The Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ) is the state regulator responsible for administering the Professional Engineers Act 2002 and manages registration of RPEQ as well as complaints and investigations.
- BPEQ has received a number of complaints/notifications in relation to retaining walls
- The allegations include:
- Inadequate engineering design (engineering issue)
- Construction using non-compliant materials (construction issue)
- In the context of ‘underspec’ing’ – inaccurate Form 16 inspection certificates (potential engineering issue)
- Fraudulent Form 16 certificates (i.e. unauthorised use of RPEQ name, title on signature on a Form 16 in which the RPEQ says they have had no professional involvement) – potential QPS issue and potential engineering issue
- The complaints are now subject to compliance a investigation by BPEQ and a fraud investigation by QPS.
Role of RPEQs under Building Act 1975 & Building Regulation 2006
Building Act 1975 and Building Regulation 2006 establishes a scheme for certification by building certifiers BPEQ focus is on the adequacy and quality of professional engineering services undertaken by RPEQ
Form 16 inspection certificate may or may not constitute a professional engineering service depending on activity
- QBCC is regulator for building certifiers
- Generally this will involve engineering design and certification by Form 15;
- In the context of building certification functions, the role of the RPEQ is generally that of a ‘competent person’ in informing and assisting the building certifier in performance of their function
- RPEQs are responsible for ensuring professional engineering services are carried out to a certain standard in a professional and competent manner and within their area of engineering
- RPEQ must adhere to the Code of Practice and apply knowledge, skill, judgment and care to the task that are of a standard expected by the public and peers.
- In considering the appropriate standard, RPEQ should have regard to industry and performance standards, e.g. Professional Performance, Innovation and Risk (PPIR) Protocol.
In the context of retaining walls, relevant standards include but are not limited to:
- National Construction Code
- AS1170 Part 0 – Part 4
- AS2159 Piling – Design and Installation
- AS3600 Concrete Structures.
- AS3700 Masonry Structures.
- AS4678 Earth Retaining Structures
Engagement and communication with RPEQs
- Regular engagement and communication with RPEQs and other contractors will lessen the chance of something going wrong with a project or at a build site.
- RPEQs have demonstrated they are qualified, competent and experienced professionals able to carry out professional engineering services to a certain standard.
- BPEQ ensures the qualification, competency and experience of RPEQs through its requirement for RPEQs to complete 150 hours of continuing professional development over three years.
- BPEQ is committed to ensuring compliance with the PE Act and maintaining high standards of engineering practice in Queensland.