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”.
In Ontario, the Engineering Profession is a regulated profession and Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is the licensing and regulating body. PEO is a regulatory body that ensures the safety of the public and they set the standards for admission, issue licences, and regulate the practice of engineering in Ontario. Professional engineers in Ontario use the P.Eng abbreviation after their names and they specialize in various engineering activities.
Legally, no one is authorized to practice as a professional engineer without a licence. A professional engineer in Ontario has to satisfy the requirements set by PEO in order to earn their licence.
As a prospective immigrant to Ontario, if you have an engineering degree and prior experience in engineering from another country you are not considered a professional engineer. If you would like to practice as a professional engineer in Ontario, you have to go through the licencing procedures outlined by PEO. It is advisable to learn about the licensing process before you arrive.
Working as an “Engineer” in Ontario without a Licence:
You can work in engineering in Ontario without a licence if:
- A professional engineer supervises and takes responsibility for your work
- You do not use the title “professional engineer”, “P.Eng” or any other title that may misrepresent you as a licenced professional engineer – it is considered illegal to use any of these titles if you are not licenced by PEO
The rules regarding the licencing of professionals in engineers in Ontario can be found in the Professional Engineers Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter P28 and Regulation 941, R.R.O. You can find this on the Government of Ontario’s website.
Please note that PEO provides licences for professional engineers to practice in Ontario however labour mobility legislation in other Canadian provinces may allow applicants to transfer their licence/obtain another provinces licence if they decide to move outside of Ontario. Each province and territory regulates their professional engineering practices.
International Engineering Graduates:
As an internationally educated/trained graduate there are steps to take before/after arriving in order to facilitate the licencing process. Some relevant tips are:
- You can begin the Ontario licencing process from outside of Canada and continue the process after you arrive
- In order to facilitate the process it is advisable to gather all required documents and if necessary translate your documents
- Get your academic qualifications assessment result from PEO
- You can receive a provisional licence if you meet all the requirements for licencing except the required 12 months’ work experience under a Canadian P.Eng
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