Ontario’s P.Eng. regulator removes requirement for Canadian experienceBusiness & Professional Engineering Editor Pick Engineering engineers P.Eng. PEO professional engineering professional engineers Professional Engineers Ontario
The change responds to new provincial legislation.
Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), the licensing and regulating body for professional engineering in its province, has dropped the requirement for Canadian work experience from its application criteria, so as to remove unfair barriers for internationally trained immigrants.
“Each year, up to 60% of the engineering licence applications PEO receives are from internationally trained engineers,” says Roydon Fraser, president of PEO. “By no longer requiring proof of Canadian experience when applying for an engineering licence, PEO will effectively ensure qualified applicants can be licensed more quickly.”
With the change, engineering becomes the first regulated profession in Ontario to remove such a requirement, while maintaining existing licensing and exam requirements.
“PEO will continue to ensure all professional engineers meet rigorous qualifications for licensing and only properly qualified individuals practise engineering, through a competency-based assessment model and other methods for evaluation,” Fraser says.
PEO’s announcement follows Ontario’s introduction of legislation that bans the requirement across more than 30 occupations, to help thousands of qualified professionals work in their chosen fields. The provincial government cites studies that have shown only a quarter of internationally trained immigrants within Ontario work in the regulated professions for which they trained.
“It’s an all-too-common experience: meeting a skilled newcomer, trained as an engineer, working in a low-wage job that has nothing to do with their profession,” says Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development. “I congratulate PEO for taking this historic step.”
Ontario is the first province to ban unfair or discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements. In December, all such requirements will be automatically voided, unless an exemption is granted by McNaughton’s ministry for public health and safety reasons.
In 2019, engineers represented the fourth-largest regulated profession in Ontario, with 85,649 members, and included the second-largest number of internationally trained members, with 24,258 registered in the profession.