CPD Requirements for Engineers in New Zealand

The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) is the professional body which represents professional engineers from all disciplines in New Zealand.

The terms “engineering profession” and “professional engineer/engineering” are used by the Institution in the broadest possible way, to include all those who use a systematic process of analysis, design/synthesis and implementation, strive to operate in a responsible way, are governed by a code of ethics set by their peers, and engage in continuing professional development to maintain the currency of their competence.

IPENZ encourages and assists continuing professional development and specifies CPD requirements for engineers in New Zealand.

CPEng(NZ) – A Quality Mark of Current Competence

IPENZ is the registration body for Chartered Professional Engineers under the Chartered Professional Engineers Act 2002. This includes a six yearly competence assessment for continuing registration for the quality mark of Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng (NZ)).

CPD Requirements for Chartered Professional Engineers in New Zealand

IPENZ Competence Assessments require a summary of your professional development activities over the last six years to demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to maintain the currency of your professional knowledge and skills. Taken as a whole the CPD activities you present should show how you have taken reasonable steps to maintain your competence in your practice area, taking account of the full range of competence elements.

Hours50 hours per year
IPENZ Guidelines for CPD are for 50 hours per year, but achievement is assessed on the learning and its application, NOT the total hours spent. The emphasis is on the quality and relevance of CPD, rather than the quantity. For this reason applicants are asked to comment on the learning benefits of key CPD activities to their engineering practice.
Type of CPDCourses, seminars, conferences, reading, technical lectures, formal study towards qualification, research, workshops, symposia, discussion groups, interaction with peers, voluntary service roles, web-based resources.
Good Practice Guidelines for CPD should show a balance between passive activities, interactive activities, ‘knowledge events’ such as conferences and IPENZ Branch meetings, and ‘learning events’. These are events where there are identified learning outcomes and learning of new knowledge and/or skills can be assured e.g. some seminars, courses, and formal tertiary education. Continuing Professional Development’s Online CPD courses are “learning events” that deliver new knowledge and skills that can be assessed through quizzes, practical exercises and online discussion forums.
All members should ensure they engage in networking and dialogue with other engineering professionals.
CPD Subject MatterNot directly specified, but must be relevant to the engineers practice area and the 12 competence elements listed below.

Relevant Areas of Learning for Professional Engineers

CPD must be relevant to 12 Competence Elements:

1. Knowledge

Comprehend and apply knowledge of the accepted principles underpinning widely applied good practice in professional engineering (Washington Accord degree level).

2. Local Knowledge

Comprehend and apply knowledge of the accepted principles underpinning good practice for professional engineering that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices (NZ)

3. Analyse Problems

Define, investigate and analyse complex engineering problems in accordance with good practice for professional engineering

4. Design or Develop Solutions

Design or develop solution to complex engineering problems in accordance with good practice for professional engineering

5. Decision Making

Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more complex engineering activities.

6. Management

Manage part or all of one or more complex engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice. Continuing Professional Development’s Project Management online CPD courses are directly applicable to this learning element.

7.  Risk Management

Identify, assess and manage engineering risk (in the context of complex engineering problems. Continuing Professional Development’s Risk Management online CPD course is directly applicable to this learning element.

8. Ethical conduct

Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct.

9. Recognise Effects

Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of professional engineering activities generally.

10. Communication

Communicate clearly with other engineers and others that he or she is likely to deal with in the course of his or her professional engineering activities. Check out Continuing professional Development’s Communications Planning online course for help with this learning element.

11. Maintain Currency

Maintain the currency of his or her engineering knowledge and skills.  A comprehensive CPD programme incorporating the Online CPD Courses from Continuing Professional Development helps demonstrate compliance with this learning element.

12.  Judgement

Exercise sound professional engineering judgement


Achievement is assessed on the learning and its application through the six yearly competency assessments carried out by IPENZ as the Registration body.

If you are a professional engineer, you can claim Continuing Professional Development’s online courses as CPD hours if they are relevant to your professional development. We recommend you check the CPD requirements for engineers in New Zealand with your specific registration board. Click here for CPD requirements for engineers in other countries and click here to view our CPD course catalogue, which includes online CPD courses on risk management, project management and business finance.

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