International graduates benefit from changes to Professional Engineers Act
By Mary Del
Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) recently announced the passage of Bill 68, legislation that includes the first major amendments to the Professional Engineers Act in more than 25 years. The amendments include changes to assist international engineering graduates seeking licensure in the province.
"The 66 amendments to the Professional Engineers Act reflect the provincial government’s commitment to a strong engineering profession that can best serve the public and respond to the needs of Ontario businesses and individuals seeking to be licensed to practice professional engineering," said PEO president Diane Freeman, P.Eng., FEC.
Highlights of Bill 68 include:
• The requirement to be a citizen or to have the status of a permanent resident of Canada to obtain a licence to practice professional engineering has been eliminated. With the elimination of the residency requirement, many qualified applicants can now arrive in Canada with a provisional licence in hand and be ready to immediately enter the engineering workforce.
• The exception related to having to be licensed to carry out an act within the practice of professional engineering in relation to machinery and equipment for use in the facilities of a person’s employer has been repealed. This exception exists only in Ontario.
• PEO is leading the effort to create a national framework where all Canadian jurisdictions have the same requirements for licensure to best serve the public interest. Through Bill 68, the Professional Engineers Act adopts the national definition of "professional engineering," which is essential to harmonizing these requirements.
• PEO has for years collaborated with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists to enable highly skilled technologists and applied science graduates to practice professional engineering within their areas of expertise through a limited licence issued by PEO. The bill enables limited licensees to offer professional engineering services within the limitation of their licences independently to the public.
Bill 68 can be accessed at http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=2358. The amendments to the Professional Engineers Act are included in Schedule 2.