With occupational regulation expected to be passed in early 2024, there'll be changes coming that affect all practicing engineers in Aotearoa.

Occupational regulation

In March, the Government confirmed it will proceed with proposals for regulating the engineering profession. All practicing engineers will need to be registered. Engineers working in fields that pose a higher risk to life, health, property, economic interests, public welfare or the environment will also need a licence.

Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng)

Although we expect new legislation for occupational regulation to be passed in early 2024, a fully-fledged new regulatory regime is still some years away. In the meantime, our CPEng Project will strengthen the CPEng assessment process to build trust and confidence in the CPEng system and Chartered Professional Engineers.

To date, CPEng Project work has delivered:

  • end-to-end documentation of the Registration Authority’s operations and areas for improvement
  • new operational procedure manuals for credential checks and knowledge assessments, and draft new manuals for assessments and reassessments
  • new referee check procedures
  • improved credential check procedures – all credentials will be validated through a third-party authentication provider.

The CPEng Project will now focus on updating guidance across the system, improving consistency and efficiency. In early 2023 the CPEng Project will focus on procedures for standardising and integrating Bodies of Knowledge and Skill into the assessment and reassessment procedures.

Since January 2022, governance of the Registration Authority has been separated from that of Engineering New Zealand, with the authority now reporting to the Chartered Professional Engineers Registration Board.

CPEng Zero

CPEng Zero is our immediate, short-term project to clear the backlog of CPEng reassessments. A key focus is structural re-assessments. Since June, we have been working closely with a group of Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand (SESOC) representatives to:

  • develop clearer guidance on submission requirements for structural candidates
  • provide a structural triage panel to evaluate applications in line with re-assessment requirements
  • establish a strengthened process to recruit and select additional expert structural assessors.

Recognised engineers (dam safety) project

In May, the Government introduced new regulations for medium- and high-potential impact dams. These regulations will come into force in May 2024 and dam owners will then have to meet the relevant compliance requirements.

Engineering New Zealand is now developing a framework for assessing and registering Recognised Engineers for dam safety. Recognised Engineers will be required to audit and certify a dam’s potential impact classifications (PIC) and dam safety assurance programmes (DSAP), with engineers registered as Recognised Engineers for either or both types. Further, they must also be Chartered Professional Engineers.

Engineering New Zealand is working together with the New Zealand Society on Large Dams (NZSOLD), and with support from MBIE, to develop the framework by which the required Recognised Engineer qualifications and competencies will be assessed. We expect the first Recognised Engineers will be registered and available to support dam owners to comply with new requirements from early 2023.

NZSOLD is also working to update the New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines 2015 as the recognised practice for dam safety in New Zealand.  The knowledge contained in the Dam Safety Guidelines will complement and support the framework developed in the Recognised Engineer (Dam Safety) Project.