Below are answers to some common questions about PEO and licensing.
What is pre-graduation experience?
PEO may allow for up to 12 months for pre-graduation experience toward the 48 months of minimum acceptable engineering experience requirement.
To be eligible, the pre-graduation experience must:
- be acceptable engineering experience, based on the five quality-based criteria;
- have been obtained after you have completed at least 50% of your courses; and
- be seen as a stepping stone to your professional development.
Each work-term must be documented and your supervisor must sign the documentation, which you will submit with your Application for License when you are ready to apply. PEO recognizes that pre-grad experience is not likely to be at the same level of intensity and responsibility as post-grad experience, therefore the acceptability feature is somewhat lighter than what is expected after graduation. However, PEO does expect to see that the pre-grad experience is a learning tool and will have aided in progressing the applicant’s understanding of the professional engineering working environment.
Is there a certain PEO form I have to use to record my pre-graduation experience?
PEO provides a form you can fill out. You don’t have to use this form, but it offers good guidance on how to prepare your summary. If you find it easier to type your work-term experience on ordinary paper that is acceptable – just remember that you want to communicate clearly to PEO how your work experience meets PEO’s experience requirements. Be certain to have your document signed by your supervisor.
Which work terms can I use for pre-graduation experience?
Any work term or summer job involving engineering, started after you have completed 50% of your program’s course load, may be eligible for consideration.
Does my supervisor have to be a professional engineer (P.Eng.) to sign off on my pre-graduation experience?
The supervisor who signs your pre-graduation work experience form does not have to be a professional engineer. However, if there is a question about the eligibility of your experience, having a P.Eng. supervisor will aid PEO in its evaluation.
Your work experience has to satisfy PEO’s experience requirements. Therefore, anything you can do to demonstrate clearly the appropriateness of your work experience can be valuable. For example, if your supervisor was not a P.Eng., but his/her manager was, you might consider having both your supervisor and his/her manager sign your pre-graduation experience summary.
When do I submit my Pre-graduation Experience Record to PEO?
Submit your Pre-graduation Experience Record at the time you apply for your P.Eng. licence. Do not wait until then to fill out the form, however. Fill out the form as soon as you have ended your work placement, so you can get it signed by your employer (and can accurately recall what exactly you worked on).
What are some examples of inadequate pre-graduation experience?
Sales or marketing jobs where you do not apply theory and/or engineering principles might not meet PEO’s experience requirement. A data entry job or simple programming or database manipulation, where you use a software package designed by someone else might not qualify if your work does not include engineering analysis and design.
Providing technical support for a software company while studying to become a civil engineer would likely not qualify as pre-graduation experience as it is not in your field of study unless you prove through your post-grad experience that you are practising in a field that combines the two streams.
SMP and EIT Programs
What is the Student Membership Program (SMP)?
The SMP allows you to register in PEO’s membership database as a student member. By registering for the SMP, you’ll be able to keep in touch with the engineering regulatory association, and get a head start in establishing a connection to the engineering professional community. Signing up allows PEO to remind you of your next steps toward licensure as you progress through your education, as well as let you know about PEO events and opportunities in your area.
Please note, student members are not yet PEO members. Once you graduate, you may become a PEO member through the EIT program.
Can the SMP help me find employment?
No. The SMP does not have a job posting board. There are many options available for your job search. Your on-campus career services office may be able to help. You can also browse the internet to learn about companies and see which ones have summer or work-term programs. As well, you may consider signing up with the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), which offers online career services. More information on OSPE can be found below or on their website.
What is the Engineering Intern (EIT) Program?
The EIT program provides guidance and assistance to engineering graduates as they acquire the 48 months of acceptable engineering work experience, including annual reviews of experience to ensure that an applicant is “on the right track” for licensing.
Becoming an EIT demonstrates to employers that an applicant is serious about being licensed as a professional engineer.
For information on eligibility and how to enroll, please visit the PEO website at www.peo.on.ca.
What are the benefits of the EIT Program?
Benefits of the EIT Program include:
- the opportunity to receive detailed, confidential, annual work experience reviews;
- eligibility to participate in PEO’s Licensure Assistance Program;
- access to Engineering Dimensions, the association’s official journal;
- opportunities to attend EIT seminars at PEO’s office or through sponsoring chapters;
- the opportunity to join a PEO chapter, attend meetings and network with professional colleagues;
- email notices of events or items of interest pertaining to your development into a licensed engineer;
- access to the PEO Portal;
- and the opportunity to join the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and participate in their member-only services, such as insurance and investment plans, and online Career Centre.
Complaints & Discipline
What happens when PEO receives a complaint involving engineering work?
PEO has the power to discipline professional engineers found guilty of professional misconduct. The association can also take action against unlicensed individuals who illegally describe themselves as engineers. Similarly, the association can prosecute companies or entities that illegally offer or provide engineering services to the public. PEO may hold a hearing, which works much like a court case: PEO is the prosecutor; the engineer is the defendant; the PEO Discipline Committee is judge and jury. If the Discipline Committee finds the engineer guilty, it imposes a penalty. The penalty might involve revocation or suspension of the license, payment of a fine and/or publishing of the licensee’s name in PEO’s official journal. Publishing of the licensee’s name is mandatory if the license is revoked or suspended.
What happens if someone uses the title “engineer” without being licensed?
If a person uses the title “professional engineer”, or “engineer”, or any other occupational title that might lead to the belief that the person is qualified to practice professional engineering, or uses a seal that leads to the belief that the person is an engineer, PEO will prosecute the matter through provincial court. Fines for people found guilty can range from $10,000 for a first offence, to $50,000 for repeat offences.
What is OSPE?
The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) is a member-interest advocacy body whose mandate is to advance the professional and economic interests of professional engineers in Ontario, and to look after non-regulatory matters for the profession. OSPE was created as a legal entity in April 2000 with the support of PEO and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the arm of government with the responsibility for regulating engineering in this province.
OSPE seeks to:
- advance the professional and economic interests of professional engineers;
- raise awareness of the role of professional engineers;
- enhance the profession’s image;
- and act as a strong voice on behalf of professional engineers in Ontario.
Can students join OSPE?
Engineering students in Ontario may enroll with OSPE. There is a discounted annual fee for student members.
What are the benefits of a student membership with OSPE?
Membership with OSPE will help engineering students develop insight into their chosen profession. As a member of OSPE, you will learn about issues of concern to professional engineers in Ontario and of initiatives undertaken to respond to these issues. OSPE also provides professional development and career services.