The Engineering accrediting body Engineers Australia, states that 'exposure to professional engineering practice is a key element in differentiating a professional engineering degree from an applied science degree' and requires engineering graduates to have exposure to professional practice.

Who is required to complete Engineering Professional Practice?

All UQ Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Master of Engineering and Master of Engineering students.

What am I required to complete to graduate?

  1. Complete 450 hours of professional practice approved by the Faculty, and;
  2. Satisfactorily complete five (5) reflections from your Engineering Professional Practice experiences, referring to the Engineers Australia competencies. See more information here: Reflection Assessment Writing guidelines;

The 450 hours of professional practice can be broken into two parts as outlined below:

Visit the activity table

450 hours of professional practice

Type A hours
Type B hours

A minimum of 225 hours in an engineering environment under a degree qualified engineer to be claimed for Type A hours

Remaining hours can be made up of a range of allowable professional practice activities.

*you can claim all 450 hours (type A hours) in an engineering environment under the supervision of a Degree Qualified Engineer. 225 hours is the minimum amount of Type A hours you must attain.

Examples of what you can claim

  • Up to 75 hours of paid work outside of an engineering environment may be claimed– i.e. working at Kmart or McDonalds. (Category 3)
  • Significant industry exposure through pre-approved UQ Courses (Category 5)
  • Up to 75 hours of tutoring at UQ may be claimed, including tutoring in a non-engineering course (category 4)
  • Up to 75 hours of engineering-related site visits may be claimed, approved site visits (category 6)
  • Up to 160 hours may be claimed through an approved study tour (category 9)

And much more!! 

*A professional engineer is someone who is degree qualified in engineering. Supervisors that do not hold an engineering qualification but hold an equivalent or related qualification may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Faculty. Email your request for approval to employability@eait.uq.edu.au

When completing hours in an engineering environment, students can undertake any type of engineering practice – i.e. the engineering work does not need to be in the same engineering discipline that you are studying. Engineering practice may be undertaken in Australia or overseas.

You cannot be supervised by a near relative or close associate as this would be a conflict of interest. Examples of near relatives are parents, partners and siblings. Examples of close associates are friends and neighbours.

Students who have undertaken industry placements or work experience as part of previous engineering degree or diploma studies may be able to claim these hours. 

Students submitting official documentation in a language other than English to support an EPP claim in any category - need to submit the original document AND the English translated version (exact translation, not an extract). The translated document needs to be translated by a registered NAATI qualified translator and the translated version needs to have the NAATI stamp imprinted on the translated document. You can find a NAATI qualified translator here.

8. Frequently asked questions

1. I am studying Engineering and have heard about a Professional Practice requirement, how do I know if this applies to me?

All students enrolled in either the Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Master Engineering or Master Engineering program, need to complete 450 hours of professional practice. Professional practice hours can be claimed for a range of professional practice activities in addition to professional practice in an engineering environment assisting or under the supervision of a professional engineer.

2. What happens if I complete all of my program subjects but not any professional practice internships or placements, can I still graduate?

All students enrolled in either the Bachelor of Engineering,Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Master Engineering or Master Engineering program, need to complete 450 hours of professional practice. Professional practice is a compulsory requirement of your degree.

3. I have an opportunity to undertake work experience that I may claim as professional practice. The agreement is that I will not receive any payment for the time that I spend with the company as I will be shadowing an Engineer and not carrying out any productive work. Is there anything that I need to do before I commence my placement?

Yes, any student wishing to undertake unpaid work experience must complete the Unpaid Engineering Professional Practice Placement Form and submit for approval to the EAIT Student Employability Team via employability@eait.uq.edu.au at least 2 (two) days before commencing unpaid placements.

4. I have already completed my minimum of 450 hours of professional practice, which was an unpaid placement however, I wish to undertake further hours of work experience, which will also be unpaid. What do I need to do to ensure that I am covered by UQ Insurance?

If you are undertaking a non-mandatory unpaid work experience placement, Unpaid work experience form must be submitted at least 2 (two) days beforecommencement for approval to the EAIT Student Employability Team via employability@eait.uq.edu.au .The Fair Work Act restricts non-mandatory unpaid work experience to a maximum of 30 days each calendar year.

5. I used the Professional Practice Certificate from the old scheme (prior to January 2018) to get sign-off from my Supervisor as evidence of the hours I completed. How do I now submit this form for approval of Section C?

If you have a professional practice certificate (old scheme) signed off by your Supervisor, please submit it for approval via the EPP System in Category 14. More information on this process can be found of the 'How it works' page.

6. I am currently in the process of completing my Type A professional practice, how can I claim these hours and get approval from my supervisor?

Professional practice hours are claimed via the EPP System against the relevant category as per the Engineering Professional Practice Activity Table. In this case, Type A Professional Practice Placements under the supervision of a qualified engineer must be claimed in Category 1

7. I have already completed 60 days under the old scheme, including 30 days under the supervision of a professional engineer, and have submitted my report. Is there anything else I need to do?

No, provided your report is approved and your milestone status is completed, there is nothing further you need to do. You have met the 60 days / 450-hour requirement.

8. I have completed part of my professional practice in the old format (before Semester 1, 2018) of 60 days and this has been approved. How do I complete the remaining hours?

To update your professional practice hours, you need to enter your already approved hours via the EPP System in Category 14 and convert your days to hours a rate of 7.5 hours per day. Faculty will then crosscheck your claim against your studies report. If you wish to claim your days at a higher rate than 7.5 hours per day then you will need to submit evidence of the additional hours. You must write and submit five (5) reflections and submit for marking.

9. Are the reflections meant to discuss only key moments/scenarios of learning or the whole 450 hours of professional practice?

The reflections require you to identify one or more learning events that you have encountered whilst undertaking your 450 hours of professional practice. A learning event could be learning that occurred over a short or long period. You do not need to discuss the entirety of your professional practice but you should outline the context in which your learning event occurred within your reflection. 

10. Can I submit my reflections at different times?

No, you can't submit your reflections at different times. You must submit all five (5) reflections together on the correct Assessment Reflections Template, which is available to download from the EPP System, once you have claimed and received approval for your professional practice hours. Reflections submitted for marking without the correct template will receive a fail. You will have the option to download the template once you have completed a minimum of 225 hours of Type A hours, however, you must complete the minimum of 450 hours to complete the milestone. It is a good idea to start writing your reflections as you undertake your professional practice whilst your experience and learning events are fresh in your mind then cut and paste them into the template when you are ready to submit for marking.

11. I have completed fewer than 60 days under the old scheme and my report has been assessed and approved. Do I still need to complete the reflections for the remaining hours? If so, how many reflections do I need to complete?

If your report has been approved for fewer than 375 hours (50 days) then you will need to complete and submit the reflections via the EPP System. Please note that you will need to complete all five reflections (this is equivalent to the old style report of 1,500 words) If your report has been approved for 375 hours (50 days) or more, including at least 20 days working with or under the direction of a professional engineer, then you will not need to write further reflections. In either case, you will need to claim all of your hours via the EPP System. Previously approved days can be converted to hours by multiplying by 7.5 and claimed according to Category 14 in the Engineering Professional Practice Activity Table. (A multiplier other than 7.5 hours per day may be used if you have the evidence to support a different number of hours per day). Additional hours must be claimed in the EPP System against the relevant category.

12. I submitted a professional practice claim through the EPP System - Category 1. The status is currently 'Confirmation' however, my Supervisor said that they did not receive any emails asking for confirmation of my placement?

The status 'External Confirmation' means that your claim is awaiting approval by your Supervisor. Your Supervisor may not have received the email for various reasons, such as tight firewall settings blocking the email, appearing in the junk mail folder or simply inputting an incorrect email address. Therefore, it is important that if your claim has not been processed in a timely manner that you phone your Supervisor to follow up. You may need to ask them for an alternative email address that you can try. Get in touch with the EAIT Employability Team if you continue to have issues.

13. What is the difference between Type A and Type B professional practice hours?

Professional Practice hours are broken down into Type A and Type B hours. Type A is the mandatory hours (minimum of 225 hours) which are carried out assisting or under the immediate supervision of a professional engineer. Type B is made up of a range of allowable professional practice activities that can be claimed when you are not able to find additional Type A hours to meet the total 450-hour milestone.

14. I participated in the UQ Summer or Winter Research Program over the semester break; can I claim this towards professional practice?

Engineering students may be able to claim hours for participation in the UQ Summer and Winter Research Program towards their Professional Practice requirement. If you can demonstrate that your project has a clear link with industry and you completed the project under the direction of a supervisor with an engineering qualification, you may be eligible to claim your hours as type A hours. Each type A hours claim will be assessed on a case by case basis by the Deputy Associate Dean (Student Experience). If your project did not have an industry linkage aspect or you were not under the direction of a supervisor with an engineering qualification, you can claim type B hours. Summer and Winter Research projects can be claimed under category 18 via the EPP system.

15. I am travelling domestically or internationally for my Professional Practice, how do I receive approval to be covered under UQ’s Travel Insurance for this travel while I am on placement?

If you are travelling more than 50km from your usual place of residence for your placement, you must complete the EAIT Travel Approval Form. This form must be submitted and approved in order to be covered under UQ’s Travel Insurance. This form must be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to your departure.

16. What should I do if the Practice Summary of my approved hours is not pulling through on my EPP reflection template?

It is important that your EPP template includes a practice summary on page 2 of the document. This is something that academic staff will look for when grading your submission. If this is not pulling through correctly in the template you download, please try downloading the document on a Windows device and trial using different web browsers. If you continue to have issues, you can also open the template in Google Docs or WordPad. If you continue to have technical issues, please get in touch with the EAIT Student Employability Team for assistance.

17. Can I undertake a remote working placement for my engineering professional practice hours?

If you are undertaking your professional practice placement remotely, UQ would like to ensure that this is an effective and enriching learning experience to assist in gaining the skills and experiences you require for the professional workplace once you graduate. The Faculty will approve remote work-integrated learning placements if the following requirements are met:

  • Organisations must provide students with an adequate level of supervision – this being a minimum of three touchpoints per week when working full time, or equivalent to part-time work. This could include online video calls or phone discussions, however, the appropriate guidance and direction is required. Email communication does not qualify as one of these touchpoints.
  • Supervisors are required to have appropriate work or project planning systems in place which allow for effective online collaboration, inclusion and learning.
  • Students must be able to ensure they are in an environment that is safe and conducive for work and are required to review and comply with the UQ Guidelines and Confirmation for Working from Home document.

It is your responsibility to do the appropriate investigation prior to commencing your placement to ensure that any remote working integrated learning placements meet the above requirements. If you will be claiming your hours for your engineering professional practice milestone, the Employability Team will be auditing remote working placements to ensure compliance, and if a placement does not meet these requirements, it will be rejected.

If you have questions related to these requirements, please contact the EAIT Student Employability Team.

18. Can I undertake a virtual internship for my professional practice hours?

If you are interested in undertaking a virtual internship to assist in building your experience for your engineering professional practice milestone, UQ offers some options for students. It is important to note, however, that you MUST check the suitability of the placement prior to the commencement of your internship. You should consult with the EAIT Employability Team prior to submitting an application for a virtual internship.

To determine whether your experience is eligible to claim against the Engineering Professional Practice milestone, please review the Engineering Professional Practice Activity Table and provide the EAIT Employability Team with the following information so the appropriate approvals can be sought prior to the commencement of your placement.

  • Which organisation are you undertaking your virtual internship with? (NB: this is not the virtual internship provider, but the actual organisation that you will be working with.)
  • What scope of work are you undertaking as a part of your internship?
  • What type of hours are you hoping to claim (i.e. type A or B) and under which category (refer to the Engineering Professional Practice Activity Table for more details)?
  • Who are you being supervised by and, if claiming type A hours, what qualifications do they hold?
  • How many hours are you hoping to claim if you complete the virtual internship?

19. What is classified as an Industry Thesis Project and/or coursework Placement (category 17)? 

What is an industry thesis project?

Chen is undertaking their final year thesis to satisfy the requirements of their degree. Chen has identified a project with Brisbane Utilities and has a contact at Brisbane Utilities that has agreed to provide supervision throughout Chen’s thesis. Chen has submitted the thesis project to their School and has received approval and has identified a School-based academic supervisor. Chen will be able to provide evidence of fortnightly person-to-person meetings with the industry partner throughout their thesis to submit the Industry Thesis Logbook along with their Engineering Professional Practice claim. Chen can claim their thesis under category 17 of the EPP Activity Table.

What is not an industry thesis project?

Chen is undertaking their final year thesis to satisfy the requirements of their degree. Chen has identified a project through the EAIT Thesis Database that has been submitted by a UQ based academic. The UQ academic has received a grant through the Australian Research Council to undertake research related to the thesis project. The UQ academic has some contact with industry through the research grant, however, Chen does not have direct contact with industry throughout their project. As Chen does not have direct contact with industry, they will be unable to show evidence of industry engagement for the Industry Thesis Logbook. Chen cannot claim their thesis under category 17 of the EPP Activity Table.

If you have questions as to whether your thesis is eligible to claim under category 17, please email the Deputy Associate Dean Academic via employability@eait.uq.edu.au, with a description of your thesis topic including an outline of who the industry partner is and your engagement with them throughout the project.

Please provide the above information to the EAIT Student Employability Team for review prior to the commencement of your placement.

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