Engineers Australia’s Stage 1 and Stage 2 Professional Standards 6 Aug 2013

Engineers Australia is the largest membership organisation in Australia representing Professional Engineers from all areas of practice, including Petroleum Engineering.

Since 1993, Engineers Australia and the Society of Petroleum Engineers have worked together under an Agreement of Co-operation to align Australian engineering standards with SPE’s Competency Matrices for Reservoir Engineers, Drilling Engineers, Production/Completion Engineers and Formation Evaluation Engineers. This culminated in the acceptance of Petroleum Engineering as a General Area of Practice by the National Engineering Registration Board in 2011 and as an approved Area of Engineering by the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland in 2012.

With over 100,000 members, Engineers Australia plays a key role in establishing and maintaining engineering standards for the profession locally as well as the standing of Australian engineers in the international arena.

One way in which Engineers Australia achieves this is through implementation of Stage 1 and Stage 2 Competency Standards.

Stage 1 Competency Standards

All members of Engineers Australia at the level of Graduate or above are required to meet Stage 1 Competency Standards. These Standards can be achieved in the following ways:

  • Completion of an accredited Australia tertiary qualification.

Engineers Australia is responsible for accreditation of undergraduate qualifications at Australian universities. SPE provides representatives on the Assessment Panels for Petroleum Engineering undergraduate programs in Australia under the EA-SPE Agreement of Co-operation.

  • Completion of an overseas tertiary qualification accredited by a sister engineering organisation in a country that, like Engineers Australia, is a signatory to the Washington Accord for Professional Engineers.

Engineers Australia must meet strict accreditation guidelines to maintain Australia’s signatory status on the International Accords – Washington Accord for Professional Engineers; Sydney Accord for Engineering Technologists; and Dublin Accord for Engineering Associates.

  • For overseas engineering qualifications outside of those under covered by the Washington Accord, or for those without engineering degrees, a Stage 1 Competency Standards Assessment is required.

Engineers Australia evaluates both the underpinning knowledge attained in the qualification and the relevant engineering experience of an individual to ensure the equivalent level of an Australian engineering graduate.

Stage 2 Competency Standards

As we all know, attaining an engineering qualification is only just the beginning of the development of skills and experience required by an engineer to practice independently, ethically and competently. These additional skills and experience are gained on-the-job in the “professional formation” period, typically after 4-5 years from graduation.

Engineers Australia provides a framework for this career development as well as assessment of the competencies gained through the Stage 2 Competency Assessment. The main outcome attained through this assessment is the internationally recognised credential of Chartered member of Engineers Australia. Other outcomes include inclusion on the national register held by the National Engineer Registration Board, and for Professional Engineers, inclusion on the Register of Professional Engineers Queensland.

Information about Stage 1 and Stage 2 Competency Standards and the relevant assessment process can be found on the Engineers Australia website at

For any clarification on the relationship between the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Engineers Australia, or any other questions concerning SPE’s input into engineering professionalism, please contact one of the below SPE-EA Liaison Representatives in your SPE Section:


SPE-EA Liaison



Alberto Kamenar


Rick Nash

South Australia

Tom Gouldie


Dean Graves

Western Australia

Mark Jackson