Building engineers registration and requirements

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Commencement and transition

From 1 July 2024, new laws in WA will require building engineers to be registered by the Building Services Board (the Board) to carry out, or contract with consumers to carry out, building engineering work in the State.

Registration of building engineers will be implemented in two stages:

  1. Registration of structural and fire safety building engineers will commence from 1 July 2024.
  2. Registration of civil and mechanical building engineers will commence from 1 July 2025.

A two-year transition period applies for each stage, during which unregistered people may lawfully continue to do building engineering work.

Registration will become mandatory for structural and fire safety engineers on 1 July 2026, and for civil and mechanical engineers on 1 July 2027.

Any person performing building engineering work after these dates without the required registration, or outside the scope of their registration, will commit an offence and could be liable for a fine of up to $25,000.

Applications for registration cannot be accepted or considered by the Board until after the commencement dates specified.

However, it is important that you start considering what arrangements may be required to ensure you are registered by the end dates specified above (i.e. 1 July 2026 for structural and fire safety, and 1 July 2027 for civil and mechanical engineers.)

Further information about the registration process, including guides, applications forms, fees, eligibility details and other relevant materials will be published on this website in coming months.

Will you need to be registered?

  • Do you carry out professional or technical engineering work?
  • Do you work in one or more of the prescribed areas: civil, structural, mechanical or fire safety?
  • Do you carry out design, construction or production activities related to buildings or incidental structures, as defined in the Building Act 2011 and the NCC?
  • Do you work independently, not under supervision?​

If you answered ‘Yes’ to all of these questions, you will likely need to be registered as a building engineering practitioner in the relevant area and level.

  • Does your business provide building engineering services to people, including individuals, public agencies and companies?

If so, your business will also need to be registered as a building engineering contractor in the relevant level, and employ at least one registered building engineering practitioner to supervise and manage the work.

Professional Indemnity Insurance 

To be approved as a building engineering contractor, you must have an appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance (PII), as determined in accordance with the Building Services Board Policy for PII. 

There are two ways to meet the requirement for adequate PII:

  1. Assessment of appropriate PII
    An applicant can assess their own risk and determine an adequate level of PII coverage. The policy sets out the process to do this. When applying for contractor registration you will be asked to provide the PII policy certificate number.
  2. Membership of a Professional Standards Scheme 
    If you are a member of a professional standards scheme that requires PII as a condition of membership, providing evidence of this will meet the PII requirements to be registered.

BSB Policy – Professional indemnity insurance requirements Click here to download the document

Continuing Professional Development 

After 3 years, to renew your registration, you must have completed the required hours of continuing professional development (CPD), in accordance with the Registered Building Engineering Practitioner Approved CPD Requirements policy.

There are two ways to meet the CPD requirements:

  1. Keep a record of your CPD hours, showing you comply with the policy.
  2. Maintain membership of an approved CPD scheme provider.

The Building Commissioner has given in-principle approval to the following industry organisations as CPD scheme providers:

Class of registration

CPD scheme providers

Building engineering practitioner, structural – professional

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, structural – technologist

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, structural – associate

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, fire safety – professional

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, fire systems – technologist

  • Engineers Australia
  • Fire Protection Association, Australia
  • National Fire Industry Association

Building engineering practitioner, fire systems – associate

  • Engineers Australia
  • Fire Protection Association, Australia
  • National Fire Industry Association

 

Registered Building Engineering Practitioner Approved CPD Requirements Click here to download the document

Form 98 – Application for Approval of Building Engineers' Registration Assessment and CPD Schemes Click here to download the link

Building Commissioner's approval policy for engineering assessment entities Click here to download the link 

Building Engineer’s Code of Conduct 

All building engineering practitioners registered under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 are bound by the Code of Conduct. The Code sets minimum expectations for professional conduct, expertise and personal conduct. 

WA Building Engineer's Code of Conduct 2024 Click here to download the document

Fees

Application and registration fees for building engineering practitioners and contractors will be the same as the equivalent fees prescribed for level 1 or 2 building surveying practitioners and contractors.

Registration requirements

Building engineers will be registered as practitioners and contractors, similar to the arrangements that currently apply to builders, building surveyors and painters.

Building engineering practitioners

A practitioner is an individual (natural person), who meets the prescribed minimum qualification, experience and competence requirements to undertake building engineering work.

To be registered as a building engineering practitioner, you need to obtain a certificate from an approved assessment entity, certifying that your qualification, experience and competence meet the benchmark prescribed for one or more of the areas and levels of building engineering.

In-principle approval has been granted to the following assessment entities, for each class of building engineering practitioner registration:

Class of registration

Assessment entities

Building engineering practitioner, structural – professional

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, structural – technologist

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, structural – associate

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, fire safety – professional

  • Engineers Australia

Building engineering practitioner, fire systems – technologist

  • Engineers Australia
  • Fire Protection Association, Australia
  • National Fire Industry Association

Building engineering practitioner, fire systems – associate

  • Engineers Australia
  • Fire Protection Association, Australia
  • National Fire Industry Association

The Board will be unable to accept and consider applications for registration as a building engineering practitioner without the necessary certificate from an approved assessment entity. Further details on the assessment entities that have been approved will be published in coming months. 

Building engineering practitioners will be registered by the Board in area (civil, structural, mechanical, fire safety) and level (professional, technologist, associate).

You can use the information below to better understand the minimum qualification and experience requirements that apply to each area and level. The experience requirement is generally 5 years full-time, relevant building engineering experience in the 10 years before the date of the application for registration, with at least 4 years being post-graduate experience.

Practitioner registration areas

Civil

Level Qualification Experience
Professional Qualification in civil engineering accredited under the Washington Accord 5 years
Technologist Qualification in engineering technology, science or design in the civil discipline accredited under the Sydney Accord 5 years
Associate Qualification in civil design, construction or drafting accredited under the Dublin Accord 5 years

 

 

Structural

 

Level Qualification Experience
Professional Qualification in civil or structural engineering accredited under the Washington Accord 5 years
Technologist Qualification in engineering technology, science or design in the structural discipline accredited under the Sydney Accord 5 years
Associate Qualification in structural design or drafting accredited under the Dublin Accord 5 years

Mechanical

Level Qualification Experience
Professional Qualification in mechanical engineering accredited under the Washington Accord 5 years
Technologist Qualification in engineering technology, science or design in the mechanical discipline accredited under the Sydney Accord 5 years
Associate Qualification in mechanical design or drafting accredited under the Dublin Accord 5 years

Fire safety

Level Qualification Experience
Professional Qualification in a relevant field of engineering accredited under the Washington Accord, and a Graduate Diploma or Master degree in fire engineering if the foundation degree is not in Fire Engineering 5 years

Fire systems

Level Qualification Experience
Technologist Diploma in fire systems design with units relevant to one or more prescribed fire systems 5 years
Associate Diploma in fire systems design with units relevant to one or more prescribed fire systems 3 years

Building engineering contractors

A contractor is a business that meets the prescribed requirements for insurance and financial capacity to provide building engineering work to consumers. A registered building engineering contractor will be required to have at least one registered building engineering practitioner as a nominated supervisor.

Under the new laws, registered building engineering practitioners will not be entitled to directly contract with consumers for building engineering work. After the specified dates, this can only be done by registered contractors.

Building engineering contractors will be registered by level only (professional, technologist or associate)1. This means that a multi-disciplinary engineering business does not need to specify the areas of building engineering in which it intends to work, and will not need to apply for an amended registration if its areas of practice change, for example due to staff changes.

It will be advisable for a registered building engineering contractor to have:

  1. At least one nominated supervisor registered as a practitioner in each of the areas of engineering that the contractor provides building engineering work in; and
  2. Sufficient engineers registered as practitioners in each area of building engineering work to supervise the volume and geographical distribution of work being done.

However, every employee who carries out building engineering work need not be a registered practitioner.

Further information

Detailed information will be made available within coming months.

If you have any questions, please contact: engineers@dmirs.wa.gov.au or download a copy of the 'Building engineers registration' fact sheet.


1Except for fire systems technologists and associates, who are separate because they have a different prescribed scope of work than technologists and associates in other areas. This is because low-rise buildings do not have fire systems.

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