Four reasons why it’s in an employer’s best interest to encourage engineering staff to get licensed

Having professional engineers on staff is a smart business investment that can save your organization precious resources while helping it grow. Making sure that engineering staff currently have their P.Eng. licence or are successfully progressing toward their licence should be a goal for every engineering manager.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:


1. Optimizing Human Resources

While engineering graduates are permitted to handle draft work, by law only professional engineers can sign-off on designs or certify plans. Any engineering product or service work that may pose a risk to the safety of life, health, property, economic interest, or welfare of the public or the environment must be certified by a professional engineer. Thus, having more engineers on your team can save time and potential duplication of energy when it comes to getting work out the door.

2. Succession Planning

The Canadian workforce is reaching a critical point wherein many experienced individuals are on the cusp of retiring. Having multiple professional engineers on staff can give your organization a leg up when planning your leadership pipeline.

To become a professional engineer, individuals must have proven their tenacity and commitment to professionalism through four years of rigorous work experience and a credentialing process. You can be assured when assessing job applications that candidates who have their P.Eng. designation have proven hands-on engineering experience. Meanwhile, mentoring existing engineering team members through the licensure process as part of their annual development plans can also help you to monitor an individual’s growth areas and leadership potential.

3. Commitment to Excellence

Professional engineers must perform under a standard of professional behaviour which requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct on behalf of the public, clients, their employer, and the profession. Letting your clients know that your organization has pledged to hire professional engineers and help junior staff obtain their P.Eng. designations sends a clear message that you are committed to getting the job done, and to the highest degree of quality and social responsibility.

4. Reputational and Financial Risk

In Canada, “engineer” is a legally restricted title. If any person within your organization is using an occupational title that might lead a client or member of the public to believe that the person is qualified to practice professional engineering, this is a prosecutable offense with fines ranging from $10,000-$50,000 per individual. Don’t let your company or your engineering team members get caught off-guard with expensive legal fees and reputational damage for an innocent administrative oversight.

How can OSPE help?

Individuals may not need to be licensed prior to coming on board with your organization, but attaining their designation should be a development goal. Research has shown that preparatory courses can improve examination success rates, while also saving candidates and their employers time and money. OSPE offers P.Eng. Licensure Preparation courses that cover each step of the P.Eng. licensure process.

Step 1: PEO Technical Exams Prep courses

Often, PEO requires applicants to sit one or multiple technical knowledge exams before becoming a P.Eng. candidate, or Engineering Intern (“EIT”). OSPE offers online prep courses for each of PEO’s Technical Exams to help these individuals move swiftly toward licensure candidacy.

OSPE’s courses run August to November. Start dates vary

Step 2: Preparatory Course for the Professional Practice Exam (PPE)

Jointly taught by a lawyer and an experienced professional engineer, OSPE’s most popular course covers the ethical and professional practice, and the legal concepts and issues components of the PPE. Participants of this course have a 98% PPE pass rate.

Examination Skills Preparation for the International Engineering Graduates (IEGs):

Specifically designed for international engineering graduates (IEGs) and funded through the Ministry of Immigration and Citizenship, OSPE’s Exam Skills Preparation program provides qualifying candidates with effective techniques and strategies for taking the PPE.

For more information about how OSPE can cater its offerings to help your staff achieve professional licensure, contact Chett Bradley, OSPE’s Program Lead, Learning & Development, at


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