What is pipeline engineer registration?

Pipeline engineer registration is formal recognition by the National Engineering Registration Board. It means a person has satisfied a group of peers that the engineer has achieved a level of standing both technically and professionally to be recognised as a pipeline engineer. That recognition is based on assessment using the APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency Standards.

What body registers pipeline engineers in Australia?

In Australia, pipeline engineering registration is available via the National Engineering Register (NER). The NER is operated by Engineers Australia. Find out more.

What is the process for becoming a registered pipeline engineer?

If you are already a hartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), you can apply via the National Engineering Register (NER) or become registered in the additional area of practice. If you are not yet Chartered, you can apply via the National Engineering Register (NER) to become Chartered in Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering. You will finsd a guideline on the NER which explains what criteria is required. You will also nee to complete APGA Pipeline Engineering Competency Portfolio, available in the reources here, and forward them to the NER as instructed in the online application. Your application will be assessed by the Assessment Panel which is a body of experienced engineers who are all registered as pipeline engineers. An interview may be required but it is not mandatory.

What qualifications and/or experience do I need to become a registered pipeline engineer?

To become a registered Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer, you must apply for registration on the National Engineers Register (NER) in the Area of Practice of Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering. Registration as a pipeline engineer is requires significant knowledge and experience which generally requires at least as many years of practice as it takess to become Chartered. Find out more about how to become a Chartered Professional Engineer on the Engineers Australia website. 

Registered Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineers will have both a breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and expertise. Breadth of understanding is demonstrated by achieving competency in a set of 25 core competency standards. Depth of understanding is demonstrated by attaining competency in a substantial set of elective or specialist competency standards. The core competency standards and the numbers required for each group are listed in the APGA Pipeline Engineering Competency Portfolio. Typically, at least 10 elective competency standards would be required to demonstrate depth of knowledge, experience and expertise. While these do not have to be from a single competency area, they should amount to a coherent, related set of competencies that would enable a pipeline engineer to assume a substantive and responsible role in an organisation. You can search all of the competency standards to help design your career path or make an application.

What competency standards do I need to become a registered pipeline engineer? Is there a minimum? Are there mandatory competencies?

There is a minimum number of core competency standards that must be achieved to apply for assessment as a registered Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer and a requirement to demonstrate a substantial set of elective or specialist competencies: typically at least 10. While these do not have to be from a single competency area, they should amount to a coherent, related set of competencies that would enable a pipleine engineer to assume a substantive and responsible role in an organisation. There are seven mandatory competencies: GE001 Engineering degree in a relevant discipline; GE002 Pipeline engineering fundamentals; GE012 Technical governance; IB001 Industry participants and structure; IB002 Introduction to AS 2885; IB003 Related industries; and IB004 Legal frameworks and requirements for pipeline engineers. In addition, an applicant must have competency in six of the nine bridging competencies: GE003 – GE011, and in 12 of the remaining core competency standards. The core competency standards and the numbers required for each group are listed in the APGA Pipeline Engineer Portfolio.

How can I demonstrate that I meet the competency standards?

Demonstrating that you meet the competency standards requires the collection of evidence over a period of time that stretches across a number of years. Demonstrating competency will require verification by appropriately qualified people, including senior engineers who have worked with you and your current or previous supervisors. The easiest way to ensure you have the required evidence is to use the APGA Pipeline Engineer Portfolio and add in the evidence and verifications contemporaneously.

How can APGA help me to understand whether I have the required material and evidence to demonstrate competency for registration?

Information on the required competency standards is available in the APGA Pipeline Engineer Portfolio. You can do a rough assessment of whether you have the knowledge and experience required to meet each standard by referring to the relevant standard in each case. You can collect the evidence and verification of the knowledge and experience in your APGA Pipeline Engineer Portfolio Further information on registration is available on the National Engineering Register website which also contains other useful information.

How long will it take me to achieve the competencies required for registration as a pipeline engineer?

There is no set period for achieving the competencies required for registration as this depends on an individual’s work experience and opportunities. It may be possible to achieve the necessary competencies in five to ten years from your first job as a pipeline engineer.

My experience is mostly in offshore pipelines. Can I still become a registered pipeline engineer?

Yes. There are two classifications available: onshore and offshore. The offshore classification is being established and should be available in the first quarter of 2019.

How long does registration take after I have submitted my application?

It varies. Further information will be published on this when it is available.

Does it cost anything to register?

Yes. There is an application fee charged to meet the administrative costs of managing the application and an annual fee. These are determined by the National Engineering Register.

Why should I register?

Registration as a pipeline engineer means you will be recognised inside and outside the industry as having standing as a reliable, responsible and professional pipeline engineer. Registration enables government, industry and individual consumers to engage the appropriate practitioner or team to perform the required engineering services and to have confidence that engineers who are registered have committed to a code of ethics and to continuing professional development. Public safety is significantly enhanced when only competent practitioners are registered and provide engineering services in critical areas.

For engineers who practice in Queensland there is an additional benefit as the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ) recognises pipeline engineering as an area of practice for Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ) and this recognises registration of pipeline engineers by the NER.

How long does registration last? Does it lapse?

Registration lasts as long as you want it to. To maintain registration, an annual fee is payable. As is the case for Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng), a commitment to continuing professional development is also a requirement of registration.

Does registration as a pipeline engineer mean I don’t have to become a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) or be registered on the National Professional Engineers Register?

No. Either becoming a CPEng with Engineers Australia or cbecoming Chartered in the area of practice of Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering is required.

Are there different levels of registration – for example, if I acquire more competencies after I initially register, will that higher level of achievement be recognised in registration?

No. There is just one registration level.

What will happen if I don’t register?

You can still carry out your work as a pipeline engineer as registration is not an essential requirement. However, many regulatory authorities are showing an increasing interest in requiring registration of pipeline engineers.

When a person becomes registered as a Pipeline Engineer, does their name go on a list that is publicly available?

Yes. The National Engineering Register publishes the names and areas of practice of the engineers on its register.

Isn’t there a lot of overlap between the Engineers Australia competencies and the APGA Competency Standards for Pipeline Engineers?

There is potentially a small overlap. The Engineers Australia competencies are generally broad and related to professional standing and capability. The APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System is related to technical capability in pipeline engineering.

What happens if the standards change and become different to those that I became registered under?

Registration does not change. It is a requirement of being a professional engineer to ensure you keep up with developments in your profession.