Washington Accord. As of 2013, it has over 100,000 members in nine geographic Divisions from all engineering disciplines, including 41,000 Students, 4,400 Engineering Technologists and Engineering Associates, 55,600 Professional Engineers.[2] The members all belong to one or more of nine[3] Colleges covering the different fields of engineering practice. 20,000 members are Chartered Engineers.[4]

Engineers Australia has one wholly owned subsidiary, Engineering Education Australia based in Melbourne. Engineers Australia previously had a publishing subsidiary Engineers Media which published the organisation's main magazine. Engineers Media ceased operations at the end of August 2015 after the magazine "create" was outsourced to a commercial publisher, Mahlab Media.[4]

The organisation began after World War I, following recognition of the need for a single body to represent engineers, rather than the numerous smaller organisations that existed then. The first council meeting was held in 1919, electing Professor William Warren of the University of Sydney as the first President.[5][6] On 1 May 1926 the Institution was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and on 10 March 1938 His Majesty King George the Sixth granted a charter of incorporation to the Institution reconstituting it as a body corporate and politic by Royal Charter.[7]

The National Congress is a representative body of some 50 members, which elects and monitors the Council of Engineers Australia. The responsibilities and structure of National Congress are determined by the Royal Charter and By-laws. The Council is Engineers Australia's governing body. It has nine members and its role is comparable to that of a company board. It appoints and liaises with the Chief Executive, sets regulations and policies, sets strategic directions, and monitors the organisation's financial sustainability and performance. Each of Engineers Australia's nine divisions is led by a division committee of the division members. A division committee is responsible to and under the direction of the Council. A division group delivers specific services to the members of the Division, within a specific field of practice, area of interest or geographic area. Each of Engineers Australia's eight colleges is led by a College Board of the college members. College Boards are under the direction of the Council.

The patron of Engineers Australia is the Governor-General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).[8]

Accreditation Role

Engineers Australia is the body in Australia charged with accrediting the education required for recognition as a Professional Engineer (4-year degree or higher qualification) and the associated occupations of Engineering Technologists (3-year degree) and professional Engineering Associates (2-year technical qualifications). For these purposes EA is a signatory to the Washington Accord, the Sydney Accord and the Dublin Accord. The current list of accredited programs is available from Engineers Australia.

Migration Skills Assessment

Engineers Australia is the designated assessing authority for engineering occupations as listed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. [9]

Grades of Membership

Engineers Australia offers several grades of memberships:[10]

The Engineering Team

The engineering team includes a variety of occupations and specialisations. These standards are concerned with three occupational categories: professional engineer, engineering technologist, and engineering associate. The titles of Chartered Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineering Technologist and Chartered Engineering Associate (Officer) are available to members of Engineers Australia who have demonstrated the required competencies.[13]

To be recognised as part of the engineering team, individuals must complete formal educational qualifications in engineering, and after qualifying, must undertake continuing professional development in their chosen field of engineering to ensure their training remains up to date. The educational qualifications required are:

Regulatory Schemes [14]

There is no formal system of regulation for engineers throughout Australia. Engineering services are regulated under a variety of Acts in ad hoc areas, many of which relate to engineers in the building and construction industry. There are also many pieces of subordinate legislation, such as regulations, by-laws and orders-in-council that impose various prescriptive standards and incur unnecessary costs to the engineering industry in complying.

In Queensland, persons who are not registered with the Board of Professional Engineers Australia are prohibited from offering or providing professional engineering services. The only exception is for individuals who practise under the direct supervision of registered professional engineers.


State Register

Queensland is currently the only Australian jurisdiction to apply a comprehensive registration system for engineers.[15] The Queensland Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology appointed Engineers Australia on 1 July 2008[16] as one of the Approved Assessment entities for assessing applicants for Registration with the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland.[17]

National Register

The National Engineering Register (NER) has been created by Engineers Australia to provide a means of presenting registered engineers and their services to the public. It also provides assurance to consumers that engineers engaged from the NER meet the high standards of professionalism expected in the engineering profession. It is the largest Engineering Register in the country delivering a uniform national benchmark standard of professionalism in the broadest areas of engineering practice, both general and special.[18]

The NER will be a publicly searchable database providing a national system of ‘registration’ for the engineering profession in Australia of professional engineers, engineering technologists and engineering associates in both the private and public sectors. It is expected that the NER will facilitate access to existing State/Territory registers and to new registers, as and when they are developed.The NER is aimed at removing any current inconsistencies across State/Territory jurisdictions.[19]

The NER will cater for nine (9) general and ten (10) special areas of practice aligned to demonstrated professional competence and experience. Registration on the 10 special areas of practice will be restricted to Chartered members of Engineers Australia and registrants who have successfully completed Engineers Australia's Chartered assessment process.[20]

Registrants on the NER will be able to confirm the following eligibility criteria. the remaining

International Register

NER registered Chartered members of Engineers Australia in the occupational category of professional engineer with 7 + years of relevant engineering industry experience in their area(s) of practice since graduation and who have spent at least two years in responsible charge of engineering work will also be eligible to apply to join the APEC Engineers Register and the International Professional Engineers Register (IPEA) for non APEC economies. Chartered members assessed as eligible will be entitled to also use the postnominal APEC Engineer and/or IntPE(Aus).[19]

Continuing Professional Development

The Council expects Chartered Members and Registrants to maintain records of continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities that extend or update their knowledge, skill or judgment in their area or areas of engineering practice. An individual’s CPD records must demonstrate a minimum of 150 hours of structured CPD in the last three years.[21] To maintain Chartered Status, registrants must complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which is subject to review every five years.[22]

Code of Ethics

Since its inception, Engineers Australia has had a Code of Ethics and disciplinary processes that enable it to take action against members who breach that Code. The membership by-laws requires the professional regulation of members.[23]

Chartered members and registrants on the various registers administered by the National Engineering Registration Board are specifically required to practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics.[24]


Engineers Australia believes that sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.[25]

Complaints - Professional Conduct

Engineers Australia has a detailed and regulated process for handling complaints against members and office bearers. Complaints against members of Engineers Australia are handled in accordance with Division 4 of the General Regulations 2013. If the person is not a member, then Engineers Australia has no authority to commence an investigation or take any action regarding the person’s professional conduct. Engineers Australia is also not able to offer legal advice in relation to contractual or common law disputes or criminal matters and the complaints process will not result in financial restitution or compensation.[26]

Policy Statements

One of Engineers Australia's core activities is to make its position known on policies, inquiries and other government initiative. Engineers Australia draws upon the intellectual capital of the membership of Engineers Australia when drafting policy statements and developing submissions.[27]

Annual Report & Financials

In accordance with By-law 20.2, an Annual Report is presented by the Council each year for the business of the Annual General Meeting of Engineers Australia.[28]

Member Magazine

A new look member magazine was introduced on August 12, 2015. It is a magazine that showcases the profession, achievements, impacts and future thinking of engineering.[29]

Engineering Heritage Recognition Program

Engineering Heritage Australia,[30] a special interest group within Engineers Australia, runs a program that recognises historically significant engineering works. Such works have a plaque on display, with a brief summary of the significance of the work. The program was established in 1984 with two categories of awards, "National Engineering Landmark" and "Historic Engineering Marker". In 2009 these were renamed "Engineering Heritage National Landmark" and "Engineering Heritage Marker"; in 2012 a third category was added, "Engineering Heritage International Marker", and the term "Landmark" dropped from the existing category.[31]

The current categories are:[32]


  1. "Managing your membership". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 19 October 2016. If you are an Engineers Australia member, you already have an EA ID
  2. Kaspura, A (2012), The Engineering Profession: A Statistical Overview, 9th Ed, published by Engineers Australia.
  4. 1 2 Engineers Australia Annual Report 2012-2013
  5. Lloyd, B E (1968) The Education of Professional Engineers in Australia, APEA Melbourne.
  6. Lloyd, B E (1988) "In Search of Identity: Engineering in Australia 1788–1988", Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne.
  7. Engineers Australia, 2011 ROYAL CHARTER AND BY-LAWS
  8. Governor-General announced as Patron
  9. Migration Skills Assessment
  10. Membership & Occupational Categories
  11. Limit of Honorary Fellows
  12. Chartered Status
  13. Australian Engineering Competency Standards. Engineers Australia,. November 2003. p. 5. ISBN 0 85825 771 8.
  14. Regulatory Schemes
  15. The RPEQ System
  16. Board of Professional Engineers Queensland-Approved Assessment Entity
  17. Board of Professional Engineers Queensland- Areas of Engineering
  18. What is the National Engineering Register?
  19. 1 2 Engineering Registers
  20. NER Areas of Practice
  21. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)Policy, 19 February 2009
  22. 5 year Audit
  23. The Institution of Engineers Australia (EA), 2011 ROYAL CHARTER AND BY-LAWS, 6(d)
  24. Code of Ethics Article
  25. Engineers Australia Sustainability Charter
  26. Complaints – Professional Conduct
  27. Policy & Media
  28. Annual Report & Financials
  29. Member Magazine
  30. "Engineering Heritage Australia". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  31. Guide to the Engineering Heritage Recognition Program (PDF), Engineers Australia, 2012, retrieved 2016-06-12
  32. "Engineering Heritage Recognition Program". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 2016-06-12.

External links

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