Society for Building Services Engineers

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Who can sign a Form 15 in QLD for Air-conditioning and Ventilation Design?

  • 1.  Who can sign a Form 15 in QLD for Air-conditioning and Ventilation Design?

    Posted 11 days ago

    Hello everyone,

    I'm reaching out to share and seek your thoughts on an experience I've encountered here in Cairns, Queensland, that has raised some significant concerns for me regarding the practice and integrity of our engineering profession, especially in the building and construction sector.

    In several instances, I've observed building certifiers accepting Form 15 compliance certificates for the air-conditioning and ventilation design of sufficiently complex projects from individuals holding trade licences OR from Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ). This practice seems to acknowledge trade licence holders as being on par with RPEQs for the delivery of what I consider professional engineering services.

    One of my main concerns revolves around the possibility that commercial interests could sway the solutions offered by trade licence holders, especially when they're responsible for providing compliance certification. This situation starkly differs from that of registered engineers, who adhere to a strict code of ethics. This code demands that the needs of the community take precedence over commercial benefits. Crucially, registered engineers do not gain commercially from the solutions they provide, ensuring their recommendations are made with impartiality and integrity. This distinction is vital, as it goes to the heart of our profession's integrity and the public's trust in us. Engineers are entrusted to always put safety, sustainability, and community welfare first, driven by a stringent ethical framework. The moment commercial interests start to dim these guiding principles, the potential threat to public safety and the quality of our engineering solutions escalates significantly.

    Such practices, in my opinion, necessitate urgent scrutiny and discussion among our community. It's imperative that we address these issues to safeguard the integrity of engineering practices and ensure the prioritisation of public safety and welfare.

    I am keen to hear your views on this matter. Have you encountered similar experiences in your area? How do you think we, as a community of professionals, should respond to ensure that engineering standards are not only upheld but also clearly defined and distinguished from trade qualifications?

    Your insights and experiences would be invaluable in fostering a deeper understanding of this issue and in identifying possible steps we can take collectively to advocate for the necessary changes in regulation and practice.

    Sonia Holzheimer
    SEQUAL Mechanical Consultants