Through licensing, PEO ensures only properly qualified individuals are entitled to practise engineering, or lead others to believe they are entitled to practise. Through its complaints and discipline processes, PEO maintains the profession’s high standards of professional practice and ethics. It also disciplines practitioners found guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence. PEO’s Complaints Committee investigates complaints made against professional engineers by either the public or other P.Engs. If a complaint is referred to the Discipline Committee, a formal hearing following court procedures is held in the PEO offices. Both the complainant and the engineer could be asked to testify at the hearing and normally lawyers are present. After it has heard all the evidence the Discipline Committee will inform both the complainant and the practitioner of the decision in writing. If the Discipline Committee finds the practitioner guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence it may:
- Revoke the practitioner’s licence;
- Suspend the practitioner’s licence for up to 24 months or fine the practitioner up to $5000;
- Limit the practitioner’s professional work;
- Impose conditions on the practitioner for continued practice;
- Require the practitioner to demonstrate engineering knowledge through specific technical examinations;
- Direct the findings to be published in summary or in detail; or
- Take other action as specified in the Professional Engineers Act.
The practitioner has the right to appeal the decision to the Divisional Court of Ontario.