Knowledge Centre

PEO publishes a variety of resources to assist licence holders in their roles and responsibilities, as well as guidance for applicants going through the licensure process.

Resources

Ontario professional engineers are part of a community of more than 87,500 PEO licence and certificate holders committed to enhancing the quality of life, safety and well-being in the province.


PEO’s Engineering Intern (EIT) program provides guidance and assistance to engineering graduates as they acquire the 48 months of acceptable engineering work experience, including annual reviews of experience.


As the regulator of engineering in Ontario, it’s PEO’s role to assure the public that licensed practitioners are competent to practise in their chosen discipline, and that they are taking responsibility for the outcomes of their work.


As Ontario’s engineering regulator, PEO relies heavily on its volunteers. More than 1,000 professional engineers, engineering interns and non-engineers volunteer their time each year on behalf of the association through their participation.


PEO's mandate, as described in the Professional Engineers Act, is to ensure that the public is protected and that individuals and companies providing engineering services uphold a strict code of professional ethics and conduct.


Online Learning Modules

PEO’s Online Learning Modules provide licence holders, volunteers, staff and applicants with various learning and development opportunities.

Practice Advice Resources and Guidelines

PEO offers a variety of practice advice resources to assist licence holders in providing professional and ethical engineering services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sales or marketing jobs where you do not apply theory and/or engineering principles might not meet PEO’s experience requirement. A data entry job or simple programming or database manipulation, where you use a software package designed by someone else might not qualify if your work does not include engineering analysis and design.

Providing technical support for a software company while studying to become a civil engineer would likely not qualify as pre-graduation experience as it is not in your field of study unless you prove through your post-grad experience that you are practising in a field that combines the two streams.

Submit your Pre-graduation Experience Record at the time you apply for your P.Eng. licence. Do not wait until then to fill out the form, however. Fill out the form as soon as you have ended your work placement, so you can get it signed by your employer (and can accurately recall what exactly you worked on).

The supervisor who signs your pre-graduation work experience form does not have to be a professional engineer. However, if there is a question about the eligibility of your experience, having a P.Eng. supervisor will aid PEO in its evaluation.

Your work experience has to satisfy PEO’s experience requirements. Therefore, anything you can do to demonstrate clearly the appropriateness of your work experience can be valuable. For example, if your supervisor was not a P.Eng., but his/her manager was, you might consider having both your supervisor and his/her manager sign your pre-graduation experience summary.

Any work term or summer job involving engineering, started after you have completed 50% of your program’s course load, may be eligible for consideration.

Completing of a post-graduate degree in engineering, in the same or reasonably similar discipline of engineering as your Bachelor’s, normally results in 12 months of credit towards the required 48 months of experience. You will not receive credit for studies in areas outside of engineering (e.g. business administration).

A post-graduate student may also get additional experience credit if the student works in conjunction with industry sponsorship, is directly supervised by a P.Eng. at the sponsoring company and the thesis research work has a distinct, and imminent practical application meeting PEO’s criteria. This work is not equivalent to industrial experience and is assessed separately.

The total experience credit cannot exceed the time spent to complete the post-graduate degree.

PEO considers experience gained before graduation when assessing the quality of the required four years of satisfactory engineering experience.

PEO may allow for up to 12 months for pre-graduation experience toward the 48 months of minimum acceptable engineering experience requirement.

To be eligible, the pre-graduation experience must:

  • be acceptable engineering experience, based on the five quality-based criteria;
  • have been obtained after you have completed at least 50% of your courses; and
  • be seen as a stepping stone to your professional development.

Each work-term must be documented and your supervisor must sign the documentation, which you will submit with your Application for Licence when you are ready to apply. PEO recognizes that pre-grad experience is not likely to be at the same level of intensity and responsibility as post-grad experience, therefore the acceptability feature is somewhat lighter than what is expected after graduation. However, PEO does expect to see that the pre-grad experience is a learning tool and will have aided in progressing the applicant’s understanding of the professional engineering working environment.

PEO does not expect that all of your jobs will provide experience in all five of the criteria. Your experience is taken as a whole and depends on the work you do. Sometimes, you may do work that satisfies only three categories, other times work that satisfies all five. There is one exception: as mentioned earlier, the most important of the criteria is “Application of Theory”. It clearly separates out the jobs that anyone can do from jobs that require the knowledge of someone who has studied engineering. Therefore, in all cases, you should be in a position to demonstrate that this was an integral part of your work. In considering the eligibility of experience for licensing, PEO must err on the side of caution, in the public interest. Therefore, work experience that is not clearly professional engineering-related might be given only partial credit or entirely excluded from consideration.

PEO evaluates each applicant’s engineering experience against five, quality-based criteria:

Application of Theory - This is the most important criteria since it shows that the work you are doing could not be done by a person who had not studied engineering. It indicates that you are having an opportunity to use the engineering principles that you learned at university. To be considered for licensing, your experience must include meaningful participation in at least one aspect of the following applications of theory:

  • analysis
  • design and synthesis
  • testing methods
  • implementation methods
  • We expect that you can communicate to us which engineering principle you have used in any of the above areas and why it is applicable under the circumstances.

Practical Experience - Practical experience provides applicants with an appreciation of the fundamental roles of function, time, cost, reliability, reparability, safety and environmental impact in their work. Practical experience should include such aspects as:

  • function of components as part of a larger system;
  • opportunities to experience and understand the limitations of practical engineering and related human systems in achieving desired goals;
  • opportunities to experience the significance of time in the engineering process;
  • opportunities to acquire knowledge and understanding of codes, standards, regulations and laws that govern applicable engineering activities.
  • ‘Opportunities’ mentioned above means that you have been given experience in these areas, not just observed or read manuals. Having an understanding of the codes and standards means that you know how and why they were developed and can explain this to us when asked.

Management of Engineering - Management of engineering projects includes supervising staff, managing projects, being exposed generally to an engineering business environment, and managing technology from a societal perspective. Acceptable management components involve:

  • planning
  • scheduling
  • budgeting
  • supervision
  • project control
  • risk assessment

This criteria is one that is used to identify progress. Usually, new grads are given very little experience in this area; however, as they acquire more experience, they should be given more and more responsibilities in each component.

Communication Skills - An opportunity to develop communication skills is an important experience requirement. This applies to communication in all areas of the work environment, including communication with supervisors, co-workers, government regulators, clients and the general public. For an applicant’s experience in this area to be acceptable, the applicant should have regular opportunities to participate in:

  • preparing written work;
  • making oral reports or presentations;
  • making presentations to the general public.

Social Implications of Engineering - The social implications of engineering are an important aspect of engineering practice. A professional engineering work environment is one that heightens an applicant’s awareness of any social consequences, both positive and negative, of an engineering activity. While not every project or activity will have direct or immediate social consequences, an applicant’s work experience should nevertheless, instill an awareness of the:

  • value or benefits of engineering works to the public;
  • relationship between engineering activity and the public at large;
  • safeguards in place to protect employees and the public and to mitigate adverse impacts; and
  • significant role of regulatory agencies in the practice of engineering.

Experience in this area should foster an awareness of an engineer’s professional responsibility to guard against conditions dangerous or threatening to life, limb, property, or the environment, and to call such conditions to the attention of those responsible. This is not limited to the immediate work environment but should extend to the end users of the engineering work.

You may be credited with 12 months of experience if you have a postgraduate engineering degree or degrees. Please note that this experience credit cannot replace the requirement for 12 months of engineering experience in a Canadian jurisdiction under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer.

You do not have to wait to acquire your work experience before you apply for your licence. Application directly after graduation and registration in the association's Engineering Intern program (EIT) is the next phase in your transition from engineering student through to licensed professional. The EIT program provides annual reviews and guidance on the quality of experience you are receiving. Enrolment can also connect you with the engineering community through publications and Chapter membership.

For details on the EIT program, email eit@peo.on.ca or call (416) 224-1100.