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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission - Department of Building & Housing submission on engineering competence

The Earthquake Royal Commission received a submission from the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) in January 2012 on the training of engineers and the organisation of the profession.

It has been made available in their technical library here.

The summary of recommendations in the report is:
  1. The Department considers that appropriate masters level qualifications should generally required for engineers undertaking complex specialist structural or geotechnical work, in combination with appropriate experience.
  2. The Department supports IPENZ’s position that assessment of overseas engineering qualifications should be undertaken by the registration authority.
  3. The Department recommends that set programmes of supervised training and graduate assessment are implemented to ensure the engineer meets the expert level of competence for independent practice in the design of large complex building structures prior to registration as a CPEng. The Department will work with IPENZ to be assured that appropriate oversight and training for new graduates is provided.
  4. The Department is strongly of the view that scopes of practice should be developed as the basis for assessing engineering competence.
  5. The CPEng register should display the practitioner’s discipline and practice area/specialist skills, or scopes of practices when they are developed, to assist the public, building owners and building consent authorities to identify the areas in which engineers are competent to practice.
  6. It is recommended that the registration authority consider some form of competence declaration at least every two years as part of the renewal of licence between the formal 5-6 year competence assessments.
  7. The Department intends to consider the issues related to the relative roles of the Council and IPENZ as part of its review of occupational regulation in the building and construction sector. In the interim, it recommends that IPENZ move to more clearly separate its role as a professional body from its role as a registration authority.
  8. The Department supports IPENZ’s view that in general CPEng should be required for engineers practicing in the building and construction sector, and that Building Consent Authorities should inform the registration authority when a practitioner consistently produces sub-standard consent applications which may reflect on competence.

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