16 Apr 2019
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has released a proposal outlining a new regulatory system for engineers. This proposal replaces CPEng with a certification of general engineering competence and licensing for safety-critical engineering work. This system would be independently governed and accountable to the Minister.
Have your say
Engineering New Zealand wants to know what you think about MBIE’s proposal. We’ve set out our initial thoughts below – and we need your feedback to help refine our submission to MBIE.
This proposed new system will have wide-ranging effects, potentially for all engineers. It’s really important to have your say. We’d like to hear from you as soon as possible, so that we can start building our submission, but definitely by Friday 24 May. The deadline to get submissions to MBIE is Sunday 16 June.
- Start out by reading MBIE's proposal
- Complete our submission form
- Submit your feedback online by 24 May
Attend an information session
Branches are a key way of making sure members know about proposals and helping gather their feedback. We’re working with Chairs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to run discussion events in early May, and we’re keen for other branches to run similar sessions too.
Why do we need a new system?
Six years ago, the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission recommended changes to the way engineers are regulated. Everyone agrees that we need a regulatory system that keeps New Zealanders safe, which means engineers working within their competence and being held to account when necessary.
Engineering New Zealand has provided feedback as MBIE has developed this proposal. While we support much of the proposal, we are concerned about the addition of a new, general certification.
What's Engineering New Zealand's view?
We believe the ideal regulatory model is a mix of government oversight and professional self-regulation.
We support the introduction of a new licensing regime for safety-critical engineering work, underpinned by strong self-regulation by the professional body, Engineering New Zealand.
We support regulation of safety-critical work through licensing
Regulating safety-critical work through a licensing scheme would better protect the public and strengthen trust in the profession.
We think it’s important that the licensing system can extend into all areas of safety-critical engineering work.
We don’t support regulation of general competence through certification
As well as licensing, MBIE has proposed a voluntary statutory certification scheme to provide assurance of an engineer’s professionalism and general competence, and act as a prerequisite for licensing.
We believe government regulation should be restricted to areas of public safety. General competence and professionalism are more effectively regulated by the profession.
We support stronger accountability mechanism
We support a robust, fair, impartial, transparent and proportional complaints and disciplinary process for the licensing regime, that more effectively manages risk to the public.
We support strong governance and leadership of the licensing regime
We agree with Government that the licensing regime should be independently governed, in the same way many other professional regulatory schemes are.
We believe that the skill and experience of Engineering New Zealand, as the current administrator of the Chartered Professional Engineers regime, should be used to lead and operate the licensing regime.
What would MBIE's proposal mean for CPEng?
Under MBIE’s proposal, CPEng would be repealed. But this wouldn’t happen straight away: any transition to the new regime would take time, potentially years. So if you are currently working towards CPEng or about to be reassessed, keep going.
If you are CPEng now, you can also become a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand now. This general, internationally benchmarked quality mark will not change.