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Enhancing Engineering Practices and Professional Development in the ANZ Region: Insights from a Collaborative Workshop
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Enhancing Engineering Practices and Professional Development in the ANZ Region: Insights from a Collaborative Workshop

23 May 23

In March of this year, CIBSE ANZ took advantage of a visit from the global leadership team to bring together building services consultants and kindred industry organisations over breakfast in Sydney. The objective of this gathering was twofold: to gather insights on the challenges and opportunities surrounding engineering registration, as well as to explore learning and development prospects for new engineers.

President Kevin Mitchell addressing workshop delegates

This article aims to present key findings from the workshop, which will serve as valuable inputs in refining the strategic direction of the ANZ region.

Promoting Consistency in Engineering Registration

Participants expressed a consistent concern regarding the lack of uniformity in engineering certification across different jurisdictions. It was widely agreed upon that industry organisations, including CIBSE, should actively advocate for greater consistency.


Participants also agreed that competence assessment should be objective, rigorous, and conducted by professionals within the field. Competence requirements need to be set by regulators in full consultation with professional bodies, so that they address the practical requirements of the discipline as well as meeting regulatory needs. The workshop highlighted the importance of establishing clear criteria and processes to ensure consistent and reliable assessments.

Acknowledging the variations in compliance requirements across different states and territories, the workshop suggested the development of tailored training sessions to cater to these specific regional needs. Such an approach would ensure that engineers are well-versed in the compliance regulations relevant to their respective jurisdictions.

Addressing Education Gaps and Promoting Whole of Career Development

Building on the jurisdictional regulatory training suggestion, the workshop drew broader attention to the need for bridging the gaps in formal education pertaining to building services in Australia. Efforts should be made to enhance the quality and accessibility of education and training programs in this domain. Additionally, considerations were given to striking a balance between training flexibility, including small modular online courses, and traditional face-to-face classroom settings, each offering distinct advantages and disadvantages.

The need for comprehensive career development support across all stages of an engineer's professional journey was emphasised. While it is vital to attract and nurture junior engineers, it was recognized that experienced professionals could benefit from guidance in areas such as engineering management, business development, and technical excellence. Creating stronger signals for career advancement and providing tailored support to engineers at various career stages will contribute to their overall growth and success.

CIBSE Training Initiatives


Finally, leveraging CIBSE's international footprint, there is an opportunity to facilitate the inclusion of international talent and provide a pathway for maintaining their engineering status while adhering to local regulations and legislation.

Collaboration for Strength and Clarity

Rather than engaging in competition, the workshop highlighted the importance of collaboration between industry bodies. While it is certainly not overtly competitive today, intentional collaboration not only strengthens the respective organisations, but also paves the way for clearer pathways for their members, both existing and potential. CIBSE should explore opportunities to work in synergy with experienced and well-resourced advocacy groups, enabling a more effective and influential voice in advocating for the alignment of national and international standards.

The workshop provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities surrounding engineering registration and learning and development for new engineers in the ANZ region. The findings underscore the importance of consistency, collaboration, career development, objective competence assessment, education enhancement, and tailored compliance training. By incorporating these insights into its strategy, CIBSE in partnership with industry organisations can work towards fostering a more robust and unified engineering profession in the ANZ region.

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