Canadian Consulting Engineer

News

Ontario architects and engineers frustrated over new building code tests

The professional associations of engineers and architects in Ontario have issued a sharp public criticism of the ne...


The professional associations of engineers and architects in Ontario have issued a sharp public criticism of the new building code regulations implemented at the beginning of this year. The new regulations, introduced as “Bill 124,” require building design professionals to pass examinations showing their knowledge of the building code. They also have to register with the government and obtain a registration number.
Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) is advising engineers not to put their Building Code Identification Number on drawings, “as it may confuse the public that BCINs have replaced engineers’ seals.”
Pat Quinn, P.Eng., president elect of PEO, is questioning the whole validity and wisdom of the process. “Why a government that was not the originator of Bill 124 would have pushed it through against the advice of the senior professions involved in the building industry is inexplicable,” he says.
PEO’s press release also notes that while engineers took over 10,000 exams last year in order to qualify under the new regulations, the building code they were tested on is about to be revised with major changes in 2006.
Despite PEO’s opposition to the regulations, the association is starting to consider changes of its own in how it registers building design engineers. In March, the association will review proposals for a new building design specialist designation that it developed with input from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Attorney General. And, later this month, PEO will meet with the Attorney General who is overseeing the mandates of the self-governing professions in the province.
In a reader poll on Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine’s website, 67% of respondents were against testing engineers on knowledge of the building code. However, approximately 33% said that government testing was the correct course of action.