Pathways to Skilled Trades Certification


Under 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”.

If you meet any of the following statements, you will need to obtain a professional engineering license (P. Eng.):

  1. You are planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising, or managing any of these acts
  2. Engineering principles are required to carry out the act
  3. The act concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment

If you intend on working in any of the capacities above, you will need to apply for a Professional Engineering License from the regulating body in Ontario. Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) grants licenses to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Be of good character

3. Hold an undergraduate engineering degree from a Canadian Engineering Accreditation board (CEAB)-accredited program, or equivalent qualifications), and, if required, successfully complete any technical exams.

4. Demonstrate at least 48 months of verifiable, acceptable engineering experience, with at least 12 months from a Canadian jurisdiction under a licensed professional engineer; and

5. Successfully complete PEO’s Professional Practice Examination (PPE).

International Engineering Graduates interested in applying for their P.Eng. do not have to be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants before applying for their license. Rather, you can begin the licensure process outside of Canada.

There are many steps for the licensure process.  An application form, available on PEO’s website, must be completed with as many details as possible. You must also obtain an academic assessment, Professional Practice Examination (PPE), engineering experience record and references.

Application form

You must complete the application form and provide as much detailed information, including your name, proof of identity, current residence address, academic background, current employment, and more.

Academic Assessment

You must provide details about your academic background including descriptions of all engineering courses taken and abstracts of postgraduate degree theses. If you are a graduate from a Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) program, original transcripts are required and can be directly sent from the academic institution to PEO. However, if you are a non-CEAB graduate, original transcripts as well as diplomas, degrees and/or certificates are required. These documents must be translated in English by a certified member of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) or prepared and certified by a professional engineer licensed in Canada. PEO’s internal accreditation department will assess your academic background to determine Canadian equivalency on a case-by-case basis. This may result in PEO assigning applicants to an examination program to ensure that academic requirements are met. These technical exams can be written outside of Canada and are offered twice a year.

Professional Practice Exam (PPE)

The PPE is a 3 hour exam based on 2 parts: law and ethics. It is a closed book essay format examination offered 3 times a year (April, August and December)   that can be written across and outside of Canada. You may be also permitted, by special request, an examination date outside of the determined times if you are not available for any of the general examination dates.    

All applicants must pass the PPE with a minimum mark of 50%. Only failed portions of the exam have to be re-written (law or ethics). You can obtain more details about where to find study materials from PEO.

Engineering experience

This step is to be provided after your exams are completed. You must provide information on how you have 48 months of verifiable, acceptable engineering experience. At least 12 months of acceptable engineering experience in a Canadian jurisdiction under a licensed professional engineer is required. This must be written in a detailed and comprehensive summary on an Experience Record Form found online on the PEO website. PEO suggests focusing on describing how you meet the specific criteria below, providing information on 3 to 5 engineering projects you’ve completed. The first two criteria are mandatory and must be demonstrated over a substantial part of your experience with supplemental exposure to or experience in the remaining criteria.    

  1. Application of theory
  2. Practical experience
  3. Management of engineering
  4. Communication skills
  5. Social implications of engineering


You need to provide three references, at a minimum, with one P.Eng. who supervised you for 12 months in a Canadian jurisdiction. Your references should be familiar with the work you completed and ideally be licensed professional engineers who were your direct supervisors. One reference should be a person of authority from a previous employment or client firm. Not only should your references attest to your technical abilities and the 5 criteria mentioned above, they should also verify that you are of good character.

PEO offers a provisional license for those in the process of obtaining their P.Eng. who only have their 12 months of Canadian experience to fulfill. This provisional license must be renewed every year to ensure that your case file with PEO remains active. Once you complete all requirements for your application, you will then be provided your full Ontario P.Eng. license and be able to work in the capacity of a professional engineer.

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