CPD Requirements for Engineers in Canada

Established in 1936, Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering, set CPD requirements for engineers in Canada and license the country’s more than 250,000 professional engineers.

Engineers Canada serves the 12 Associations, which are its constituent and sole members, by delivering national programs that ensure the highest standards of engineering education, professional qualifications and professional practice.

CPD Requirements for Professional Engineers in Canada

Professional Engineers (PEng) are expected to keep current on the latest advances in technology, materials, standards and practices through continuing professional development.  Engineers Canada provides a Competency Based Assessment Program to assist the Associations to deliver programmes that encourage and support the continued qualification of professional engineers after initial licensing.

CPD HoursEngineers Canada provides guidance on CPD, but the Member Associations set the CPD requirements for engineers in Canada. These are usually based on Professional Development Hours (PDHs) with different types of CPD having different weightings. Examples of CPD hours for different Member Associations:
Types of CPD
  • Professional practice: Technical work in one’s area of Practice
  • Formal education: Structured courses or programs - seminars, courses, workshops, and university or college courses
  • Informal education: Activities that are not normally offered by an educational institution or other formalized organization - self-directed study (e.g. reading technical journals, books or manuals), attendance at conferences, workshops and industry trade shows, attendance at technical, professional or managerial meetings and structured discussion of technical or professional issues with peers.
  • Public, Community and Professional Service: Active participation in professional, technical or managerial associations or societies
  • Contributions to Knowledge: Preparation, publication and/or presentation of papers, journals, codes, standards or patents that expand or develop the technical knowledge base in the discipline.
CPD Subject Matter
  • Technical
  • Management
  • Communication
  • Business
  • Professional

CPD must be relevant to the 7 Core Engineering Competencies
for Professional Engineers

A – Apply engineering knowledge, methods and techniques
Definition: Solves engineering problems using appropriate theoretical and practical engineering principles

B – Use engineering tools, equipment or technology
Definition: Uses appropriate engineering tools, equipment or technology based on a sound understanding of engineering principles.

C – Protect the public interest
Definition: Practises engineering while safeguarding life, health, property, economic interests, and the environment, with an awareness of the risks and impacts of engineering work
View Continuing Professional Development’s environmental and risk management online courses for help with this competency standard.

D – Manage engineering activities
Definition: Plans and organizes engineering activities, monitors progress, and makes adjustments to complete work within constraints.
(View Continuing Professional Development’s project management online courses for help with this competency standard)

E – Communicate engineering information
Definition: Effectively communicates engineering information verbally, graphically and in writing
(View Continuing Professional Development’s communications planning online course for help with this competency standard)

F – Work collaboratively in a Canadian environment
Definition: Practises engineering in a Canadian environment to achieve organizational and project goals in a collaborative manner.
(View Continuing Professional Development’s project management online courses for help with this competency standard)

G – Maintain and enhance engineering skills and knowledge
Definition: Takes actions to maintain and enhance proficiency in the practice of engineering activities
(View Continuing Professional Development’s online course catalogue for help with this competency standard)

CPD assessment varies between the Associations, but the typical process is:

  • Professional members maintain a written record of CPD activities
  • CPD hours/activites are reported to the Association at regular intervals – usually annually
  • On request, the detailed activity record must be submitted to the Association for CPD review and audit.

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