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
Does the Professional Engineers Act permit PEO to implement the PEAK program?
The Act permits PEO to provide continuing education to licence holders; however, it currently does not allow PEO to make continuing professional education compulsory and does not provide PEO with the means to enforce compliance with a mandatory program. Generally, as a regulator, PEO is authorized to collect whatever information the association deems is necessary to carry out its public interest mandate.
What are the elements of the PEAK program?
The program consists of three elements: a practice evaluation questionnaire; an online ethics module; and a continuing knowledge declaration. Based on the results of the practice evaluation questionnaire, practising licence holders are also provided with a recommended amount of time to dedicate to continuing knowledge activities during the year. The maximum amount of time is 30 hours per year; however, in most cases, the actual recommendation is less. PEO’s online directory of practitioners shows the completion status of all elements of the program for each licence holder.
What is the purpose of the PEAK program?
The PEAK program is an information gathering program that provides PEO with an accurate and up-to-date regulatory profile of its licence holders to help ensure it has sufficient information to effectively carry out its role as the regulator of the profession. The program also gauges the continuing knowledge activities of licence holders, and provides a recommended number of hours for each practising licence holder to annually maintain a level of knowledge and skill commensurate with safeguarding the public interest.
When should I start the PEAK program?
No action is required until you receive your renewal notice. At that time, you should log in to your account in PEO’s member portal and click on the PEAK tab to begin the process
Who is being requested to complete the PEAK program?
All licence holders, including limited licence holders, are requested to complete the PEAK program annually.
Engineering Interns (EITs) are not asked to complete the PEAK program but should familiarize themselves with the program for when they are fully licensed. Temporary and Provisional licence holders are exempt from the PEAK program.
What is the penalty for misuse of a seal?
Anyone who illegally uses an engineering seal may be found guilty of an offence under Section 40 of the Act and may be fined up to a maximum of $10,000 for a first offence, and $25,000 for any subsequent offence. Police may also lay fraud or forgery charges. These offences are usually carried out by non-engineers without the knowledge or consent of the engineer in question. This is why engineers should store their seal in a secure place.
I am moving out of Ontario and do not intend to maintain my PEO licence. Can I keep my seal?
The seal is the property of Professional Engineers Ontario and must be returned when one leaves the association.
Does sealing a document increase an engineer's civil liability?
According to lawyer William Black of McCarthy Tetrault, the "signing or sealing of documents by engineers ... has absolutely nothing to do with the question of liability for negligence. Engineers are liable because they prepared the drawings or because they supervised or approved them, and not because they signed or sealed them." Nevertheless, the seal is important because it implies a commitment to the standards of the profession and signifies to the public that a particular P.Eng. has accepted professional responsibility for the document. Should any errors be found, the engineer who seals the document is answerable to PEO, their client and any agency relying on them.
What is current PEO policy with respect to the sealing of electronic drawings? Can I scan a P.Eng. seal and signature and place it on an electronic drawing?
PEO policy on matters related to electronic documents is provided in the Guideline for the Use of a Professional Engineer’s Seal. Professional engineers are allowed to scan or otherwise create electronic facsimiles of their seals and signatures and apply these to electronic documents. Professional engineers who do so should consider use of appropriate security measures, since an electronic drawing with a seal and signature could be changed without the engineer's knowledge and a third party would still expect that the engineer is responsible for the entire content of the document.
How should I handle engineering drawings for which I'm responsible that include changes given to me by a third party not under my direction?
Known as " as-built drawings," these should not be sealed. Seals should be applied only in those cases where you or your delegate have visited the site, reviewed the project during construction, and have verified every change in detail. The changes must be clearly marked on the drawings and a note referencing the original sealed drawings should be attached. These documents are referred to as “record drawings” to distinguish them from “as-built drawings”. Record drawings verified in detail by the engineer and issued to a third party must be sealed.