Long-awaited amendments to Regulation 941/90 of the Professional Engineers Act, intended to strengthen regulation of the profession by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), were filed April 2 by the Registrar of Regulations for Ontario. Several of these amendments became effective on their filing. Others will become effective on July 1, 2015, when corresponding pending amendments to the Professional Engineers Act will be proclaimed.
“We’re pleased PEO can make these changes to improve our transparency, accountability and effectiveness in regulating professional engineering, as well as recognize the important role played in the profession by the holders of our limited licences and new licensed engineering technologist class of limited licence,” said PEO Registrar Gerard McDonald, P.Eng., MBA.
Limited Licence and Certificate of Authorization
In 2010, section 17 of the Professional Engineers Act was amended through the Open for Business Act to add limited licence holders to those who can be responsible for the engineering services provided to the public under a business entity’s Certificate of Authorization (C of A), but was not proclaimed into effect, pending changes to the supporting regulations related to the requirements for obtaining the limited licence and the C of A.
The amendments to section 46 of Regulation 941/90 strengthen the requirements to obtain a limited licence, to protect the public interest now that limited licence holders can be responsible for engineering services offered or provided directly to the public, within the limitations of their licences, under a C of A.
Enabling limited licence holders to be responsible under a C of A meets marketplace and practitioner needs without compromising public safety and welfare.
The amendments to section 46 also make more general the academic requirements for a limited licence to accommodate applicants with technical degrees/diplomas in a broader range of disciplines than those to which the licence historically applied. Applicants for a limited licence will be expected to demonstrate equivalent depth of knowledge within the proposed limitation of their licences to that expected of applicants for a professional engineer licence.
The amendments to section 46 and sections 47, 48, 49 and 50 will become effective on July 1, 2015.
Licensed Engineering Technologist (LET)
The addition of a new section 46.0.1 to the regulation establishes the licensed engineering technologist (LET) class of limited licence. A limited licence holder who is also a Certified Engineering Technologist (C.E.T.) with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) will be able to apply for this class of limited licence and, if approved, use the protected title of licensed engineering technologist and LET designation. LETs will be issued a seal that is different from the seal other limited licence holders use. Amendments relating to the licensed engineering technologist class of limited licence become effective on July 1, 2015.
“The new LET designation provides a pathway for qualified members to practise professional engineering within a defined scope of practice. It reflects that a practitioner has met additional qualifications to obtain and maintain his or her OACETT certification, and demonstrates a willingness to be held professionally accountable by both their licensing and certification bodies,” said Stephen Morley, C.E.T., president of OACETT.
Engineering interns recognized
Amendments to section 32.1 of the regulation establish an engineering intern class of person whose interests are related to PEO’s, and enable proclamation into effect of the pending section 20.1 of the Professional Engineers Act, which was approved in 2010 as part of the Open for Business Act. Engineering interns will be able to use the protected EIT designation and engineering intern title to reflect their commitment to professionalism and place on the path to becoming professional engineers. This amendment will become effective on July 1, 2015.
Requirements for licensure
Changes to subsections 40(2) and 41(2) of the regulation provide greater clarity to licence applicants about how they might meet licence requirements, and increase PEO’s accountability and transparency. Specifically, PEO’s Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) and Experience Requirements Committee (ERC) must now specify the academic or experience requirements to be met when either committee determines an applicant does not meet the requirements for licensure. Previously, ARC was required only to recommend to the Registrar the examinations or other academic requirements an applicant must complete, while ERC was required only to determine whether an applicant meets the experience requirements and so inform the Registrar.
Changes to sections 43 and 44 of the regulation harmonize the requirements to obtain a temporary licence with those for obtaining a licence as a professional engineer and streamline the list of exemptions to the requirement that a temporary licence holder collaborate with a Canadian P.Eng. who is responsible for their work by enabling a temporary licence holder who has 12 months of Canadian experience to be exempted from the requirement for a collaborator. This is the same Canadian experience required for a full P.Eng. licence. These amendments are in effect.
The collaborator requirement is to ensure temporary licence holders’ work in Ontario complies with Canadian and Ontario laws, codes and standards.