Professionalism and Ethics

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The Professional Practice Examination

Every person who wants to become a professional engineer (P.Eng.) in Canada must pass the Professional Practice Examination. The Professional Practice Examination tests your knowledge of the laws that affect the engineering profession both directly and indirectly, the professional standards to which you will be held accountable, and ethical standards in Canada as well as other topics such as contracts, patents, trademarks and copyrights. For more information about this examination, refer to the Guideline on the Professional Practice Examination


When can I take the Professional Practice Examination?

You can take the Professional Practice Examination at any time after you have met all the academic qualifications for the profession.  It is important to be well prepared and confident in your English or French language competencies.

To take the Professional Practice Examination an engineering association should be considering your licence application. You can only apply to take the exam through them.

Sessions for the Professional Practice Examination are offered at least two times per year. Many provincial/territorial engineering associations will allow you to write this exam from any location—even overseas—under certain conditions.

Study materials and application instructions are available from any of Canada’s engineering associations. If you’re able, study for and complete your Professional Practice Examination while also fulfilling other steps to get your engineering licence.


Code of Ethics

Engineers in Canada must follow a code of ethics. This code of ethics guides professional engineers (P.Eng.) in their working lives, and includes the values of truth, honesty and trustworthiness.

According to the Engineers Canada code of ethics, engineers will:

  1. Consider of the highest importance the safety, health and welfare of the public and the protection of the environment and promote health and safety in the workplace.

  2. Work only in areas of engineering in which they are skilled and experienced.

  3. Act as faithful agents of their clients or employers, maintain confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interest.

  4. Keep themselves informed to maintain their expertise, work to increase knowledge in their field and provide opportunities for the professional development of their colleagues.

  5. Conduct themselves with honesty, fairness, courtesy and good faith towards clients, colleagues and others, give credit where it is due, and accept, as well as give, honest and fair professional criticism.

  6. Present clearly to employers and clients the possible effects if engineering decisions or judgements are ignored or avoided.

  7. Report to their association or other appropriate agencies any illegal or unethical engineering decisions or practices by engineers or others. 

  8. Ensure that clients and employers are made aware of societal and environmental effects of actions or projects and do their best to portray engineering issues to the public in an objective and truthful manner.

  9. Treat fairly and promote the fair treatment of all clients, colleagues and coworkers, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, marital or family status, and national origin.

The provincial/territorial engineering associations may have their own codes of ethics, so be sure you are familiar with the code of ethics of the engineering association you’ve applied to.


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