- A Guide to Professional Engineers Ontario's Practice Evaluation and Knowledge Program
- Overview of PEO's PEAK Program:
Ensuring the competence and ethical conduct of licence holders are core responsibilities of every self-regulatory body.
In Ontario, the public looks to PEO as its primary assurance that engineering licence holders are competent. And it is on the understanding that the association can provide such assurance that the government grants to the profession the privilege of self-regulation.
PEO has a sophisticated process to ensure that applicants have demonstrated high qualifications at the time of their entry into the profession. Up until recently, however, it did not have a mechanism in place to measure whether practising licence holders have enhanced, or even maintained, their competence. Further, the public, PEO’s largest and most important stakeholder, had no way to verify if a practising licence holder’s qualifications had been maintained.
PEO’s new Practice Evaluation and Knowledge (PEAK) program is designed to provide the association with an accurate and up-to-date regulatory profile of its licence holders that will help meet the public’s ever increasing demand for accountability among regulators of professions.
A timeline of the recent history of this issue is available on the Background page.
A list of answers to the most commonly asked questions is on the FAQ page.
If you have questions about the PEAK program, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PEAK program comes into effect on March 31, 2017. At that time, renewal notices to all licence holders will contain a request encouraging participation in the program.
In the renewal notice, practising licence holders will be asked to complete both a practice evaluation questionnaire and an online ethics module prior to their licence renewal date. Upon completion of the questionnaire, they will be provided with an individual continuing knowledge target (in hours) to voluntarily complete and report to PEO prior to their next renewal date the following year.
Those who self-identify as non-practising licence holders will only be asked to declare they are not practising professional engineering and complete the online ethics module prior to the date of their licence renewal.
Before March 31, 2017: practice evaluation questionnaire review
Before the PEAK program is formally implemented on March 31, 2017, PEO licence holders are invited to review and comment on the beta version of the program’s practice evaluation questionnaire—one of three elements of the program.
Here’s how you can access and evaluate the beta questionnaire:
- Login to your account via the PEO Member Portal.
- Click the Practice Evaluation Questionnaire link under the PEAK tab on the far right of the top navigation buttons.
- Click Continue to begin the questionnaire.
- Enter your comments in the space provided below each question.
Please note that the site will not save any other data collected during the beta period (ending on March 30, 2017).
You can also review the mechanism for reporting continuing professional knowledge activities by clicking the My Activities link under the PEAK tab in the Member Portal.
Non-practising licence holders are exempt from any continuing professional knowledge activity under the program.
While participation in the PEAK program is not mandatory to renew or maintain a licence, should a licence holder not complete any element of the program in the allotted time, this information will be publicly noted on PEO’s online directory of practitioners.
Engineering Interns (EITs) will not be asked to complete the PEAK program but should familiarize themselves with it for when they become fully licensed. Temporary and Provisional licence holders are exempt from the PEAK program.
The unique program consists of the following three elements:
- An online practice evaluation questionnaire;
- A continuing knowledge declaration; and
- An online ethics module.
The completion status of each element will be noted for each licence holder on PEO’s online directory of practitioners.
For practising licence holders, the practice evaluation questionnaire is composed of a series of questions on the individual’s engineering practice environment. Practising licence holders will also be provided with a recommended number of hours to annually maintain a level of knowledge and skill commensurate with safeguarding the public interest.
For those who identify as non-practising licence holders, the questionnaire is replaced with a declaration that you are not practising professional engineering in any capacity. Non-practising licence holders will be asked to complete the online ethics module but will not be assigned a recommended number of hours for additional knowledge under the plan.
All licence holders will be asked to complete the practice evaluation questionnaire or non-practising declaration prior to the date of their licence renewal.
The PEAK program takes a unique approach to determining continuing professional knowledge recommendations for practising licence holders–one not used by any other engineering regulator in the country. The program adopts a risk-based approach to address the diversity of practice among licence holders. That is, instead of having identical requirements for all members, the recommended requirements correlate to the amount of risk to the public the practising licence holder’s work entails. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Based on the outcome of the practice evaluation questionnaire, practising licence holders will be provided a recommended number of hours of continuing professional knowledge.
Non-practising licence holders will not be assigned a recommended number of hours for additional professional knowledge.
A truly unique aspect of the program is that it allows professional engineers the opportunity to design their knowledge plan to align with their area of practice and the available professional knowledge opportunities.
Under this self-directed initiative, practising licence holders will be asked to:
- complete the practice evaluation questionnaire;
- learn the recommended number of hours for annual continuing professional knowledge;
- determine his or her own opportunities, based on his or her own practice;
- pursue opportunities that are most relevant to his or her practice; and
- report what they have done to PEO via the online Member Portal prior to the date of their licence renewal.
The consideration of ethical issues is an important element of engineering practice. When the program is implemented on March 31, 2017, both practising and non-practising licence holders will be asked to complete an online refresher on ethics and professionalism each year prior to their licence renewal date.
The PEAK program was developed to be unlike any other competence assurance reporting program in place today. The goal was to create a progressive alternative through leading best practices.
The PEAK program is unique in that it is:
- Not a one-size-fits-all solution – distinguishes between non-practising and practising licence holders;
- Risk-based – takes into account the risks to the public associated with the licence holder’s scope(s) of practice and practice environment;
- Flexible – allows practising licence holders to design their own knowledge plan to align with their area of practice and the available opportunities. There is no professional knowledge requirement for non-practising licence holders; and
- Relevant – focuses only on technical activities relevant to a practising licence holder’s work environment.