Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand

Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand

The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) is a not-for-profit professional body representing engineers. It has over 10,000 members (2006) who are either engineers or have a special interest in engineering. Members are usually practising engineers in New Zealand.

IPENZ aims to promote the interests of the engineering profession via support services to their members that help them with career development, competence and ethical practice and community recognition of engineering. Most members pay annual fees, often covered by their employer. As a member they must abide by the IPENZ Code of Ethics that aims to ensure ethical engineering practice. IPENZ also promotes public debate on engineering issues and assists with national engineering awards.

Organisation Structure

IPENZ is governed by an elected Board, chaired by the President and including 11 other members. This Board sets strategy and employs the Chief Executive, who manages the expenditure of the budget to provide services to members and to fund activities defined by its strategy. Its National Office is based in Wellington, and there are regional branches to which members belong. Members can also be part of a Technical Group or Special Interest Group that focuses on a niche area of engineering.


The first professional engineering body in New Zealand, the Institute of Local Government Engineers of New Zealand, was formed in 1912. The following year the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers was formed. It was thought to be more representative of the engineering profession, and the two bodies merged in 1914.

With the growth of the Society and an increasing number of non-civil engineers, a name change to The New Zealand Institution of Engineers was necessary in 1937. In 1959 the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) was created as a consultancy division, and it became a separate entity in 1970. The name IPENZ was adopted in 1982 to reflect the importance of the 'professional' engineering ethos in the organisation.

International Recognition

New Zealand is a signatory to both the Washington Accord and Sydney Accord, which recognise four- and three-year engineering degrees respectively between the signatories. Anyone from a signatory country can have their relevant qualification recognised when practicing engineering in another's country. Any signatory citizen with a relevant qualification can join IPENZ, and you do not have to be an IPENZ member to practice engineering in New Zealand.

IPENZ Membership Classes

The IPENZ Membership Register has a range of membership classes that aim to signify an engineer's level of competency. After joining a class these members are not required to re-demonstrate current competence: the system relies on their ethical obligation to not practice beyond their competence.

Professional Member (uses post-nominal MIPENZ)

Members have typically done a four-year engineering degree, and then developed their skills in mentored employment for four or five years, after which they have undergone a formal competence assessment to reach the class of Professional Member. IPENZ states that "users of engineering services can expect a Professional Member to be capable of handling most design and consultancy tasks, including regulatory sign off within their area of expertise. They should be able to synthesise innovative engineering solutions from first principles if necessary."

Fellow (uses post-nominal FIPENZ), Distinguished Fellow (Dist FIPENZ)

These membership registers include Professional Members that IPENZ recognises as having made a substantive contribution to the development of the engineering profession, its practices or IPENZ itself. IPENZ states that "Fellows therefore represent the most experienced part of the Membership; so users of engineering services can expect the same fully professional service that they obtain from Members, but with the knowledge that a Fellow is sometimes more experienced and/or knowledgeable than a Professional Member."

Honorary Fellow (Hon FIPENZ)

Honorary Fellows are often people with backgrounds outside engineering that IPENZ has recognised for worthwhile contributions that impact on professional engineering, or IPENZ itself. Honorary Fellows have not passed an assessment by their peers of engineering practice competence: they are usually respected people in the community whose activities impact on professional engineering. They are generally not engineering practitioners.

Technical Member (TIPENZ)

A Technical Member is a person that IPENZ assesses as having met a sufficient standard of engineering practice to work independently in a narrower range of engineering situations than a Professional Member. They normally hold a three-year degree and will have developed their skills over four or five years' mentored work experience. They are experienced engineering practitioners, but normally in applying well-developed practice techniques rather than in working from first principles.

Associate Member (AIPENZ)

An Associate Member is a person that IPENZ assesses to be a competent engineering practitioner, on the basis of their strongly developed technical knowledge and practical experience. Associate Members can perform many standard engineering functions themselves, but often their work involves filling out the detail of engineering work created by Professional Members. Most Associate Members are not in practice on their own account; they are often employees and are normally not allowed to sign regulatory documents. IPENZ states that "users of engineering services can expect many basic engineering activities to be undertaken reliably by Associate Members."

Graduate, Technologist Graduate and Associate Graduate (GIPENZ)

Graduate members are holders of tertiary qualifications in engineering that have been recognised by IPENZ as being of good internationally-benchmarked quality. Graduate members have yet to develop the skills necessary to gain entry into one of the IPENZ competency-based membership classes. Their work will often be carried out under supervision by other engineers, or if they are working independently they will have mentors who advise them.

Companions (Comp IPENZ)

Companions are persons whose qualifications are not in engineering, but who have obtained a position of responsibility in which they have interacted or are interacting with the engineering profession in a significant way. They are not skilled engineering practitioners.

Affiliates and Students

Although IPENZ has Student Members, no registers are available for these classes of membership because the categories are not based on any demonstration of competence. They include people who express an interest in being involved in a discussion forum with engineers.


IPENZ is the New Zealand Registration Authority for other engineering related registers:

Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng)

Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng)is a current-competence quality mark for engineers at the professional level (engineers who usually have a four-year Bachelor of Engineering or equivalent qualification). The Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act (CPEng Act) was enacted on 1 July 2002 and established IPENZ as the Registration Authority to assess and then register Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng). Those engineers who meet the relevant standards of competence can become CPEng certified but to retain registration must demonstrate regularly to IPENZ (five-yearly or more frequently) that they are still able to practise competently. This is considered a higher quality mark than MIPENZ as it is regularly assessed.

International Professional Engineers Register (IntPE)

The New Zealand section of the International Professional Engineers Register IntPE(NZ) established under the APEC Engineer agreement (11 countries) and Engineers Mobility Forum agreement (11 countries) lists engineers meeting an international standard with slightly more specific eligibility requirements than CPEng.

Engineering Technology Practitioner (ETPract)

Engineering Technology Practitioner (ETPract) is a current-competence quality mark for engineers at the technologist level (engineers who usually have a three-year Bachelor of Engineering Technology or equivalent qualification). It is set to be implemented on 1 July 2007.

International Engineering Technologist (IntET)

International Engineering Technologist (IntET) is similar to the ETPract register but facilitates international mobility at the technologist level between signatories of the Sydney Accord. It was implemented by IPENZ on 1 July 2007.

Certified Engineering Technician (CertETn)

Certified Engineering Technician (CertETn) is a current-competence quality mark for engineers at the tehcnician level (engineers who usually hold a 2-year Diploma of Engineering (DipEng or NZCE) or equivalent qualification). It was implemented on 1 July 2007.

IPENZ Practice College

Implemented in 2003, the IPENZ Practice College Register lists currently competent professional engineers who are engaged in networking, knowledge sharing and professional development activities with like-minded professional engineers in their particular practice area through IPENZ.

ee also

*Fields of engineering
*Learned society
*Professional association
*Professional body
*Standards organizations

External links

* [ IPENZ Official Site]
* [ IPENZ JobHunt]
* [ New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards (NZEEA)]
* [ IPENZ Convention]
* [ IPENZ Foundation]
* [ IPENZ Engineering Heritage]

IPENZ publications

* [ magazine]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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