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Why use a Chartered Professional Engineer?

What is a chartered professional engineer?

A chartered professional engineer (CPEng) is an engineer who has been registered by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ). IPENZ is the professional body appointed by the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002 (CPEng Act).

What is the CPEng Act?

According to the Chartered Professional Engineering Council: “This Act replaces the 1924 Engineers Registration Act and its purpose is to create a quality-mark, (CPEng), for competent professional engineers and place their names on a public register. The CPEng Act seeks to inform the purchaser of engineering services as to whom the profession sees as competent practitioners by allowing them use of the title Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).

What makes a chartered professional engineer different from a degree qualified engineer?

A CPEng is a degree qualified engineer who has been registered and recognised by IPENZ as an expert in their field of practice. Depending on which university they graduated from, not all degree qualified engineers are able to register as a CPEng.

Why should I use a CPEng for my engineering work?

  • The most obvious answer is that a CPEng is recognised by a professional body as an expert in their field.
  • A CPEng is also required to hold professional indemnity insurance for all work they sign off up to $1,000,000.
  • Also, IPENZ has an official complaints process which can be followed if you as a client of a CPEng has any problems, whether it be that you think they weren’t acting ethically or that they are not competent in the work they delivered, etc.
  • Many industries are required to get certain things signed off by a CPEng, for example, in load-lifting, lifting beam, frames, and spreader beam designs must be signed off by a CPEng.

How do I find out if an engineer is chartered?

All you need to do is ask, but if this is not possible or if there is any doubt, the CPEng register is publicly searchable on the IPENZ website.

Is a CPEng’s service more expensive than an unchartered consulting engineer’s service?

  • Not necessarily. An engineer who is not chartered may charge more for their time based on years of experience, but the question should then be asked, why are they not registered as a CPEng in the first place?
  • The reason why a CPEng’s service would be more expensive than an unchartered consulting engineer is because they are most probably better qualified to sign off on the work, and you get the peace of mind that you are covered if anything was to go wrong.
 team member
Dr. Louw Butler

PhD, MScEng, BEng
Contractor

e louw.butler@bvt.co.nz