December 12, 2018 – CEO’s member firms work within a regulated industry. Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is the body responsible for administering the Professional Engineers Act, and they are obligated under that Act to regulate the practice of professional engineering and set standards of qualification, practice and ethics, all so the public interest may be served and protected. PEO issues licences to qualified engineers and maintains the Certificate of Authorization (C of A) program for engineering firms. CEO understands the need for a strong and focused engineering regulator in Ontario.
For many years now, however, PEO has faced serious governance challenges and lost its focus. There are a number of issues and concerns that directly impact CEO and its member firms, including licensure timeframes, a lack of mandatory professional liability insurance for C of A holders, and the unnecessary regulation of the “consulting engineer” title, which is unique to Ontario. Further, PEO has engaged in a broad range of non-regulatory activities that detract from fulfilling its mandate. Many of these activities conflict with the role of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), which is the advocacy and member-service organization for engineers in Ontario. This causes confusion for the public, for government and even within the engineering community itself.
While PEO’s current President, Dave Brown, P.Eng., shares these concerns, he has been unable to effect change within PEO Council. As a result, CEO and OSPE have written to the Attorney General of Ontario to express our concerns and seek action, through changes to the Act and associated regulations. PEO needs to adopt leading practices in regulatory governance, and it needs to divest itself of all non-regulatory activity. Only through changes to the statute and regulations can those outcomes be achieved.
The letters may be viewed by clicking on the links below:
Subsequent to the letters being sent, the Chairs and senior staff members of PEO, CEO and OSPE met to discuss the issues. All parties remained focused on PEO’s success as the engineering regulator, working to serve and protect the public interest. It was decided that CEO and OSPE would jointly bring forward a briefing note to the February meeting of PEO Council. We will propose a path forward that will reshape and refocus PEO, and give PEO Council the opportunity to take the lead in making these changes rather than having them dictated by the Attorney General.
We will update CEO member firms as events unfold.