Engineers Australia

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Engineers Australia
Engineers Australia (logo).jpg
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, 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.[1] The members all belong to one or more of nine[2] Colleges covering the different fields of engineering practice. 20,000 members are Chartered Engineers.[3]

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 was outsourced to a commercial publisher, Mahlab Media.[3]

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.[4][5] 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.[6]

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. I 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, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).[7]

Accreditation role[edit]

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 para-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 Queensland Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology appointed Engineers Australia on 1 July 2008[8] as one of the Approved Assessment entities for assessing applicants for Registration with the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland.[9]

Grades of membership[edit]

Engineers Australia offers several types of memberships:

  • Grade of Student: Free for students undertaking an Australian accredited or recognised course in engineering.
  • Grade of Graduate: Open to those who have completed an Engineers Australia accredited or recognised tertiary qualification in engineering. Graduate memberships are available in the following categories: Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist, and Engineering Associate.
  • Grade of Member: Open to those who hold an Engineers Australia accredited or recognised tertiary qualification in engineering, and have now gained a number of years experience in the engineering industry. The following categories are available: Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist, and Engineering Associate.
  • Grade of Fellow: Practitioners who have been recognised as being amongst the true leaders of the industry and profession. Fellow membership grades include: Fellow, Technologist Fellow, and Associate Fellow.
  • Grade of Honorary Fellow: A person who has rendered conspicuous service to the profession of engineering or is eminent in engineering or an allied science, or is a distinguished person whom the Council desires to honour, either for having rendered conspicuous service to the Australian people or in recognition of outstanding achievement. Membership numbers are determined by the National Council and was set to 200 in 2013.[10]
  • Chartered Status: In Australia, the award of Chartered Engineer Status is exclusive to Engineers Australia. Professional engineers with Chartered Status enjoy recognition by government, business and the general public worldwide.[11] Chartered Status is open to those in the Member and Fellow grades of each occupational category.

The Engineering Team[edit]

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.[12]

Regulatory schemes[edit]

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.

Queensland currently is the only state where engineers are required by legislation to be registered (if offering or providing engineering services). In Queensland, persons who are not registered 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. In other states and territories engineers operate under the self-regulatory system operated by the National Engineering Registration Board (NERB).[13]


National Registers[edit]

Engineers Australia administers the national engineering registers with input from the National Engineering Registration Board to ensure that the registers operate in the public interest.[14] These registers are:

  • The National Professional Engineers Register (NPER)
  • The National Engineering Technologists Register (NETR)
  • The National Engineering Associates Register (NEAR)

International Register[edit]

The APEC Engineer Register is an initiative of the Commonwealth Government and Engineers Australia to facilitate cross border mobility for professional engineers in the APEC Region. A person who is registered on the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER) has already met to a significant extent the requirements for enrolment on the APEC Engineer Register or on the International Register of Professional Engineers.[15]

Continuing Professional Development[edit]

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.[16]

Code of Ethics[edit]

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. [17]

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.[18]

Complaints - Professional Conduct[edit]

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.[19]

Policy Statements[edit]

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.[20]


  1. ^ Kaspura, A (2012), The Engineering Profession: A Statistical Overview, 9th Ed, published by Engineers Australia.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Engineers Australia Annual Report 2012-2013
  4. ^ Lloyd, B E (1968) The Education of Professional Engineers in Australia, APEA Melbourne.
  5. ^ Lloyd, B E (1988) "In Search of Identity: Engineering in Australia 1788–1988", Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne.
  6. ^ Engineers Australia, 2011 ROYAL CHARTER AND BY-LAWS
  7. ^ Governor-General announced as Patron
  8. ^ Board of Professional Engineers Queensland-Approved Assessment Entity
  9. ^ Board of Professional Engineers Queensland- Areas of Engineering
  10. ^ Limit of Honorary Fellows
  11. ^ Chartered Status
  12. ^ Australian Engineering Competency Standards. Engineers Australia,. November 2003. p. 5. ISBN 0 85825 771 8. 
  13. ^ Regulatory Schemes
  14. ^ National Engineering Registers
  15. ^ International Registers
  16. ^ Continuing Professional Development (CPD)Policy, 19 February 2009
  17. ^ The Institution of Engineers Australia (EA), 2011 ROYAL CHARTER AND BY-LAWS, 6(d)
  18. ^ Code of Ethics Article
  19. ^ Complaints – Professional Conduct
  20. ^ Policy & Media

External links[edit]