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Registration Practices Assessment Report — Summary

PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS ONTARIO (PEO)

Registration Practices Assessment Report — Revised Summary
PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS ONTARIO (PEO)

Introduction

In February 2012, Ontario’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner assessed the way the Professional Engineers Ontario   registers people who apply for a licence to practise in Ontario, to ensure that the registration practices are fair and continue to improve.  

This summary of the assessment includes commendable practices that are under way and recommendations for improvement.

The Professional Engineers Ontario is subject to Ontario's fair access law, the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006 (FARPA). The law spells out the PEO's obligation to have transparent, objective, impartial and fair registration methods and requirements.

The Office of the Fairness Commissioner

To encourage accountability under the fair access law, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) works with professions’ regulatory bodies to improve the way they register people who apply for professional licences. As a result of the OFC’s work, qualified people, no matter where they were originally trained, will have faster, fairer access to their licence to practise here.

In its work with regulators so far, the OFC has found that they have succeeded in streamlining their registration processes, but they need to do more. For example, regulators need to be more transparent and hold their assessment agencies more accountable for fairness.

To encourage, and hold regulators accountable for, continuous improvement, the OFC assesses their licensing practices in a two-year cycle. This cycle includes recommending improvements where needed and monitoring the bodies’ action plans that address the OFC’s concerns. This approach benefits applicants, the professions and the province.

You can read more about the OFC’s strategy for continuous improvement and its guide for assessments elsewhere on this site.

For more information about this particular assessment, contact the OFC.

Note: The words license, register and certify all refer to authorizing a person to practise a profession.

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Commendable Practices

The Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is demonstrating many commendable practices, in the following areas. (These areas correspond to the sections of the assessment guide, and are derived from the fair access legislation.)

Information for Applicants

  • PEO's website is thorough and detailed, and contains all the information that a potential applicant needs in order to register in the profession. Applicants (including internationally trained applicants) can download all application materials. PEO includes the following documents in the Licensing & Registration section:
    • Licensing Guide and Application for Licence
    • Guide to the Required Experience for Licensing as a Professional Engineer in Ontario
    • Your Rights and Obligations as an Applicant
    • Preparing for Your Experience Requirements Committee Interview

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Recommendations

The OFC recommends improvements in the following areas. (These areas correspond to the sections of the assessment guide, and are derived from the fair access legislation. Recommendations marked "Required" correspond to the practices regulators must demonstrate in order to meet the specific duties in the legislation. Recommendations marked "Good" correspond to the practices the OFC encourages a regulatory body to adopt in order to meet the general duty to provide registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.)

Information for Applicants

Status
  • Add all information related to accommodation of special needs (for example, extra time to write an exam) in the Licensing & Registration section of the website. Note: PEO has agreed with this recommendation and will make the change as part of its website enhancement project. [Required]
Checked
November 2012
  • In the online document, Licensing Guide and Application for Licence, add more specific information about which documents are kept by PEO and which documents are returned to applicants upon written request. [Good]
Checked
June 2012
  • Add all the information related to the registration process, including steps, timelines and fees, in the Licensing & Registration section of the website. [Required; Good]
 

Training

 
  • Identify training opportunities for individuals who assess qualifications, make registration decisions, make internal review and appeal decisions, and apply any special considerations (to accommodate special needs) in the assessment of applicants. [Required]
Checked
June 2012
  • Identify training opportunities for staff members on the objectives of FARPA. [Good]
Checked
November 2012

Access to Records

 
  • Provide policy information related to all aspects of applicant access to records on the PEO website. [Good]
Checked
June 2012

Transparency

 
  • Implement the PEO Entry-to-Practice Review report's recommendations to create an online application and follow-up system, to augment or replace the current manual system involving mail, fax, and/or drop-off. This change will speed up the process and make it possible for applicants to check the status of their applications online. [Good]
 

Fairness

 
  • Provide the rationale for PEO's Canadian work experience requirements, including a detailed explanation of the unique qualities of engineering in Canada. Note: PEO has agreed to keep its Entry-to-Practice Review report, which includes the rationale for Canadian work experience, on the Home page of the PEO website. The OFC recommends that PEO also add a prominent link to this information in the Licensing & Registration section. [Good]
Checked
June 2012
Blank = Implementation is in progress.
Checked = Recommendation is implemented.
Acceptable alternative = Regulator implements acceptable alternative to this recommendation.

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