New program intends to enhance regulation of the engineering profession
On March 31 Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) will launch a new program to gather information on the practices of each of its 80,000 licence holders and gauge their professional knowledge activities.
Under PEO’s Practice Evaluation and Knowledge (PEAK) program, practicing licence holders will be asked to complete both a practice evaluation questionnaire and an online ethics module before their licence renewal date.
Based on the results of the practice evaluation questionnaire, practicing licence holders will be provided with a recommended number of hours for continuing professional knowledge per year to maintain a level of knowledge commensurate with safeguarding the public interest. They are then asked to report their continuing knowledge activities to PEO prior to their subsequent licence renewal date.
Those who self-identify as nonpracticing licence holders will only be asked to declare they are not practicing professional engineering and complete an online ethics module prior to the date of their licence renewal.
“The PEAK program is designed to provide us with real data about the nature of engineering practice in Ontario that will enable PEO to focus its regulatory efforts on gaps in practice standards and enforcement of rights to practice,” said PEO President George Comrie. “The data would also go a long way towards enhancing public and government confidence in PEO as a regulator.”
While participating in the PEAK program is not mandatory to renew or maintain a licence, the completion status for each element of the program will be publically noted for each licence holder on PEO’s online directory of practitioners.
As part of the program, practicing licence holders will be able to design their own continuing professional knowledge plan by choosing opportunities that align with their specific area of practice, including university/college courses, reading technical journals, and attending technical seminars.
The online module is intended to serve as a refresher on professionalism and ethics.