Penalties

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As a professional engineer, you are responsible for understanding your legal obligations under the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 (the Act). If you are also an endorsed building engineer, you are also responsible for understanding your legal obligations under the Building Act 1993.

Disciplinary action under the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019

Grounds for disciplinary action

We may take disciplinary action against a registered professional engineer or a professional engineer who was registered at the time of the conduct, for:

  • a breach of the Act
  • unsatisfactory professional conduct
  • not meeting the eligibility criteria for registration
  • not being a fit and proper person to provide professional engineering services
  • obtaining registration, or the insurance required for endorsement, on the basis of information or a document that was false or misleading
  • failing to comply with a condition of registration, and
  • failing to comply with an undertaking given to Consumer Affairs Victoria under the Act or to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) under the Building Act 1993.

We have a range of options to deal with breaches of the Act. For more information, view Regulatory approach and compliance policy.

Where grounds for disciplinary action have been identified, we may issue a show cause notice to give a professional engineer an opportunity to make representations as to why their registration should not be cancelled.

After reviewing these representations we may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to conduct a disciplinary proceeding. As a result, VCAT may impose a penalty on a professional engineer such as:

  • a fine of up to 200 penalty units
  • reprimand
  • condition or variation of a condition on their registration
  • suspension or partial suspension of their registration for a specified period
  • cancellation of their registration
  • temporary or permanent disqualification of their registration
  • to do or not do a specified thing
  • to complete a specified course of training, and
  • to pay compensation for the reasonable costs of Consumer Affairs Victoria.

The value of a penalty unit is $181.74 for 2021-22. For more information, visit Indexation of fees and penalties – Department of Treasury and Finance.

Monetary penalties

Alternatively, a professional engineer may receive a monetary penalty as a result of a court action or an infringement notice issued by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

For information on infringements, view About infringement notices.

Section of the Professional Engineers Registration Act

Obligation

Maximum court penalty

Maximum infringement penalty

17(3) A professional engineer must, on request, produce certificate of registration to any of the following persons or bodies within 7 days – the BLA, Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, the VBA, an inspector and a client.
10 penalty units 2 penalty units
24 A professional engineer must notify the BLA of any change to registered information.
10 penalty units 2 penalty units
25 A professional engineer must return a certificate of registration to the BLA within 7 days of becoming aware of the suspension or cancellation of the registration or endorsement or of notifying the BLA that registration or endorsement is being surrendered.
10 penalty units N/A
67(1) A person must not provide professional engineering services in a prescribed area of engineering unless registered in that area or directly supervised by a registered practising professional engineer in that area.
500 penalty units
12 penalty units
68(1) A person must not represent that they are able to provide professional engineering services in a prescribed area of engineering unless registered to practise in that area.
500 penalty units
12 penalty units
68(2) A person must not represent that they are an endorsed building engineer unless their registration is endorsed.
500 penalty units
12 penalty units
68(3) A person must not represent that they are a non-practising professional engineer unless registered as such. 500 penalty units
12 penalty units
68(4) A person must not use the title ‘professional engineer’ unless registered.
500 penalty units
12 penalty units 
69(1) A person must not give information that they know or believe to be false or misleading in a material fact to the BLA, Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, VBA, inspector or assessment entity.
60 penalty units for a natural person
300 penalty units for a corporation
N/A
69(2) A person must not give an inspector a document that they know to be false or misleading in a material particular without advising the inspector, if practicable, and providing correct information.
60 penalty units for a natural person
300 penalty units for a corporation
N/A
80(3) A person must not, without reasonable excuse, refuse or fail to comply with a requirement of an inspector who enters or searches premises without consent or a warrant.
150 penalty units for a natural person
750 penalty units for a corporation
12 penalty units for a natural person 60 penalty units for a corporation
87(2) Where an inspector has issued an embargo notice, a person must not sell, lease, transfer, move (unless to protect and preserve), dispose of or otherwise deal with the thing or any part of the thing without the written consent of the inspector.
60 penalty units
N/A
92(2) The occupant or agent or employee of the occupier of premises must not fail to give information (orally or in writing), documents or reasonable assistance to an inspector entering premises.
60 penalty units
2 penalty units
94 A person must not, without reasonable excuse, refuse or fail to comply with a requirement of an inspector or the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
60 penalty units
2 penalty units

Disciplinary action under the Building Act 1993

A breach of the Act is also grounds for disciplinary action under the Building Act 1993 by VBA.

While Consumer Affairs Victoria is mainly concerned with the conduct of registered professional engineers who are not endorsed building engineers, the VBA is mainly concerned with the conduct of registered professional engineers who are also endorsed building engineers.

For details of the disciplinary actions may be undertaken and the penalties imposed by the VBA, visit Complaints, compliance and enforcement - VBA.