Project status: Closed

What’s happening now

Following community and stakeholder consultation on the proposed scheme, the scheme was finalised and draft legislation prepared. The Professional Engineers Bill 2022 was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on 1 December 2022.

The Professional Engineers Act 2023 was passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 23 March 2023. Commencement of the scheme will include lead-in time for industry to become familiar with the scheme before registration opens.

Further information on when the scheme will commence and when applications can be made will be provided as it becomes available. Further information on commencement and implementation of the registration scheme will be provided in early 2023.

How you had your say

The ACT Government sought feedback on the key elements of the proposed Professional Engineer Registration Scheme from 23 August to 20 September 2022. Your participation was an integral step in the final design of the registration scheme.

The consultation paper provides an overview of the key elements of the scheme.

The listening report outlines what we heard.

You provided your feedback by:

  1. Sending us an email submission at
  2. Completing a feedback form, which includes the questions from the consultation paper.

We are looking at

The ACT Government is establishing a registration scheme to regulate individuals providing professional engineering services in the ACT. The objective of the scheme is to provide people and companies who engage engineers with confidence that those engineers have the necessary qualifications, experience and competencies to provide those engineering services.

Following community and stakeholder consultation on the proposed scheme, the scheme will be finalised, with legislation prepared and a Bill presented to the Legislative Assembly in late 2022.

More information

You can find the key information about the elements of the scheme in the consultation paper. The questions below provide a high level overview of some of the elements outlined in the consultation paper. We encourage you to read the consultation paper before providing feedback on the scheme.

The scheme is intended to provide added certainty to the public and industry that the engineers they engage are suitably qualified and experienced.

The registration scheme brings the ACT into line with other Australian states. The ACT Scheme has been developed in consultation with other states and with professional engineers’ associations.

Mandatory registration of professions allows for benchmarks to be set with regards to qualifications, experience, competency, and ongoing requirements for conduct and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Registration has many benefits including providing increased information about practitioners to the public, consumers and employers and importantly gives regulators the ability to determine who is able to provide certain services in the first place and to take appropriate action in instances of breaches of requirements which increases consumer protections.

The ACT’s proposed approach is intended to be responsive to potential risks and associated harms to the community in the provision of engineering services both in and beyond the building sector.

Engineering services are purchased by governments, large and small businesses, and individual consumers. In the absence of any statutory requirements for licensing or registration, consumers are limited in their ability to measure the competency of an engineer they are seeking to engage.

There can be significant risks to community overall from the provision of engineering services where an individual attempts to undertake work without the adequate skills or competencies. Potential risks arising can include the following:

  1. Health: through such things as badly designed or ‘sick’ buildings (poor air-conditioning, rising damp, low natural light levels). Beyond the building sector, health effects can include things such as contaminated drinking water and other environmental incidents.
  2. Safety: through the collapse or other significant failure of buildings or through the failure of hazardous services such as gas, electricity or mechanical works
  3. Economy: involving financial costs such as design and construction costs, litigation expenses, lost production and rectification costs.
  • Registration will become mandatory for persons providing professional engineering services in the following situations:
    • in the ACT
    • for projects and consumers in the ACT
    • for projects and consumers outside the ACT from a location within the ACT
  • Mandatory registration will not apply to all engineers.
  • The scheme will apply to senior engineers responsible for developing or overseeing the development of engineering designs as opposed to practitioners that are carrying out work in accordance with prescribed standards.
  • Engineers working under the direct supervision of a registered practising engineer or only in accordance with a prescriptive standard will not be required to be registered. The model whereby senior engineers are responsible for the supervision of others and giving final approval to designs is already an existing and widespread practice within the engineering profession.
  • The scheme will initially only apply to five categories of engineers:
    • Civil
    • Structural
    • Mechanical
    • Electrical
    • Fire safety
  • Further categories may be added to the scheme in the future.
  • There are approximately 3,800 engineers providing professional engineering services in the Territory. It is estimated that approximately two thirds of those engineers may be affected by the introduction of a mandatory registration scheme.

UPDATE: Mutual Recognition

Under the proposed ACT Scheme, it is intended that if you are registered in another jurisdiction you will be able to operate in the ACT under that registration without needing to be separately registered in the ACT. This would be through the automatic mutual recognition (AMR) scheme that has been gradually implemented across several States and Territories since July 2021.

The objective of the AMR scheme is to create a more mobile labour force by allowing workers who hold an occupational registration in one Australian State or Territory to work in another Australian State or Territory without needing to pay additional fees or apply for a separate registration. This process gives workers what is called Automatic Deemed Registration (ADR). To be eligible for AMR, individuals must hold and maintain a registration or licence in their home state or territory (i.e. their primary place of residence or work) that covers the activity that they intend to carry out in another Australian State or Territory.

In implementing the scheme, the ACT Government will also consider arrangements for those wishing to transfer their registration from another jurisdiction to the ACT.

Your views will be used to help us refine the final design of the scheme, and how it is implemented.

Feedback provided may be de-identified and included in material about the proposed scheme for Government consideration. More information about how we handle and store information is available on the Planning website Privacy webpage.