Local Registration & Licenses

However whilst we can design structures for anywhere in Australia, some localities require local registration or certification:  for example there is Northern Territory certified, registered professional engineers in Queensland (RPEQ), and Victorian registered building practitioner (engineer). We do not have such registrations/certifications and have no intention of getting such. Our focus is design and documentation, whilst certification and registration is primarily a political issue more concerned with who gets the work, than who is actually competent to do the work.

A design accepted in one locality will be rejected in another, purely because of politics, not because of the quality of the design. For example a standard shed design produced by a self-certifying RPEQ in Queensland will be rejected in South Australia because self-certification of work is not acceptable, whilst going the other way, a design produced in South Australia and independently reviewed will be rejected in Queensland because the designer and reviewer are not RPEQ’s. Unless there is some silly undemocratic reason for design and documentation to be produced by someone with the local license, the primary requirement is to get a proposal documented and assessed, then get the documentation reviewed and independently certified.

Therefore generally recommend manufacturers bypass the councils review and check,  and instead find two consultants: one to carry out the design and documentation and the other to conduct an independent review. Additional consultants can then be employed as necessary to meet local regulatory requirements. By adopting this approach, approval by council can be faster, as they can often accept appropriate certification on good faith, without further review.

More importantly council review is dependent on the competence and experience of the people they employ to conduct engineering review. In South Australia many of the local councils send calculations out to be reviewed by private consultants (CP.Eng), and they have regular on going contracts with such consultants. The problem with that approach is that the reviewer may lack adequate competence in the area being reviewed. For example do not want cold-formed structure reviewed by someone who has expertise in concrete only, and likewise do not want concrete reviewed by someone with expertise in cold-formed steel only. Nor do you want structures reviewed by consultants whose primary expertise is stormwater drainage. It is this kind of nonsense which results in the perceived inconsistency in approvals between different councils. Basically approval is regularly granted by a dominant majority which lack adequate competence, until eventually seek approval from the minority which have the necessary competence, and as a consequence further information is requested. By employing two independent consultants with required expertise, a manufacturer can reduce the probability of deficiencies in the original assessment, and reduce the occurrence of future unexpected delays when seeking council approval.