Despite HVIA’s opposition, the Victorian Engineers Registration Scheme will come into effect on December 1 – and those covered by the Act face fines of up to $96,000 if they fail to register
The Victorian Engineers Registration Scheme will apply to mechanical engineers from December 1, 2024. Engineers providing mechanical engineering services must be registered by that date or face fines of up to $96,000 if they continue to provide services after that date.
Persons needing to register can do so via this link: mechanical engineers registration.
The legislation is intended to apply to professional engineers who are not working under direct supervision, or those following prescriptive standards.
While HVIA believes the legislation is deeply flawed, it urges members to closely examine the guidance material provided by the Department of Consumer Affairs and seek legal advice if necessary to avoid breaches.
The Department has produced guidance material on a range of topics related to: the definition of professional engineering services; the application of the Act within Victoria and outside Victoria (including defining when services are intended for Victoria); the definition of direct supervision; and the definition of working under a prescriptive standard.
HVIA members had previously expressed their frustration over the lack of clarity on the guidance material provided by the Department and approached HVIA for assistance. As a result, HVIA organised a meeting with several staff from the business registration area of the Consumer Affairs Victoria.
“When HVIA pressed Consumer Affairs to provide clarification on real-world issues such as the definition of prescriptive standards, the response was that Consumer Affairs’ officers were not able to provide legal advice and the application of the law to a particular engineers’ work would depend on a legal determination based on the scope of work undertaken,” HVIA Transport Policy and Legislation Adviser Greg Forbes says.
“As a result, Consumer Affairs declined to provide any further clarification of scope beyond the already published guidance materials and recommended engineers potentially covered by the legislation should seek their own legal advice.
“The only useful clarification we received was that for the purposes of determining the scope of the extraterritoriality provisions, a registered motor vehicle would be considered a ‘generic product’, and engineering work related to that product is not within the scope of the legislation.”
HVIA has previously argued that the heavy vehicle industry is already thoroughly regulated and that this legislation is simply another costly bureaucratic impost on the industry that adds no value.
“The lack of clarity in the guidance material illustrates this point,” Forbes adds.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has indicated the Act will be subject to a post-implementation review. HVIA will make a submission to that review, which will request that the heavy vehicle industry be excluded from the scope of the Act.
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