Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance

Practitioners of ergonomics and ergonomists contribute to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people.

Ergonomics helps harmonize things that interact with people in terms of people’s needs, abilities and limitations.

Membership Benefits

Joining HFESA is an
excellent opportunity to meet other HF/E professionals. Our Annual Conference
provides an informal setting to meet new people and put faces to names.

There are a number of state and regional groups operating around the country. The groups hold regular meetings, often with guest speakers, and provide an opportunity to meet local professionals and learn something at the same time. The meetings are informal and always welcome new members.

HFESA has worked closely with the Professional Associations team at Arthur J Gallagher, the fourth largest insurance and risk management firm in the world, to identify and develop professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover that addresses the needs of our members.

HFESA Members have access to HFESA Connect, a fortnightly newsletter on news about important activities and people related to the field, conference notices, Society news and ads for position openings, products and services.

Job vacancies are emailed to members and advertised on the website.

HFESA maintains a membership directory of Certified Professional Ergonomists (CPEs) and CPEs who are Occupational Health & Safety Specialists that is accessible to potential clients.

HFESA Members have access to the Member Directory that includes hundreds of other HF/E professionals in Australia. The directory lists each member of the Society, their contact details and areas of specialisation.

HFESA is the only professional society in Australia dedicated solely to HF/E professionals. Being a member of the Society indicates to colleagues, clients and potential employers that you are a qualified and respected professional. Many employers now specifically ask for Certified Professional Members of the Society.

HFESA members have access to a large variety of professional development events all over the country both face to face and via webinar.

HFESA members pay a reduced registration fee to attend the HFESA Annual Conference. This is the largest HFESA event each year – three days of presentations and workshops covering all aspects of HF/E and related fields.

The annual conference is a great opportunity to learn about new topics in HF/E and developments in existing research areas. The social activities at the conference provide an opportunity to get to know other professionals and to catch up with old friends in a relaxed setting. 

The HFESA Computer Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG) holds a major annual conference called OZCHI.

HFESA runs its own certifications and maintenance of certification system. Applications are assessed free of charge. (Conditions apply for eligibility – refer to the Membership Matrix for additional information.

HFESA runs a mentoring program for aspiring CPEs who have completed the requirements of active membership, education and practice.

HFESA promotes the benefits of HF/E through various media.

Full Members can use the affiliation MHFESA and Certified Professional Ergonomists can use the post-nominals CPE. These affiliations can be added to your business card, letterhead and CV to indicate that you are a qualified and professionally recognised HF/E professional. Fellows, Certified Professional Ergonomists, Members and Retired full Members may apply to the HFESA Board to use the HFESA logo on their promotional material to indicate that they are recognised by the Society.

HFESA advocates for its members on various Government, Standards and OHS initiatives, forums and media activities.

This category is intended for any full-time student who is interested in human factors and ergonomics (HF/E) and related sub-disciplines. Applicants must be able to provide proof of full-time student status.

This category is intended for any individual who is interested in HF/E, but who does not fulfil the requirements to become a Full Member. It provides an opportunity for interested individuals to expand their skills in ergonomics and human factors, and to become involved in the community.

Full Member
This category is for individuals that have completed tertiary qualifications in ergonomics and hold one year pre or post qualification experience or hold tertiary qualifications in a related discipline and 2 years substantiated experience in ergonomics and are currently practising in ergonomics.

Certified Professional Ergonomist
Certified Professional Ergonomists have been certified by HFESA and have demonstrated that they have the skills and experience to provide high quality and consistent advice and support in the area of HF/E.

Organisations taking out corporate membership are entitled to have up to 3 representatives from their organisation attend PD events and conferences at the member rate. The membership belongs to the corporation, not to the representative, and so it is at the organisation’s discretion which three members are listed at any time.

The fees for 2021/2022 (the membership year commences on 1 July and is valid to 30 June) are shown below.

Note: Fees are pro-rated from 1 October annually.

Please note: Membership renewal payments received after 30th September 2021 will now incur a late fee of $33.00.

Certified Professional Ergonomists have been certified by HFESA and have demonstrated that they have the skills and experience to provide high quality and consistent advice and support in the area of HFE.

CPE is the highest level of HF/E status awarded in Australia. A CPE can act as an expert witness in court.

Domains of specialisation

Derived from the Greek words ‘ergon’ (work) and ‘nomos’ (laws) to denote the science of work, HF/E is a systems-oriented discipline which now extends across all aspects of human activity. Practising HF/E professionals must have a broad understanding of the full scope of the discipline. That is, HF/E promotes a holistic approach in which considerations of physical, cognitive, social, organisational, environmental and other relevant factors are taken into account. HF/E professionals often work in many sectors or application domains. Application domains are not mutually exclusive and they evolve constantly; new ones are created and old ones take on new perspectives.

There are domains of specialisation within the discipline, which represent deeper competencies in specific human attributes or characteristics of human interaction.

Domains of specialisation within the HF/E discipline are broadly the following:

Physical Ergonomics

Physical ergonomics (HF/E) is concerned with human anatomical, anthropometric, physiological and biomechanical characteristics that relate to physical activity. Relevant topics include working postures, materials handling, repetitive movements, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, workplace layout, safety and health.

Cognitive Ergonomics

Cognitive ergonomics (HF/E) is concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response that affect interactions among humans and other elements of a system. Relevant topics include mental workload, decision-making, skilled performance, human-computer interaction, human reliability, work stress and training.

Organisational Ergonomics

Organizational ergonomics is concerned with the optimization of sociotechnical systems, including their organizational structures, policies, and processes. (Relevant topics include communication, crew resource management, work design, design of working times, teamwork, participatory design, community ergonomics, cooperative work, new work paradigms, virtual organizations, telework, and quality management.) Organisational Ergonomics
Organisational ergonomics (HF/E) is concerned with the optimisation of sociotechnical systems, including their organisational structures, policies, and processes. Relevant topics include communication, crew resource management, work design, design of working times, teamwork, participatory design, community ergonomics, cooperative work, new work paradigms, virtual organisations, telework, and quality management.

Source: International Ergonomics Society (IEA)

A small logo indicating CPE status is available for use by certified members of the Society on professional correspondence.

Click here to read the Professional Affairs Board guidance note for use of the CPE logo.

Click here to view the logo, then right click to save it

How to become a Certified Professional Ergonomist

To become a CPE,
the applicant must have:

Been an active full member of
HFESA (or other IEA-affiliated society) for the past 2 years.

Completed an education program
which provides a comprehensive set of HF/E competencies.

Expertise in HF/E demonstrated
through the provision of at least one major work sample, supported by one or
more work samples or products of smaller magnitude.

A minimum of four years of
full-time practice in HF/E or the part-time equivalent.

The applicant needs to provide suitable references for the Professional Affairs Board to validate the application.