PEO & OSPE: Two Sides of the Same Coin

5 Things You Need to Know About the Difference between PEO and OSPE


Here at OSPE, we’re often asked what the difference is between our sister organization, Professional Engineers Ontario, and our Society. In fact, it was one of the first topics we blogged about when we launched Society Notes back in June 2015 because it is such a frequently asked question.

In 2016, OSPE & PEO’s Joint Relations Committee (JRC) worked together to create a “Two Sides of the Same Coin” brochure outlining the mandates of each of our organizations. Below are some points you need to know.

  1. PEO regulates

PEO’s mission is to regulate and advance the practice of engineering to protect the public interest.

  • Licensing individuals who have met the rigorous qualifications
  • Disciplining licence holders who fail to maintain the profession’s technical and ethical standards
  • Ensure that only licence holders practise professional engineering
  1. OSPE advocates

OSPE is the advocacy association and the voice of the engineering profession in Ontario, representing the entire engineering community.

  • Influencing public policy
  • Building awareness of the many ways engineering enhances Ontario’s economy and quality of life
  1. This division of mandates is used by several professions

Lawyers have the Law Society of Upper Canada for regulation and the Ontario Bar Association for advocacy. Doctors have the College of Physicians and Surgeons for regulation and the Ontario Medical Association for advocacy. Engineers have PEO for regulation and OSPE for advocacy.

  1. OSPE wants to move the engineering profession in Ontario to a position of leadership
  • OSPE believes and promotes that engineers can play a proactive role in helping confront global challenges like climate change, sustainability and population growth
  • Engineers are leading innovators and entrepreneurs whose expertise can help decision makers understand and take into account whole system dynamics, particularly with respect to technology
  • As engineers step up as leaders in Ontario, society’s perception of the value of the engineering profession will increase dramatically.
  • Young people will be inspired by the clear, positive identity of the engineering community and seek to join the ranks of these technologically adept, socially and environmentally conscious change agents
  • This is OSPE’s key goal for the profession – to bring engineers not only from a position of service, but also to a position of leadership.
  1. PEO’s mandate is to govern practitioners and regulate engineering practice

For the purpose of carrying out its principal object, PEO has additional objects, set out in section 2(4) of the Professional Engineers Act:

  1. To establish, maintain and develop standards of knowledge and skill among its members
  2. To establish, maintain and develop standards of qualifications and standards of practice for professional engineering
  3. To establish, maintain and develop standards of professional ethics among its members
  4. To promote public awareness of the role of the Association
  5. To perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as are imposed or conferred on the Association by or under any Act

To find out more about OSPE and PEO’s distinct mandates, as well as how our two organizations work together for the future of engineering in Ontario, download the Two Sides of the Same Coin brochure.


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