Consultation opens on improving regulation of engineers

Published: 12 May 2021

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has opened consultation on options to improve the regulation of the engineering profession.

"While the majority of engineering professionals in New Zealand are skilled and highly professional, there are gaps in the system for regulating the profession that need to be addressed,” says Amy Moorhead, MBIE’s Building Policy Manager.

“MBIE is consulting on options to improve the public’s confidence in the profession by ensuring engineers operating in New Zealand are competent, behave ethically, and are held to account.”

The proposal being consulted on is to establish:

  • A new registration scheme for all engineers, to ensure a base level of professionalism.
  • A new licensing regime, to regulate who can carry out or supervise engineering work in specified practice fields that have a high risk of harm to the public.

“We propose that anyone providing professional engineering services will need to be registered. Currently, there is a lack of clarity around who can call themselves an engineer, and this makes it difficult for the consumers to know whether an engineer is qualified to practice.

“Requiring engineers to be registered will lift standards of professionalism, and ensure there’s an appropriate mechanism for addressing substandard performance. Engineers would be subject to a code of conduct, and new continued professional development obligations would keep engineers’ skills up-to-date.

“Meanwhile, the proposed licensing requirements will tighten the current lack of restrictions on engineers working in specialised fields.

“The proposal would see a new regulator established to oversee the registration and licensing process, and investigate complaints. This will improve the regulatory oversight of New Zealand’s engineers, setting professional standards higher and ensuring consumers have faith in engineering work.

“Feedback on the proposals will help us ensure they are workable, add value, and minimise costs to the profession.”

Submissions close Friday, 25 June 2021.

Read the discussion document on the MBIE consultation page.

MBIE media contact