Ontario engineers face new hurdle
Now that the Ontario government has passed legislation relating to its Building Code, Ontario engineers who work in...
Now that the Ontario government has passed legislation relating to its Building Code, Ontario engineers who work in the buildings sector have two years to pass the examinations and prove their expertise.
Bill 124, the Building Code Statute Amendment Act, 2002 came into force on September 1, 2003 requiring any professional engineer who submits plans for approval under the Code to pass examinations in general code knowledge and in one of 10 specific areas.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has posted the examination syllabi and application forms at www.obc.mah.gov.on.ca under Licensing and Registration. Now it is looking for organizations to develop and run courses to help engineers qualify for the certification and is asking for proposals. The Ontario Society for Professional Engineers, the voluntary organization representing engineers interests in the province, is likely to be one organization that will organize courses.
Meanwhile, the licensing body, Professional Engineers Ontario, is helping the government bring the new system into force. PEO will keep a database of qualified practitioners. Engineering firms have to employee such certified practitioners and also have to be registered.
According to an article in the latest edition of Engineering Dimensions, PEO and the Ministry will be setting up examination centres in various locations across the province. PEO has to revise its legislation to establish a process to de-register and register firms. It will be trying to recover its administration costs for running the program so that those who aren’t involved in buildings don’t have to subsidize those who are.
Another requirement under the new legislation is that those who register under the Ontario Building Code will need to have indemnity insurance in addition to an errors and omissions policy. The insurance will be based on a firm’s annual billing history.
The government is still working out the details of how it will implement the new legislation and Professional Engineers Ontario is on a steering committee. One question is why contractors are being treated more leniently than designers and others involved in the building permit process.