Taking a career break is a personal choice. Some people take them to raise children, while others use this time to work on their professional and personal development. Whatever your reason, we’ll make sure you stay connected and engaged with the engineering profession while you’re away.

If you take leave from work for at least 6 months, you’re on a career break. Career breaks include:

  • Parental leave
  • Caring for your own, or a family member’s health
  • Unemployed
  • Travelling
  • Elite sports or cultural pursuits
  • Full-time study
  • Voluntary work overseas
  • Other significant circumstances

If you’re retired, we have a separate policy in place for your membership. And if you’re a Student Member, career breaks don’t apply to you yet.

See our career break policy   |  373.1 KB

Keep your membership while your away

If you want to take a career break, you can easily keep your Engineering New Zealand membership and pay a discounted fee. You’ll continue to receive our membership magazine, email newsletters and be able to stay in touch with your branch.

While you’re on your break, you’ll still have access to our member area online. You’re not expected to do a particular amount of continuing professional development (CPD) while you’re not working.

Apply for a discount   |  560.6 KB

Put your registration on hold

If you’re a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) you can put your registration on hold. You’ll pay a reduced fee and keep your access to our online system. You can take a break at any time during your career, except the year you’re due for reassessment.

Put your registration on hold   |  560.6 KB

Going back to work

Staying engaged with the industry makes returning to work easier. Go to local branch events, keep in touch with people in your networks, and stay up to date by reading our magazine, email newsletters, and our news and insights online.

When you’re ready to go back to work, it’s a good idea to develop a return to work plan. This could include your plans for professional development, mentoring, or peer review.

The plan helps make sure your return to work is managed safely, professionally and in accordance with your ethical obligations. You can use your plan as part of your CPD record for your next assessment.

Registration reassessment

If you’re on a career break when your next CPEng assessment is due, you can rely on the work you did since your last assessment. Work undertaken during the last 6 years can be used as evidence of your current competence.

You just need to provide your full CPD records from this time, and a summary of any steps you’ve taken to maintain your professional engagement in your discipline. Your assessment panel will take account of the length of time you’ve been out of the workforce when recommending the period until your next assessment.