We provide resources to assist our stakeholders in understanding our regulatory role and how we protect the public interest.
As part of its regulatory mandate, PEO establishes, maintains and develops: standards of knowledge and skill; standards of practice for the profession; standards of professional ethics; and promotes public awareness of its role. The following are resources to assist PEO stakeholders--licence holders, applicants, and the public--in understanding their roles and responsibilities and the regulator’s work protecting the public interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Professional Engineers Ontario?
Professional Engineers Ontario, or PEO, is the regulatory body that licenses professional engineers in Ontario. PEO sets standards for and regulates the practice of professional engineering in the province.
Under the Professional Engineers Act, PEO has the mandate to serve and protect the public interest where the practice of engineering is concerned. PEO enforces compliance with the Act so that only those with a licence may practice engineering or advertise their engineering services. The association also disciplines engineers and companies that fail to maintain the profession’s standards.
Professional Engineers Ontario fulfills the same role the College of Physicians and Surgeons does for physicians and the Law Society of Upper Canada for lawyers.
What is the Engineering Intern Training (EIT) program?
The EIT program provides guidance and assistance to engineering graduates as they acquire the 48 months of acceptable engineering work experience, including annual reviews of experience to ensure that an applicant is “on the right track” for licensing.
Benefits of the EIT program include:
- the opportunity to receive detailed, confidential, annual; work experience reviews;
- eligibility to participate in PEO’s Mentorship Program;
- access to Engineering Dimensions, the association’s official journal;
- opportunities to attend EIT seminars at PEO’s office or through sponsoring chapters;
- the opportunity to join a PEO chapter, attend meetings and network with professional colleagues;
- email notices of events or items of interest pertaining to your development into a licensed engineer;
- access to the Licence Holders’ only section of PEO’s website and the opportunity to participate in online discussions with other PEO members through the Discussion Forum; and
- the opportunity to join the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and participate in their member-only services, such as insurance and investment plans, and online Career Centre.
As well, becoming an EIT demonstrates to employers that an applicant is serious about being licensed as a professional engineer.
To enroll in the EIT program, you must be an applicant for licensure – meaning you have met the academic requirements of licensure (e.g. graduated from a CEAB-accredited program). You can apply as soon as you graduate by filling out an application for licensure form.
Financial Credit Program (FCP): Graduates of CEAB-Accredited engineering programs and international engineering graduates (IEGs) with a bachelor of engineering or applied science degree may be able to participate in PEO’s Financial Credit Program. Under the program, eligible participants can have the cost of their application fee credited towards payment of their registration and initial P.Eng. licence fees once they have been approved for a licence. CEAB-accredited graduates who apply within six months of their degree conferral and IEGs who apply within six months of their date of receiving permanent residence status in Canada are eligible for the program.
May I do engineering work while my application is being considered?
Yes. You may do engineering work, provided a licensed professional engineer takes responsibility for your work. In Ontario, it is illegal to use the title “professional engineer” or any variation thereof as an occupational or business title if you are not licensed by PEO.
What are some examples of inadequate pre-graduation experience?
Sales or marketing jobs where you do not apply theory and/or engineering principles might not meet PEO’s experience requirement. A data entry job or simple programming or database manipulation, where you use a software package designed by someone else might not qualify if your work does not include engineering analysis and design.
Providing technical support for a software company while studying to become a civil engineer would likely not qualify as pre-graduation experience as it is not in your field of study unless you prove through your post-grad experience that you are practising in a field that combines the two streams.
When do I submit my Pre-graduation Experience Record to PEO?
Submit your Pre-graduation Experience Record at the time you apply for your P.Eng. licence. Do not wait until then to fill out the form, however. Fill out the form as soon as you have ended your work placement, so you can get it signed by your employer (and can accurately recall what exactly you worked on).
Does my supervisor have to be a professional engineer (P.Eng.)? Do I require a P.Eng. signature?
The supervisor who signs your pre-graduation work experience form does not have to be a professional engineer. However, if there is a question about the eligibility of your experience, having a P.Eng. supervisor will aid PEO in its evaluation.
Your work experience has to satisfy PEO’s experience requirements. Therefore, anything you can do to demonstrate clearly the appropriateness of your work experience can be valuable. For example, if your supervisor was not a P.Eng., but his/her manager was, you might consider having both your supervisor and his/her manager sign your pre-graduation experience summary.
Which work terms can I use for pre-graduation experience?
Any work term or summer job involving engineering, started after you have completed 50% of your program’s course load, may be eligible for consideration.
Can a post-graduate degree such as a Master’s Degree count towards the practical experience requirement?
Completing of a post-graduate degree in engineering, in the same or reasonably similar discipline of engineering as your Bachelor’s, normally results in 12 months of credit towards the required 48 months of experience. You will not receive credit for studies in areas outside of engineering (e.g. business administration).
A post-graduate student may also get additional experience credit if the student works in conjunction with industry sponsorship, is directly supervised by a P.Eng. at the sponsoring company and the thesis research work has a distinct, and imminent practical application meeting PEO’s criteria. This work is not equivalent to industrial experience and is assessed separately.
The total experience credit cannot exceed the time spent to complete the post-graduate degree.
What about my pre-graduation experience?
PEO considers experience gained before graduation when assessing the quality of the required four years of satisfactory engineering experience.
PEO may allow for up to 12 months for pre-graduation experience toward the 48 months of minimum acceptable engineering experience requirement.
To be eligible, the pre-graduation experience must:
- be acceptable engineering experience, based on the five quality-based criteria;
- have been obtained after you have completed at least 50% of your courses; and
- be seen as a stepping stone to your professional development.
Each work-term must be documented and your supervisor must sign the documentation, which you will submit with your Application for Licence when you are ready to apply. PEO recognizes that pre-grad experience is not likely to be at the same level of intensity and responsibility as post-grad experience, therefore the acceptability feature is somewhat lighter than what is expected after graduation. However, PEO does expect to see that the pre-grad experience is a learning tool and will have aided in progressing the applicant’s understanding of the professional engineering working environment.
Does my work experience have to include all five quality-based criteria?
PEO does not expect that all of your jobs will provide experience in all five of the criteria. Your experience is taken as a whole and depends on the work you do. Sometimes, you may do work that satisfies only three categories, other times work that satisfies all five. There is one exception: as mentioned earlier, the most important of the criteria is “Application of Theory”. It clearly separates out the jobs that anyone can do from jobs that require the knowledge of someone who has studied engineering. Therefore, in all cases, you should be in a position to demonstrate that this was an integral part of your work. In considering the eligibility of experience for licensing, PEO must err on the side of caution, in the public interest. Therefore, work experience that is not clearly professional engineering-related might be given only partial credit or entirely excluded from consideration.