Professional Engineers Ontario

Professional Engineers Ontario

December 01, 2009 12:00 ET

Engineering Regulator Welcomes Federal Move to Help Newcomers

Professional Engineers Ontario supports initiative to accelerate credential recognition of internationally trained workers

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2009) - As a leader among regulators in Canada in assessing the credentials of internationally trained professionals, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) applauds the direction by the federal government to enhance foreign qualification recognition for internationally trained workers.

Under a new framework released this week by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley, foreign-trained professionals, including engineers, will be told within one year of application whether their qualifications will be recognized for licensure.

The move begins December 31, 2010 and follows provincial leadership by PEO.

"Since 2003 PEO has allowed prospective immigrants to begin the licensing process from outside Canada, before they finalize their immigration plans, and to continue the process when they arrive in the province," said PEO CEO/Registrar Kim Allen, P.Eng. "This helps to ensure that newcomers arriving in Ontario are provided a head start, with full knowledge of our licensing requirements and that their qualifications are assessed and recognized in a timely manner.

In May 2007, PEO introduced the Engineering Intern Training Financial Credit Program to encourage engineering graduates and newcomers to Canada to apply for licensure. The program enables eligible graduates of undergraduate Canadian engineering programs and eligible international engineering graduates with a bachelor of engineering or a bachelor of applied science degree to apply for a professional engineer licence at no cost. They may also be eligible to register in the Engineering Intern Training program for the first year at no cost.

"We encourage representatives at the federal level to continue to promote these aspects of our licensing process to international engineering graduates seeking licensure in Ontario," continued Allen.

A recent audit of the registration practices of PEO confirmed the association's policies and procedures to be fair, transparent, objective and impartial. The independent audit was an initiative of the Office of the Fairness Commissioner of Ontario to assess compliance with the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act by regulated professions in the province. The report is available on PEO's website at: http://www.peo.on.ca/publications/Reports/PEO-Fair%20Registration%20Practices%20Report.pdf.

"The findings are a testament to the continuous efforts of our team to ensure a smooth application process for all our applicants and that all qualified applicants in Ontario are given a fair and equal opportunity to obtain their P.Eng. licence," added Allen.

A licence is not required for engineering employment in Ontario, so long as a licensed professional engineer supervises and is responsible for the work.

Professional Engineers Ontario administers the Professional Engineers Act by licensing Ontario's 72,000 professional engineers, granting temporary, limited and provisional licences to practise professional engineering, and authorizing businesses to provide engineering services to the public. It sets standards for and regulates engineering in Ontario so that the public interest is served and protected. Rigorously educated, experienced, and committed to a Code of Ethics that puts the public first, licensed professional engineers can be identified by the P.Eng. after their names.

Background Statistics

- In 2008, PEO received the highest number of P.Eng. applications (4449) since 1998.

- PEO licensed 2374 professional engineers in 2008, the highest number of first-time P.Eng. licences issued since 1991.

- Approximately one-third of Ontario's 72,000 engineers were educated outside Canada, reflecting PEO's continuous efforts to facilitate the licensing of internationally trained professionals, while maintaining high standards to protect the public.

-In 2005, for the first-time ever, PEO licensed more international engineering graduates than graduates of a Canadian accredited engineering program, although only 25 per cent of international graduates typically apply for licensure. This feat was accomplished again in 2006 and 2007.

- In its 87-year history, more than half of PEO's elected presidents were educated and trained outside Canada. A similar percentage of professional engineers educated elsewhere volunteer on PEO committees, including those that assess the academic and experience qualifications of licence applicants.

- To help ensure that immigrants arrive in Ontario with full knowledge of our licensing requirements and a head start, PEO allows prospective immigrants to begin the Ontario P.Eng. licensing process from outside Canada, before they finalize their immigration plans, and to continue the process when they arrive in Ontario.

- In January 2005, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities released Opening Doors - An Investment in Prosperity, which included a scorecard on Ontario regulatory bodies' progress in enhancing accessibility to their professions for foreign-trained professionals. In that survey, PEO scored at the top of the list of Ontario regulators.

- Since 2000, applicants from over 1,600 institutions world-wide have been granted licences by PEO.

- To help international engineering graduates obtain experience for licensure, PEO grants provisional licences to applicants who have met all the requirements for licensing as professional engineers except the required 12 months work experience under a Canadian professional engineer.
/For further information: David Smith, Manager, Communications
Tel: 416-840-1068; 800-339-3716, ext.1068
Email: dsmith@peo.on.ca
/ IN: POLITICS

Contact Information

  • David Smith, Manager, Communications, Professional Engineers Ontario
    Primary Phone: 416-840-1068
    Toll-Free: 800-339-3716
    E-mail: dsmith@peo.on.ca