A new continuing professional development course aims to improve engineers’ understanding of the National Construction Code (NCC) to support the development of safe and compliant buildings and increase public trust.
The NCC Fundamentals for Engineers course, developed by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) with input from Engineers Australia, is a one-hour online course that aims to provide engineers with the knowledge they need to correctly apply the NCC.
This includes helping engineers navigate the rules and regulations of the NCC and how these affect engineering design. It will also assist engineers in justifying their design and construction decisions to other members of a project team.
Clare Wright, Director of the ABCB’s Education Team said collaboration with Engineers Australia “was vital to ensure the course met the needs of engineers”.
“[Engineers Australia] had input into the topics where engineers in the building area might need a broader understanding of the NCC,” she told create.
“If you’re an engineer, what we’re hoping to do is bridge any gaps that you might have from your base qualification to help you apply the NCC on a day-to-day basis.”
The course is suitable for all engineers in the construction industry, from new graduates who might not have covered the NCC in detail as part of their degree, to existing practitioners who could use it to refresh their knowledge.
Engineers Australia General Manager, Sydney and Canberra Greg Ewing said it was an important course for engineers.
”In today’s construction environment it is more important than ever that engineers, whatever their level of past experience, ensure they have a current and clear understanding of the National Construction Code to demonstrate their own individual capability and competence, and to build confidence in the sector as a whole,” he said.
Improving understanding of construction standards
In 2017, Professor Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir were commissioned by the Building Ministers’ Forum to assess the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia.
Their 2018 Building Confidence Report made 24 recommendations to address systemic issues, including identifying nine categories of building practitioners — including engineers — that should undertake training on the operation and use of the NCC.
In response, the ABCB is developing courses across these practitioner groups to increase understanding.
“We’re aiming to improve confidence in the building industry and lift practitioner knowledge and understanding of the National Construction Code, so that we can achieve better outcomes,” Wright said.
“It’s always good to stay current with the code content so that you can know that you’re applying the code appropriately in your work.”
Another course on performance–based engineering solutions will be released soon.