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Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics is a basic guide for professional conduct and imposes duties on practitioners, with respect to:

  • society;
  • employers;
  • clients;
  • colleagues, including employees and subordinates;
  • the engineering profession; and
  • himself/herself.

Section 77 of Regulation 941 states that "it is the duty of a practitioner to the public, to the practitioner's employer, to the practitioner's clients, to other licensed engineers of the practitioner's profession, and to the practitioner to act at all times with,

  1. fairness and loyalty to the practitioner's associates, employers, clients, subordinates and employees;
  2. fidelity to public needs;
  3. devotion to high ideals of personal honour and professional integrity;
  4. knowledge of developments in the area of professional engineering relevant to any services that are undertaken; and
  5. competence in the performance of any professional engineering services that are undertaken."

Through the Code of Ethics, professional engineers have a clearly defined duty to society, which is to regard the duty to public welfare as paramount, above their duties to clients or employers. Their duty to employers involves acting as faithful agents or trustees, regarding client information as confidential and avoiding or disclosing conflicts of interest. Their duty to clients means that professional engineers have to disclose immediately any direct or indirect interest that might prejudice (or appear to prejudice) their professional judgment.

Professional engineers who are employee engineers and who "freelance" or perform professional engineering work for clients other than their employers must provide their clients with written statements about the nature of their employee status, only accept work that does not conflict with their duty to their employers, and inform their employers of the work. As co-workers and supervisors, professional engineers are required to cooperate on project work and must not review the work of other professional engineers who are employed by the same company without the other's knowledge, and must not maliciously injure the reputation or business of other practitioners. Professional engineers are obligated to give proper credit for engineering work, uphold the principle of adequate compensation for engineering work, and extend the effectiveness of the profession through the interchange of engineering information and experience.


Professional Engineers Ontario Code of Ethics, Section 77 of the O. Reg. 941

77. The following is the Code of Ethics of the Association:

  1. It is the duty of a practitioner to the public, to the practitioner's employer, to the practitioner's clients, to other members of the practitioner's profession, and to the practitioner to act at all times with,
    1. fairness and loyalty to the practitioner's associates, employers, clients, subordinates and employees;
    2. fidelity to public needs;
    3. devotion to high ideals of personal honour and professional integrity;
    4. knowledge of developments in the area of professional engineering relevant to any services that are undertaken; and
    5. competence in the performance of any professional engineering services that are undertaken.
  2. A practitioner shall,
    1. regard the practitioner's duty to public welfare as paramount;
    2. endeavour at all times to enhance the public regard for the practitioner's profession by extending the public knowledge thereof and discouraging untrue, unfair or exaggerated statements with respect to professional engineering;
    3. not express publicly, or while the practitioner is serving as a witness before a court, commission or other tribunal, opinions on professional engineering matters that are not founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction;
    4. endeavor to keep the practitioner's licence, temporary licence, limited licence or certificate of authorization, as the case may be, permanently displayed in the practitioner's place of business.
  3. A practitioner shall act in professional engineering matters for each employer as a faithful agent or trustee and shall regard as confidential information obtained by the practitioner as to the business affairs, technical methods or processes of an employer and avoid or disclose a conflict of interest that might influence the practitioner's actions or judgment.
  4. A practitioner must disclose immediately to the practitioner's client any interest, direct or indirect, that might be construed as prejudicial in any way to the professional judgment of the practitioner in rendering service to the client.
  5. A practitioner who is an employee-engineer and is contracting in the practitioner's own name to perform professional engineering work for other than the practitioner's employer, must provide the practitioner's client with a written statement of the nature of the practitioner's status as an employee and the attendant limitations on the practitioner's services to the client, must satisfy the practitioner that the work will not conflict with the practitioner's duty to the practitioner's employer, and must inform the practitioner's employer of the work.
  6. A practitioner must co-operate in working with other professionals engaged on a project.
  7. A practitioner shall,
    1. act towards other practitioners with courtesy and good faith;
    2. not accept an engagement to review the work of another practitioner for the same employer except with the knowledge of the other practitioner or except where the connection of the other practitioner with the work has been terminated;
    3. not maliciously injure the reputation or business of another practitioner;
    4. not attempt to gain an advantage over other practitioners by paying or accepting a commission in securing professional engineering work; and
    5. give proper credit for engineering work, uphold the principle of adequate compensation for engineering work, provide opportunity for professional development and advancement of the practitioner's associates and subordinates, and extend the effectiveness of the profession through the interchange of engineering information and experience.
  8. A practitioner shall maintain the honour and integrity of the practitioner's profession and without fear or favour expose before the proper tribunals unprofessional, dishonest or unethical conduct by any other practitioner. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 941, s. 77; O. Reg. 48/92, s. 1.