national engineering register

National Engineering Register (NER) by EA: A Complete Guide

  10 minute read

Publish date: 2022/07/27


The National Engineering Register was established by Engineers Australia in 2015.

Since then, EA has developed and maintained the NER framework and promoted it to engineers and the public.

This recognition matters for qualified engineers. And thankfully, joining the NER is straightforward as EA accepts new applications and handles inquiries related to it.

So, what exactly is the National Engineering Register? Let’s get started.

What is National Engineering Register?

The National Engineering Register is a publicly-searchable database in Australia. It is an exclusive list of Australia's most skilled and qualified engineers. It recognises engineers who have met high standards of professionalism in their respective fields.

This helps individuals and businesses find and collaborate with the best engineering talent in Australia.

So, if you are a qualified engineer looking for national recognition in Australia, you should know more about the National Engineering Register. And, our complete guide is here to help you out.

Why Get Registered in NER?

  • To add credibility

    Being registered adds credibility to your engineering expertise and professionalism.

  • To gain a competitive edge

    Access exclusive opportunities and gain a competitive edge in job applications.

  • To expand your network

    Connect with a vibrant community of fellow engineers for collaboration and career growth.

For more details, read: 8 Benefits of Being a Registered Engineer in the NER

Now, after deciding to be registered, you must meet certain criteria to be eligible. Continue below to know the requirements you need.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria to Be Registered on the National Engineering Register of Australia?

National Engineering Register requirements:

1. For Chartered members of EA

You must:

  • Belong in one of 4 occupational categories
  • Have the benefit of PI insurance and can maintain it

2. For EA members

You must:

  • Belong in one of 4 occupational categories
  • Have 5 years relevant experience in the past 7 years in your area(s) of practice
  • Provide verified work experience and CPD statements
  • Have the benefit of PI insurance and can maintain it

3. For Non-members of EA

You must:

  • Be eligible for one of 4 occupational categories
  • Have 5 years relevant experience in the past 7 years in their area(s) of practice
  • Have the benefit of PI insurance and can maintain it

In addition to these criterias, there are some additional requirements you need to fulfil:

  • Meet all 5 competencies
  • Choose Your Area of Practice
  • Gather all the required documents

What are NER Competencies?

NER competencies are 5 core areas of expertise an engineer must demonstrate.

NER Competency Description
1. Deal with ethical issues This competency shows that you:
  • Understand being responsible for the consequences of your action/inaction.
  • Understand how the consequences of your actions are managed by your organisation, project or team.
  • Have the ability to identify ethical issues and to act appropriately.
2. Practise competently This competency shows that you can find the right resources and use them effectively to solve engineering problems.
3. Develop safe and sustainable solutions This competency shows that you:
  • Can implement the best workplace health and safety practices.
  • Can identify the economic, social and environmental impacts of engineering activities
  • Can anticipate and manage the short and long-term effects of engineering activities
4. Identify, assess and manage risks This competency shows that you can operate within a hazard and manage risks associated with engineering activities.
5. Local engineering knowledge This competency shows that you:
  • Are able to acquire and apply local engineering knowledge
  • Can apply engineering knowledge offered by suppliers, consultants, contractors and independent experts.

Fun Fact:

These 5 NER competencies are part of Stage 2 Competency Claims which are required to become chartered engineers.

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What Are NER Areas of Practice?

NER areas of practice are fields of engineering recognised by EA in their National Engineering Register framework. It also includes diverse specialised areas within these engineering fields.

Engineers applying for the NER register can choose and declare their area(s) of practice based on their expertise and professional focus.

Most engineers concentrate on one or two areas, although applying for a Chartered credential allows focusing on up to three.

List of NER Areas of Practice

Aerospace Engineering


Biomedical Engineering


Civil Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Geotechnical Engineering


Leadership and Management


Naval Architecture


Pressure Equipment Design Verification


Amusement Rides and Devices


Building Services Engineering


Construction Engineering


Environmental Engineering


Heritage and Conservation Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering


Project Management


Structural Engineering


Subsea Engineering


Asset Management


Chemical Engineering


Cost Engineering


Fire Safety Engineering


Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering


Mechatronics Engineering


Petroleum Engineering


Risk Engineering


Systems Engineering


Key points to remember:

  • Number

    Currently, there are 27 recognised areas of practice within the framework of NER Engineers Australia.

  • Specificity

    Each area caters to a distinct engineering discipline or subdiscipline.

  • Relevance

    When applying for Chartered status, you need to reference the relevant areas of practice and demonstrate your competencies within each chosen area.

Documents Required For National Engineers Register

The documents needed for NER assessment are:

Qualification refers to your relevant engineering qualifications. You need to provide the following qualification details:

  • Country
  • Institution Name
  • Course Name
  • Discipline
  • Degree/certificate
  • Transcript
  • Study type
  • Expected / Date of Completion

Important Note:

Your engineering qualification determines your occupational category. Check the table below to choose which category you are suitable for.

Engineering Associate Engineering Technologist Professional Engineer
Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree 3 year Engineering Technology Degree 4 year or equivalent Bachelors Degree

Expanded CV (formerly known as “work experience statement”) provides a detailed account of engineering achievements in your career.

This should include:

  • situations, problems, and opportunities you have faced
  • specialist skills or knowledge you have used
  • outcomes you have achieved
  • actions you took to address a situation, including innovation and creativity

Note: You can contact us for NER expanded CV writing services.

Self-assessment form showcases your competency as a national-level engineer. It demonstrates your skills and knowledge against competency elements defined by Engineers Australia.

You must clearly explain how you meet the respective competencies in each element.

Note: Each NER area of practice has its own specific SAF with relevant competencies.

CPD is a record statement that showcases your commitment to maintain and update your skills, knowledge, and competence throughout your career.

To prepare CPD for NER, you must have completed:

  • 150 hours of CPD activities in the previous three (3) years, OR
  • 50 hours of CPD activities in the last 12 months

Note: You can contact us to prepare CPD for NER.

Professional Referee statements validate your claims about your experience and competency as an engineer.

These statements are given by two individuals who are described as professional referees. These referees can act as credible sources to discuss your work experience and claims of competence with NER assessors.

Who can be a Professional Referee?

  • 2 current employers (if you did not change your employer for more than 5 years)
  • 1 current and 1 former employer (if you have changed employer recently)

These current and former employers can be your:

  • Project manager or supervisor
  • Senior engineer or mentor
  • Clients or collaborators

But, before choosing, make sure that these personnel meet the following criteria:

  • They must have worked with you for at least 12 (twelve) months, ideally within the five years preceding your application.
  • They must have an engineering qualification.
  • They must have at least 5 years of experience in your area(s) of practice.
  • They should preferably be an Engineer Australia’s Chartered member or equivalent.

Now, after finalising your referees, provide the following details about them:

  • Prenominal (EG: Er.)
  • Name
  • Surname
  • Organisation
  • Position /Title/ Job designation
  • Professional relationship
  • Phone
  • Mobile
  • E-mail

Professional indemnity insurance compensates for damages (possible) made by an engineer while offering their services. It is mandatory for all applicants.

PI Insurance focuses to:

  • Protect the clients
  • Reduce risk for professionals
  • Maintain government regulations
  • Fulfil contractual obligations

As an aspiring NER registrant, you must assure Engineers Australia that you have PI insurance and can maintain it.

Also read: 7 Common Challenges in NER Applications

The Best NER Related Services

Engineers who wish to get registered in NER must be absolutely confident in their documents. So, get our industry leading services: CPD for NER and NER expanded CV writing services.

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Recent changes in National Engineering Australia documents

Old names of documents New names of documents in National Registration Amount of Changes (in the requirement aspect) Requirement
Work Experience Statement Expanded CV (ECV) Minimal Mandatory
Acquired Competence Worksheet Self-Assessment Form (SAF) Substantive Mandatory
CPD Record CPD Record None Recommended

How To Register in NER?

To become a registered engineer in Australia, you must work on making a successful application.

For a detailed guide, visit: NER Registration Process.

After submitting the application and paying the fee, the NER assessment process starts. During this process, assessors check your documents, have an interview with your referees, and finally a one-on-one interview with you.

After that, you need to wait for the NER assessment result.

Once the assessors are satisfied with everything, they will award you with registration and a digital badge.

What Information of the NER Engineers Will Be Available?

Once you are registered, the following information will be displayed:


  • Name and Surname
  • Postnominals of membership of Engineers Australia

National Engineering Register (NER) Registrations

  • Registration Date
  • Occupational Category
  • Areas of Practice

Contact Details

  • City and State/Territory in Australia
  • Suburb and Postcode (Optional, and Australia only)
  • Email Address, Phone Number and Website (Optional)

EA Membership

  • Chartered Status
  • Membership Grade
  • Chartered Areas of Practice

Other Additional registrations

  • These include:
    • International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA)
    • International Engineering Technologist Agreement (IETA)
    • Agreement for International Engineering Technicians (AIET)


Importance of NER in Australia

NER in Australia is important for:

  1. Finding the best engineers

    With NER register search, you can find skilled and experienced engineers across Australia.

  2. Tracking engineering talent

    Australia utilises NER data to maintain a national register of skilled engineers who are capable of leading key projects.

  3. Smarter engineering

    NER helps improve Australia's infrastructure by matching skilled engineers with the right jobs.

  4. Developing Competitiveness Among Skilled Engineers

    Tough competition to be listed on NER Australia demands constant learning and adaptation. This ensures industry excellence.

  5. Fostering Innovation and Research

    NER engineers strive to solve problems with innovative ideas and teamwork. This drives innovation in Australia.

  6. Promoting Regulatory Compliance with Australian laws

    NER ensures the listed engineers stay compliant with Australian laws and regulations, making engineering better and safer for everyone.

  7. Talent Retention in the Country

    NER recognition helps engineers grow in Australia. This helps retain talented engineers and use their skills to boost the economy.

Key Takeaways

  • The National Engineering Register is a searchable database which serves as a portal to find a qualified engineer.
  • Being registered can help you gain a competitive edge, increase credibility, and find new clients.
  • Eligibility criterias are different for Non-members of EA, EA members and Chartered members of EA.
  • You must demonstrate 5 competencies to be registered on Australia’s national engineering portal.
  • NER recognizes 27 distinct areas of practice.
  • Documents required: Expanded CV, Self-assessment Form, CPD, Professional Referee Statement, PI Insurance Cover.
  • Importance of NER: Finding the best engineers, Smarter engineering, Fostering Innovation and Research, and more.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    No, it is not mandatory for engineers to be registered on NER.

    However, there are numerous benefits of being a registered engineer in NER. Thus, we recommend all engineers in Australia and those moving to Australia get NER Registration.

    No. It is not necessarily expensive compared to other professional registrations, but it does involve several initial and ongoing costs. The exact amount depends on individual circumstances and chosen categories.

    Check out:

    Follow these steps to search for an engineer on the national engineer register:

    Step-1: Go to the NER Search Portal.

    Step-2: You will be offered two options: General Search and Person Specific Search.

    • General Search: With this, you can find engineers based on area of practice, location, and occupational category.
    • Person Specific Search: Here, you can simply put the first name, last name, or EA ID number and find a specific engineer.

    Step 3: Select your preferred search option and provide the required details. Then, you will be provided with a list of registered engineers.

    Step-4: You can then select and contact a suitable professional for your project.

    Yes, Chartered status and NER credential are different.

    • Chartered status is a higher level of achievement than getting on the National Engineering Register.
    • Chartered Engineers automatically qualify for the NER, but not all NER registrants are chartered engineers.

    Yes, retired engineers can apply to get on the national engineering register of Australia. However, they must meet the eligibility criteria.

    The difficulty in obtaining the national engineers' registration varies. The difficulties are based on qualifications, work experience, and criteria set by EA.

    If you're on the NER and want to add another engineering area, apply through the member portal.

    The cost for members to add an extra engineering area is $365, including GST.

    Author Bio:

    Aadya Sharma is a civil engineer in Australia with a passion for blending creativity into technical regions. Her engineering journey of nine years is full of exploration and learning.

    Her outstanding skill is to take on complex engineering challenges and solve them effectively. In addition, she follows the philosophy of trying new things and implementing them in different parts of life.

    Beyond her technical skills, she is committed to bringing positive change in her field. Her diverse nature of work and skills sets her apart from other engineers.

    What did you think of the article? Anything you agree or disagree with? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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