Who needs to be registered?

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You must be registered as a Professional Engineer to provide:

What are professional engineering services?

Under the new laws, a professional engineering service is an engineering service that requires, or is based on, the application of engineering principles and data to:

  • a design relating to engineering, or
  • a construction, production, operation or maintenance activity relating to engineering.

Professional engineering services are a specialist subset of engineering services. They are distinguished from other engineering services by a high degree of engineering judgement, knowledge and skill. Many, but not all, engineering services are professional engineering services.

See how the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 (the Act) defines professional engineering services.

The Guidelines on providing professional engineering services explain the elements of a professional engineering service, and how to distinguish professional engineering services from other engineering services.

They will help you determine:

  • whether you are providing professional engineering services, and
  • when you must be registered.

Areas of engineering

The five prescribed areas of engineering under the Act are:

  • fire safety engineering
  • civil engineering
  • structural engineering
  • electrical engineering, and
  • mechanical engineering.

The Guidelines on areas of engineering provide:

  • a description of each of the five prescribed areas of engineering
  • a guide to the main areas of focus for each area, and
  • examples of focus areas that cross over two or more areas of engineering.

Not all areas of engineering are prescribed under the Act. For example, chemical or process engineering and software engineering are not currently prescribed under the Act so you are not required to be registered to provide professional engineering services in these areas.

When do I need to be registered by?

Mandatory registration will be phased-in over the next two-and-a-half years across the five areas of engineering.

Area of engineering Date registration becomes mandatory 

Fire safety engineer

1 December 2021

Civil engineer

1 October 2022

Structural engineer

1 October 2022

Electrical engineer

1 June 2023

Mechanical engineer

1 December 2023

You should lodge your application for registration with the BLA at least three months before the date when registration will become mandatory for your area of engineering.

When are professional engineering services provided ‘in or for Victoria’?

You must be registered to provide professional engineering services both in Victoria and outside Victoria if the services are intended for Victoria.

‘In Victoria’

A professional engineering service is provided ‘in Victoria’ if you provide the service from a location in Victoria.

You must be registered if you are located in Victoria and provide a professional engineering service. It does not matter whether you provide the service for a project in Victoria or in another state, territory or country.

‘For Victoria’

You must also be registered if you are located outside Victoria and provide a professional engineering service for Victoria. A professional engineering service is provided ‘for Victoria’ if it is:

  • for a project or purpose in Victoria, or
  • specifically relates to or is connected to Victoria in some way.

You do not need to register if you are located outside Victoria and provide professional engineering services that are not for Victoria. For example, you provide a service for a generic product, that is a product that has no specific connection to Victoria and can be used anywhere, such as a television or car.

For more information, view Guidelines on the extraterritorial application of the Act.

Exemptions from registration

You are exempt from being registered if you provide professional engineering services:

  • under the direct supervision of a registered professional engineer, or
  • only in accordance with a prescriptive standard.

Direct supervision means that the registered professional engineer:

  • has direct contact with the person they are supervising
  • directs that person to carry out professional engineering services, and
  • oversees and evaluates their carrying out of those services.

For more information, view the Guidelines on direct supervision.

A prescriptive standard is a procedural document that provides a well-described and comprehensive approach and criteria to complete an engineering service. It usually applies to a repetitive engineering activity that is:

  • routine
  • involves little or no choice or judgement
  • has manageable risk
  • has minimal scope for misinterpretation, and
  • requires no scientifically-based calculations.

For more information, view the Practice Note on what is a prescriptive standard.

Unregistered trading

It is an offence under the Act to provide professional engineering services without being registered. Significant penalties apply for unregistered trading.