Professional Engineers of Ontario Clarifies that it has no Jurisdiction over the Practice of Natural Science

In an earlier newsletter we reported how, following the removal of the exemption for Natural Scientists from the 2010 Ontario Professional Engineering Act, a joint Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO)-Natural Sciences Task Force was assembled and developed recommendations to establish and Overlapping Practices Committee and a national committee, working with Engineers Canada to determine the general conditions under which a Natural Scientist would require a license or certification (from some professional organization).  The complete Joint Engineering Natural Sciences Task force report may be found on the CAP website at…. CAP Council endorsed the report and its recommendations at its June 12th meeting in St. John’s, NFLD.

 Although CAP and other Natural Science Societies welcomed these recommendations, they nonetheless did not provide explicit recognition that Natural Science is usually distinct from Professional Engineering and that PEO has no authority over those who practice only Natural Science. Following a brief meeting in May 2011 in the Ontario Attorney General’s office involving representatives of PEO, Henry van Driel, CAP President, and Paul Vincett, Chair of CCR, it was agreed that PEO would provide an explicit statement on their website and in their literature indicating that PEO has no jurisdiction over the practice of natural science and that, if there is any concern that a natural scientist might be practicing professional engineering, that case will be considered by the Overlapping Practices Committee.  This was approved by PEO Council and a statement now appears on the PEO website ( in their “permanent” column.