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. As a professional body, we play an important role in the system. We currently regulate and represent engineers, in the interest of engineering a better New Zealand. We are used to performing a dual role.
The engineering profession in New Zealand has been based around a model of statutory support for self-regulation for nearly 100 years. Under the Engineers Registration Act 1924, an Engineers Registration Board relied on competence assessment and disciplinary processes operated by the professional body (then known as IPENZ). The current CPEng Act establishes Engineering New Zealand as the Registration Authority, with oversight from the Chartered Professional Engineers Council (CPEC).
No professional regulation scheme for a profession can be completely independent of the profession being regulated. The technical complexity of the work means that professional competence can only be assessed by other members of that profession.
A model based on an independent Governance Board with support and administration from Engineering New Zealand would provide appropriate levels of independence, significantly streamline the transition and minimise implementation costs.