IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ENFORCEMENT:
The January 31, 2024 deadline has now passed for eligible PEO licence holders to complete the first two PEAK elements—the Practice Evaluation and Professional Practice Module. If you are late, please comply as soon as possible.
Each year, an enforcement date will be announced by the Registrar under section 51.2 of Regulation 941. PEO will provide ample notice and issue reminders to licence holders before any enforcement action takes place.
PEO is committed to enforcing the mandatory PEAK program, beginning with the 2024 calendar year. Enforcement will eventually include administrative licence suspensions, as well as an audit program to ensure requirements are being met correctly.
Since January 1, 2023, professional engineers and limited licence holders must complete PEO’s mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) requirement every year to maintain their licence.
We are administering this annual requirement through the Practice Evaluation and Knowledge (PEAK) program according to the Professional Engineers Act (under section 51.2 of Regulation 941). The program supports PEO’s public interest mandate by helping to ensure that licence holders practise competently and ethically. In turn, licence holders demonstrate their commitment to continually improving their engineering practice.
Everything you need to know about the mandatory PEAK program is provided below in the video introduction and the following sections.
Watch a video overview of the program and a recorded presentation about the program:
The following chart shows the relationship between your PEO status, allowances and restrictions on your licence and your corresponding annual PEAK CPD requirements.
The PEAK program is available online through the PEO portal. Licence holders must log in to their portal accounts via the PEO portal login page using their PEO login credentials, then navigate to the program via the PEAK tab, and follow the instructions. A link to the portal login page is also available on the PEO website homepage and this PEAK program webpage.
Here, the individuals can access the Practice Evaluation, complete the Professional Practice Module, and submit their CPD hours to the Continuing Professional Development Report.
Professional engineers and limited licence holders must complete the PEAK program every calendar year.
The program does not apply to temporary licence holders, engineering interns or individuals enrolled in PEO’s fee remission, such as retired engineers.
The PEAK program is laid out in three steps to be completed annually. The three elements of the program are:
- Practice Evaluation—A self-administered assessment consisting of a practice status declaration and either a:
- Practice Evaluation Questionnaire—for a licence holder to describe how they practise engineering and mitigate risks, and to determine their target CPD hours for the year, which will be a personalized target of up to 30 hours; or a
- Non-practising Survey—for a non-practising licence holder to describe their non-practising situation and prospect of practising again, and will not have a CPD target.
- Professional Practice Module—A self-paced learning module for a licence holder (whether practising or not practising) that covers regulatory topics such as professional practice, engineering ethics and regulatory processes, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion within the profession and the role played by engineers in the safeguarding of the public welfare and the environment.
- Continuing Professional Development Report—A reporting mechanism for a licence holder to declare their completed CPD in response to their personalized CPD target for the year (as determined by the Practice Evaluation Questionnaire).
The first two elements should take less than one hour to complete together and submitting reports for the third element should only take a minute for each report.
Individuals completing the PEAK program will be assigned program elements based on their practice status and licence status combination.
Eligible to practise
An individual with a status of “eligible to practise” must complete all three elements of the PEAK program every calendar year:
- The Practice Evaluation is due January 31;
- The Professional Practice Module is due January 31; and
- The Continuing Professional Development Report is due December 31.
Generally, an individual with a status of “not currently eligible to practise” must complete two elements of the PEAK program every calendar year:
- The Practice Evaluation is due January 31; and
- The Professional Practice Module is due January 31.
However, an individual with an administratively suspended licence must complete all overdue program elements that caused the suspension. For some individuals, that will mean completing two overdue elements. For others, that will mean completing three overdue elements.
Practice Status reflects whether an individual who is recorded on the PEO register is currently engaged in the practice of professional engineering. Two practice status options are available: Practising and Not Practising.
Section 1 of the Professional Engineers Act defines the practice of professional engineering using a three-part definition:
- Any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising, or the managing of such act;
- That requires the application of engineering principles; and
- Concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment.
An individual's Practice Status with PEO is not influenced by where they live, their job title, employer, work sector, employment type or status, whether they "stamp" engineering documents with the licence seal, whether the "industrial exception" could potentially apply to their work situation, or whether their practice activities are free or paid work.
You are practising if you are currently engaged, or plan to engage later in the year, in the practice of professional engineering (all three parts of the definition), including your part-time, volunteer and unpaid work.
A practising licence holder is described by any of the following situations:
- An individual who is currently practising professional engineering, regardless of their job title, their hierarchical position at work, whether the practice activities are free or paid, whether the activities are full-time or occasional, or whether they use their licence seal.
- A licence holder who is an engineering lecturer who delivers—or who supervises students and research assistants who deliver—contract work or research for parties outside the educational institution, provide expert opinions, provide consulting services, or carries out any other type of paid or volunteer work that involves the activities identified in the definition of the practice of professional engineering.
You are not practising if you are not currently engaged and do not plan to engage later in the year in the practice of professional engineering (all three parts of the definition), including your part-time and intermediate, volunteer and unpaid work. Section 51.2 of Regulation 941 requires you to change your practice status to practising within 30 days of resuming practising. Note: Some of these individuals will have specific PEO requirements to satisfy before they can resume practising.
A “non-practising” licence holder or individual is described by any of the following situations:
- A licence holder who self-declares or elects a “not practising” status because they are not currently practising, not even on a volunteer, pro bono or unpaid basis—such as retirees; individuals on study, parental/caregiver or medical leave; individuals who are unemployed; and individuals working in a non-practising role regardless of whether they work in or outside the field of engineering.
- A licence holder who is an engineering lecturer who only teaches, supervises student projects or carries out basic research with an outcome that would not be directly used or relied upon by others. Such as teaching and educational activities about engineering content do not fall within the scope of the practice of professional engineering.
- A licence holder enrolled in fee remission (PEO’s reduced fee program).
- An individual with a suspended licence.
Licence Status reflects whether PEO considers an individual who is recorded on the PEO register eligible to practise professional engineering. Two licence status options are available: Eligible to practise and Not currently eligible to practise
CPD admissibility criteria
A CPD activity is admissible for the PEAK program if the learning content helps the licence holder reduce their risk to the public arising from their acts of professional engineering. A CPD activity is acceptable if the learning activity addresses knowledge of the responsibilities of professional engineers, understanding of pertinent codes and standards, and knowledge of best practices in acts of professional engineering (all of which must be relevant to their practice areas).
Two areas of learning
From 2024, the following two areas of learning (or learning content) are valid: Priority CPD and Supplementary CPD
Compliance will be demonstrated as follows:
- Your declared CPD for the year must meet or exceed your CPD target.
- A minimum of eighty percent of your CPD target must come from priority CPD. In other words, up to twenty per cent of your CPD target could come from supplementary CPD.
If your CPD target is 10 hours, you can demonstrate compliance as follows:
If your CPD target is 10 hours, you can demonstrate non-compliance as follows:
The PEAK program accepts all learning formats since individuals learn in different ways, have unique personal circumstances and because PEAK focuses on what is learned rather how it is learned. This means that licence holders must complete CPD activities that are PEAK admissible, but they can participate in activities in their preferred learning formats. These include CPD activities that are free or paid, self-paced or instructor-led, delivered virtually or in person or in a hybrid format, as well as events that are held locally or overseas.
Licence holders must assess every CPD activity individually to determine whether it is suitable for their PEAK CPD reporting needs.
CPD activity hours should be reported on a one-to-one basis, meaning that the actual time spent on the CPD activity is reported. However, only the admissible portion should be reported. For example, if an individual completes a four-hour CPD activity but only 3 hours and 15 minutes of the activity meets the PEAK CPD admissibility criteria, then the individual can declare in their PEAK CPD Report up to three hours and 15 minutes of the activity because the rest of the activity is inadmissible.
Types of CPD activities
Examples of activities include studying and reading, attending seminars and webinars, passing technical courses, delivering engineering lectures, presentations or publications, developing engineering guidelines, and participating in technical mentoring.
Note: CPD activities can be accrued during work hours. However, professional practice work does not count as a valid CPD activity.
You are required to retain proofs of your completed CPD activities for three years in case your PEAK declarations are selected for an audit. When requested by PEO, these proofs must be submitted electronically using Word, PDF or JPEG formats.
The following supporting documentation would be acceptable proofs for your CPD activities:
- Registration records such as:
- Enrollment confirmation.
- Conference registration.
- Sign-in sheet.
- Attendance log.
- Content records such as:
- Your dated notes for the activity.
- Course transcript.
- Description of topics covered by the session.
- Session resources, like presentation slides, speaker notes or recording of the session.
- Agenda for the meeting, discussion or event.
- Attendance records such as:
- Letter of attendance.
- Certificate of completion.
- Attendance receipt.
- Exam result.
- Confirmation of having presented or been a speaker.
PEO does not endorse any CPD provider; nor does PEO accredit any CPD activity. Providers may advertise their CPD activities as offering engineering knowledge that participants may consider for their CPD needs, at the participant’s discretion. Providers may supply certificates of attendance or completion; however, they must not suggest that PEO or the PEAK program has endorsed, validated, or accredited the learning activity.
And, while PEO does not offer CPD events, PEO chapters may choose to organize these events.
CPD providers can advertise their CPD activities through PEO’s magazine, Engineering Dimensions. Details about the magazine and the media kit for advertising through the magazine are available on this web page: https://www.peo.on.ca/about-peo/engineering-dimensions.
PEO is committed to enforcing the annual PEAK program starting in the 2024 calendar year. Licence holders who are found to be non-compliant could have their licence suspended administratively and the suspension will be displayed publicly on PEO’s directory of practitioners. These individuals will be able to lift their suspension anytime and instantly by remedying the reasons for non-compliance.
From 2024, penalties could include:
Note: A person with an administratively suspended licence cannot call themselves a professional engineer or limited licence holder, cannot use the licence title, cannot practise professional engineering and they cannot be the designated person for certificates of authorization under section 47 of Regulation 941 of the Professional Engineers Act. This suspension will be lifted as soon as they complete all overdue elements of the program that caused the suspension.
Fee remission enrollees
Beginning in 2024, licence holders enrolled in PEO’s fee remission program (such as retired engineers) are exempt from all PEAK requirements. These licence holders pose low risk to the public because they are non-practising and agree not to practise. Please note that those in fee remission are still subject to the Professional Engineers Act and its regulations in all other respects.
Individuals in their first calendar year of licensure
Licence holders in their first calendar year of being newly licensed or reinstated are exempt from the PEAK program for that year and are automatically assigned a licence status of “eligible to practise.” However, they must start the PEAK program from the next calendar year. In other words, if they are licensed this year, they will start the program from January 1 next year and continue every year after that.
Individuals who change their statuses
Individuals who declare their status at least once this year and then change their status to “eligible to practise” later in the same year will not have a CPD reporting requirement for the rest of this year because the CPD Report element will be waived for the rest of this year.
Individuals with a disciplinarily suspended licence
Individuals with a licence that has been suspended for disciplinary reasons must still complete the PEAK program. However, because of their suspension, they are limited to a licence status of “not currently eligible to practise” and will be required to complete two elements of the PEAK program (practice evaluation and professional practice module; they will not have a CPD reporting requirement while their licences are suspended).
Individuals with an administratively suspended licence
Individuals with a licence that has been suspended administratively must complete the overdue PEAK program elements to lift the suspension. That means for some individuals, they could have two overdue elements (practice evaluation and professional practice module) or three overdue elements (practice evaluation, professional practice module and CPD report).
Individuals already completing other CPD programs
There is no PEAK exemption for PEO licence holders who complete CPD reporting programs elsewhere—like for their employers, technical associations or bodies, or other engineering regulators. These licence holders must still complete the PEAK program based on their practice status. They must complete the first two elements of the PEAK program which are specific to the Ontario jurisdiction. And if they declare as “practising” for Ontario, the CPD activities they completed for other CPD programs could potentially count for the PEAK program if those CPD activities meet the PEAK CPD admissibility criteria.
The voluntary PEAK program ended in December 2022 and access to those records is no longer available. The new mandatory PEAK program started January 1, 2023. Records from the voluntary PEAK program will not be transferred to the mandatory PEAK program. And access to voluntary PEAK records is no longer available to participants (who were advised earlier this year to save copies of their PEAK records before December 2022.)
The mandatory version will reflect the following changes:
- A new program cycle that runs on the calendar year for everyone (licence fee cycles remain unchanged for now).
- A new information system and an improved layout for the program.
- New labels for elements of the program.
- PEO's new options for Licence Status and Practice Status.
- From 2024, an administrative licence suspension may be applied every March 1 for overdue program elements.
- From 2024, submissions to the program could be audited by PEO for compliance.
Contact the PEAK program team for more information by email at peoPEAK@peo.on.ca or by phone
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
40 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 101
416.840.1117; or by extension 1117 when calling 416.224.1100 or toll-free 1.800.339.3716