Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) provides trusteeship and leadership of the engineering profession through licensing and development of competent and ethical professional engineers, and regulates the practice of engineering to maintain public safety.
Ontario professional engineers are part of a community of more than 82,000 PEO licence and certificate holders committed to enhancing the quality of life, safety and well-being in the province.
Since 1991, PEO licence holders have contributed nearly $1.4 million through their annual fee renewal process to support the foundation’s efforts to increase the number of women in the profession.
As the regulator of the profession, PEO is committed to ensuring fairness, diversity and innovation in all its operational processes and strategic activities. PEO's mandate, as described in the Professional Engineers Act, is to “regulate the practice of professional engineering and to govern its members, holders of certificates of authorization, holders of temporary licences, holders of provisional licences and holders of limited licences ... in order that the public interest may be served and protected”.
PEO protects and serves the public by:
- ensuring all licensed professional engineers are qualified – and by licensing all who qualify;
- disciplining professional engineers found guilty of professional misconduct;
- taking action against unlicensed individuals who illegally describe themselves as engineers. Similarly, the association can prosecute companies or entities who illegally provide engineering services to the public;
- investigating all complaints brought to it about unlicensed, unprofessional, inadequate, or incompetent engineering services;
- conducting disputes resolution and hearings; and
- preparing performance guidelines as benchmarks for quality of service in the engineering profession.
To take responsibility for professional engineering work in Ontario, an individual must be licensed by PEO. Similarly, companies and individuals may not offer or provide engineering services to the public unless they obtain a PEO Certificate of Authorization.
To become a professional engineer, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- be at least 18 years of age;
- graduate with at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited Canadian engineering program, or meet PEO’s education standards;
- successfully complete PEO’s Professional Practice Examination on ethics, practice, engineering law and professional liability; and
- obtain four years of verifiable, acceptable work experience, with at least one year in a Canadian jurisdiction under a licensed professional engineer.
The P.Eng. designation represents high standards of engineering knowledge, experience and professionalism. PEO's licensure process demands an extra measure of dedication beyond simply graduating from an engineering program. Becoming licensed indicates that the practitioner appreciates the importance of work that is not only technically competent, but also based on sound professional ethics and that adheres to the standards of practice that are the hallmark of professional engineering.
PEO recognizes accomplishments and service to the engineering profession through awards and recognition programs, and nominations for external honours.
- The Order of Honour recognizes professional engineers and others who have rendered conspicuous service to the engineering profession, normally through association.
- The Ontario Professional Engineer Awards are presented in partnership with the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and recognize professional engineers in Ontario who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and their community, as well as projects that have made a significant impact on society.
- The G. Gordon M. Sterling Engineering Intern Award recognizes engineering interns who demonstrate leadership potential within the engineering profession.
- The S.E. Wolfe Thesis Award is presented to the engineer whose thesis was awarded the highest mark of all those presented during the year.
- The V.G. Smith Award is presented to an engineer who achieved the highest examination standing during the year.
- The President's Award recognizes non-engineers who have shown continuous support of, and made significant contributions to, advancing the engineering profession in Ontario.
- The Volunteer Recognition Service program recognizes volunteers who have served on PEO’s chapters, committees/ task forces and Council, and celebrates achievements of milestone years of service.
- In addition to these awards, the PEO Awards Committee nominates outstanding PEO licence holders and engineering interns for honours and awards given by external agencies to recognize particularly distinguished professional engineers or outstanding citizens. One such honour is the Engineers Canada Fellowship, where Engineers Canada recognizes individuals for their noteworthy service to the engineering profession, and bestows the privilege of the use of the designation “Fellow of Engineers Canada”, or FEC.