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Certificate of Authorization

In Ontario, professional engineers who provide engineering services directly to the public must have a Certificate of Authorization (C of A). This certificate is issued to individuals or firms and the professional engineers on the certificate require at least five years of relevant experience after the conferral of the engineering degree or the completion of an equivalent engineering education. Individuals and firms holding a C of A must adhere to the professional liability insurance regulations required by the Professional Engineers Act.

Do I need a Certificate of Authorization?

Are you offering services to the public or engaging in the business of providing services to the public services within the practice of professional engineering?

The Professional Engineers Act states: “no person shall offer to the public or engage in the business of providing to the public services that are within the practice of professional engineering except under and in accordance with a certificate of authorization.” In the act, “person” means an individual or an entity through which services are provided.

Is the service professional engineering?

According to the Professional Engineers Act, the “practice of professional engineering” means “any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising that requires the application of engineering principles and concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment, or the managing of any such act”.

  1. Are you planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising, or managing any of these acts?
  2. Are engineering principles required to carry out the act?
  3. Does the act concern the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment?

If you can answer yes to all three questions, the service you are offering or providing is professional engineering and require a C of A from PEO.

Liability Insurance

Every holder of a certificate of authorization must not offer or provide to the public services within the practice of professional engineering unless the holder is insured for professional liability in accordance with the provisions in section 74(1) of Regulation 941/90, unless:

  • the holder participates in the Indemnity Plan of the Ontario Association of Architects and the holder’s practice is limited to professional activities covered by that plan;
  • substantially all claims arising out of the service within the practice of professional engineering would be covered by other insurance whose terms of coverage are not materially less than the minimum requirements set out in section 74(1);
  • the professional liability insurance would be for pollution hazards, nuclear hazards, aviation hazards or shipping hazards; or
  • before entering into an agreement to provide professional engineering services, the holder notifies each person to whom the holder intends to provide the services that the holder is not insured in accordance with the minimum requirements of section 74(1) and receives from each of them written authority to provide the services without that insurance.

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