Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO)

Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) regulates the practice of professional engineering and governs its members to serve and protect the public interest by ensuring all professional engineers meet rigorous qualifications for licensing and that only properly qualified individuals practise engineering.

As part of its mandate, PEO also 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.

What is PEO?

  • Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is the licensing and regulating body for engineering in the province. It fulfills the same role for engineers as the College of Physicians and Surgeons for medicine or the Law Society of Upper Canada for law.
  • Under the Professional Engineers Act, a provincial statute, PEO is responsible for the licensing and discipline of licence holders practising professional engineering and companies providing engineering services. PEO protects the public by ensuring all professional engineers have met the rigorous qualifications for licensing.
  • Individuals may not call themselves a professional engineer, an engineer, a P.Eng., or use any similar title that may lead to the belief that they are qualified to practise professional engineering, unless they are licensed by PEO. PEO licenses more than 79,000 professional engineers, and holders of temporary, limited and provisional licences.
  • 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.
  • Companies and individuals may not offer or provide engineering services to the public unless they obtain a PEO Certificate of Authorization. There are approximately 5100 Certificate of Authorization holders in Ontario.

PEO’s Legislated Mandate

Professional Engineers Ontario regulates the practice of professional engineering and governs those individuals and organizations that PEO licenses in order “that the public interest may be served and protected”. PEO is also mandated to carry out the following additional objects under the Act:

1. establish, maintain and develop standards of knowledge and skill;

2. establish, maintain and develop standards of qualification and standards of practice for the practice of professional engineering;

3. establish, maintain and develop standards of professional ethics; and

4. promote public awareness of the role of PEO.

The Act gives PEO the power to make regulations for administration of PEO (such as fixing the number of professional engineers elected to Council), admission to PEO (such as academic training), and standards of professional engineering practice and ethics (such as setting a code of ethics). The Act permits PEO to make by-laws relating to its administrative and domestic affairs, such as defining the duties of the Registrar.

PEO is governed by a Council, the composition and operation of which is dictated by Regulation 941 under the Act. Most Councillors are elected by PEO’s licensed membership. Some Councillors are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. These appointed Councillors may or may not be professional engineers. The PEO Registrar is responsible for staff implementation of PEO Council decisions and policies.

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