On Friday, February 26, 2021, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) Council approved a motion to move forward with the creation of a mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) program for its licence holders. PEO’s statement reads, in part:
Council’s decision rescinds a motion from its September 25, 2015 meeting, in which Council affirmed “its intent to ask the membership to ratify in a referendum any mandatory requirement to participate in a continuing professional development competency and quality assurance program.”
Mandatory CPD, once in place, will bring PEO in line with the best practices of other regulators of professions, including other engineering regulators, which have a mandate to protect the public.
PEO’s motion is in line with the recommendations contained in external reports, including:
- The External Regulatory Review that PEO commissioned, conducted by the UK Professional Standards Authority, released in May 2019
- The Coroner’s Recommendations from the Downsview Park stage collapse, released in April 2019
- The Belanger Commission Report regarding the Elliot Lake Mall collapse, released in October 2014
The decision also follows the reasoning ACEC Ontario and OSPE provided to the Ontario Attorney General back in 2018.
PEO Council also heard from their internal legal council that the original 2015 decision for a referendum on mandatory CPD was inappropriate, because as duly elected representatives, they were abdicating PEO’s regulatory obligation under the Professional Engineers Act to the interest of licence holders.
“Implementing mandatory continuing professional development will allow the public, government and businesses to determine whether engineers are practising or non-practising, while ensuring those that are consistently hone their skills through regular training in order to maintain licensure,” said Sandro Perruzza, CEO of OSPE. “We pledge CEO/Registrar, Johnny Zuccon, P.Eng., any support and assistance as he and his team work to implement CPD.”
OSPE President and Chair Réjeanne Aimey, P.Eng., said “I am very pleased the PEO Council has taken this historic step in the right direction. This reaffirms their role as a regulator – to always make decisions in the public interest, which do not require the approval of licence holders. As our society and technology continues to evolve, professional engineers need a new set of skills and knowledge to improve public safety, safeguard the environment, and thrive in this new knowledge economy.”
OSPE’s Vice Chair, Mark Frayne, P.Eng., commented “I would like to congratulate the PEO Council for their leadership and efforts to transform PEO into the regulatory body our profession requires to navigate our changing society and economy. OSPE will continue to encourage and support PEO Council as they strive to achieve the outcomes outlined in the PEO transformation plan. These positive changes will provide the engineering profession with the required guidance to continue to put the safety of the public first and foremost.” To view the congratulatory letter OSPE’s Board of Directors sent to the leadership at PEO, click here.
PEO and OSPE will continue to share details around timing and requirements for CPD as they become available.
Previous posts on this topic:
- OSPE’s CEO Reflects on Elliot Lake Report Anniversary – October 2020
- OSPE Statement on Coroner’s Inquest in to Downsview Stage Collapse – March 2019
- OSPE calls for action to halt non-regulatory activities at Professional Engineers Ontario – December 2018
- OSPE Statement regarding former engineer Robert Wood and the Algo Centre Mall case – June 2017
- Mandatory CPD – how will it impact you? – September 2015