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Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

(OP)
Not really a code issue but what do you think of the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland? Since I have to pay for NPER registration and other states manage quite well without such a board I can't see a good reason for maintaining it and paying an extra lot of fees. Maybe before NPER it served a useful purpose but that time has passed. I've never had contact with them other than to pay the registration fees but some others seem to have a much more negative view; viz. http://www.cpeng.info/bpeq/

Let us have your opinion.

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

There are many sides to this argument, at the moment I am a fence sitter.

The BPEQ has been a driver for raising the professional standards in the cold formed steel shed area.  Mind you the ASI has also been a heavy driver as well and would it have happened without the BPEQ, is anyone guess. Mind you when the engineers (three of whom I know of that have been central to the lowering of standards) were in front of the committee, the committee lacked teeth and the engineers got off so lightly it wasn't funny. Now you have the IEAust, they are yet to provide any form of involvement (that I know of ) in the raising of the industry standards. This issue is a blight on our profession, and I would have expected more action from the governing body, but they don't even have a press release on the issue . Read November 2007, with regards to shed design, http://www.bpeq.qld.gov.au/AM/Template.cfm?Section=News1.

The BPEQ has also enacted legislation that restricts a professional engineer from over seeing more than 4-5 peoples work, I have heard of engineer companies having 30-40 people in their section with only two have the ability to sign off on projects, this to me would seem strange.

So I think the BPEQ while it isn't helping engineers directly like the IEAust with the government ect. It is lifting professional standards and trying to stop cowboys from getting out of hand.
 

Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you realize that them like it

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

In my opinion, it is the IEAust that needs the kick.  Only Queensland has a state board, and surely we need it.  Without a state board, the cowboys would have free rein.  Don't look for the IEAust to regulate the profession.  They are only interested in selling exorbitantly priced training.

The web site you posted seems to be a new thing, which just last week found its way into my inbox.  Who is behind it?  Surely, such inflammatory opinion deserves attribution.  Otherwise, I would disregard it.  

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

agreed attribution is required. I sent an email to he site asking for more information. I will let you know if anything comes of it.  

Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you realize that them like it

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

(OP)
While keeping an open mind on other issues I agree with hokie66 that IEAust appears to be interested in selling exorbitantly priced training, but wasn't that why they introduced the continuing education rules?

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

IEAust CPD rules are far less stringent than US rules (that require a certified course to qualify).

Personally I think that book reading is usually more useful but I agree that CPD is essental.

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

I attended the seminar by the chair Elizabeth Taylor and she noted that someone was fined $75,000 for using the title after their rego expired.  I had a look through the QCAT published decisions, but couldn't find this particular case.  

The code of practice as legislated by the Act provide a good overview.  It is located here:
http://www.bpeq.qld.gov.au/Content/NavigationMenu/CodesandGuides/CodeofPractice/7029.009_CODE_OF_PRACTICE_V9_15_Jan_08_FINAL_IMPLEMENTED_FROM_1_JULY_2008.pdf

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

wow $75k, that seems a little steep for someone who was at least qualified, as opposed to someone who used it w/o qualification..

I agree the courses have ridiculous prices, especially the ASME ones for pressure equipment and the like. I do not have my CPEng but I am working towards it atm and I can't build up my hours when they charge prices like that.

Some states in the US may be stricter but overall I think we have a much better, nationally accredited, system here in Australia. Well recognised around the world. The PDP is ok but I think it is the requirement for people to adhere to their responsibilities, before things go wrong, that needs improving. Even for manufacturing companies that call themselves an engineering company. They still have an obligation.

Overall I think the quality of work is better than most countries. It will be interesting to see if their new 'make it so' campaign works to increase the professionalism and awareness of engineering..

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

(OP)
EngAddict, Don't hold your breath about the "make it so" campaign. I've been around long enough to see several of these campaigns and they pass into obscurity.

If we really need BPEQ why don't other states have them?  

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

RPEQ is a requirement for Queensland.  The other states have various forms of requirements for example NSW requires electrical engineers to have CPEng.  

Also during the seminar, Elizabeth noted that they were in dicussions with the other states and territories to try to roll out a nation wide system.  

I stumbled across the 'make it so' site (did the survey for a chance to win an ipod) and on first glace I was struggling to see what their main objective was.  Anyway, I'll have another look sometime.  

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

At the risk of sounding ignorant, but given that the assessment for RPEQ is now able to be handled by IEAust, and that the IEAust registration (i.e. CPEng and registration on the NERB) can be used as an equivalent to an RPEQ assessment, why would the BPEQ be in discussion with the other states and territories regarding a national system?

That said, I've seen different requirements in different places regarding such things. As an example, NT requires practitioners in certain disciplines to be registered (notably electrical isn't one of them) in order to provide certification of design works.

I would suspect that if IEAust was more enthusiastic about chasing errant members then QLD wouldn't have needed to have gone down such a path, but its rather hard to say.

I must admit I'm not keen to have to shell out two sets of fees for registration, and I'm certainly not keen on the liability contraints imposed by the BPEQ, but at the same time I can see the requirement for 'keeping the cowboys out' as it were.

I do recall, however, being informed by an employer (QLD based) that in QLD, if an event happened (obscure failure mode, one in a lifetime occurence that adversely affected a design) then it should have been foreseen by the engineer, and that this was then a case for negligence. I was also informed that this consideration didn't occur anywhere else in Australia, though they were considering it. Such things are concerning given the presence of a state board that prosecutes registered engineers.  

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

You don't have to be on the NPER to practice in Queensland, but you do have to be a RPEQ.

I don't think the Board "prosecutes" engineers.  It has disciplinary powers, but prosecutions in the courts would be a matter for the police or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

(OP)
Hokie66, I think you are right that the BPEQ does not launch criminal prosecutions however according to . http://www.cpeng.info/bpeq/ ...

Recent revisions to the PE Act 2002 of 01/07/08

    * The value of a penalty unit has increased from $75 per unit to $100 per unit.
    * Punitive values of fines have been increased for "professional misconduct" from 40 penalty units to 200 penalty units. This amounts to a 700% increase to the fines which can be imposed
    * Offences are now 1000 penalty units - an increase of 33%

On top of this, legal costs for Tribunal hearings are unlimited. The PE act does not specifically allow the imposition of court costs, nevertheless they are routinely levied against the engineer by the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal.


This might not be a criminal or civil "prosecution" but the effect can be similar.

Now I have never had any dealings with BPEQ apart from paying my fees each year so I don't have any particular axe to grind. Unfortunately I missed the lecture by Elizabeth Taylor – President. At least my original post has sparked some discussion
 

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

sdz,
You can view the presentation by Elizabeth Taylor on the Engineers Australia Queensland website.  Many of the lectures are streamed there.

I personally wouldn't give much credence to the blog you referenced.  Anonymous, faceless complainers can say anything on the web.  My experience with the BPEQ is that if you have not done the wrong thing, you have nothing to worry about.

RE: Qld Board of Professional Engineers, Passed use by date?

(OP)
Thanks hokie, I'll try that.

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