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Ethics Notes

The title professional engineer is restricted by law to those persons who have
demonstrated their competence and who have been licensed in a provincial or territorial
Association of professional engineers.

Identical Legislation: Alberta, BC, Manitoba, NB, NFLD, NW Territories, Nunavut, &

Separate Legislation: Ontario, NS, & Quebec

No Legislation: PEI & Yukon

The Technical Team

Research Scientist: Scientists develop ideas that expand the frontier of knowledge
ideas that may not have practical applications for many years.

Engineer: Engineers provide the key link between theory and practical applications.

Technologist: Technologists usually work under the direction of engineers in applying

engineering principles and methods to fairly complex engineering problems.

Technician: Technicians usually work under the supervision of engineers or technologists

in the practical aspects of engineering tests or equipment maintenance. (Training is
usually short than for technologists).

Skilled Worker: Skilled workers apply highly developed manual skills to carry out the
designs and plan of others. (Usually it is the quality of the apprenticeship rather than the
workers formal education that is important).

Dictionary Definition of Profession

A calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive preparation
including instruction in skills and methods as well as in the scientific, historical, or
scholarly principles underlying such skills and methods, maintaining by force committing
its members to continued study and to a kind of work which has for its prime purpose the
rendering of a public service.

CCPE Definition of Professional Engineering

Any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or

supervising, or managing any of the foregoing, that required the application of
engineering principles and that concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property,
economic, interest, the public welfare of the environment.
Contents of the Acts

The purpose of the Act

The legal definition of engineering and/or geoscience
The procedure for establishing a provincial or territorial Association, and the
purpose (or objects) of the Association
Standards for admission to the Association (or for the granting of a license)
Procedures for establishing regulations to govern professional practice
Procedures for establishing bylaws to govern the Associations administration and
to elect a governing council
A Code of Ethics to guide the personal actions of the members
Disciplinary procedures

In any engineering project, the professional engineer is responsible for ensuring that the
factor of safety has been calculated properly, and is adequate. This responsibility for
life, health, property or the public welfare is required by the Code of Ethics.
Regulations are rules that have been established to implement or support the Act. They
concern matters such as qualifications for admission to the Association, professional
conduct, and disciplinary procedures.

Bylaws are rules established to administer the Association itself. They concern matters
such as election procedures for the council, financial matters, committees, and meetings.
The Code of Ethics is a set of rules of personal conduct. Every engineer and geoscientist
must be familiar with this code and endeavour to follow it. A standard of professional
Admission to the Profession (requirements)

Quality of Experience: Each applicant must prepare and experience fesume and explain
how that experience satisfies the requirements. Five quality criteria:
Application of theory
Practical experience
Management of engineering
Communication Skills
Social implication of engineering
Documenting your Experience
Application of Theory Analysis, design & synthesis, testing methods, and project implementation
(typically 20%)
Management of Engineering Planning, scheduling, budgeting, supervision, project control, and risk
Communication Skills Evidence of preparing important written work (formal reports, design
specifications, contracts or similar documents), drawings or sketches
(where appropriate), and oral reports or presentations to supervisors,
management, clients or the general public.
Social implications of Any experience that heightens the engineers awareness of his or her
Engineering professional responsibility to guard against conditions that are dangerous
to life, health, property or the environment, and to call any such
conditions to the attention of those responsible.
Practical Experience Experience that helps you appreciate the capabilities and limitation of the
theory, equipment, systems, procedures, and standards that are typically
used in your discipline. (i.e. manufacturing methods & tolerances,
operating procedures, maintenance schedules, equipment reliability,
computer software, safety codes, design standards).

Professional Attitude
Time Management Schedule time efficiently.
Accuracy Double-check work done. Consequences of incorrect work in real life,
is much more serious than, in university.
Clarity Describe what you are doing in clear, concise terms.
Courtesy Be tactful & positive. Dont be afraid to disagree, but do it constructively,
with a friendly attitude, and speak courteously.
Challenges Once acclimatized to new environment, accept tough jobs. Challenges
will help develop skills & knowledge.

Management Skills (6 key attributes)

Vision Rise above the immediate task, & Visualize the desired goal.
Once have the vision, the task can be subdivided into smaller goals.
Planning Achieving the vision. The plan defines what is to be done and how to do it.
Organizing How the team must interact with one another. Organizing means imposing a
structure on the engineering team and coordinating the groups activities to
implement the plan.
Communicating Members on the team, need to understand the vision. An effective manager
conveys the vision & goals to the team member, and does so clearly, and then
checks to make sure the message was received. People skills such as courtesy,
tact, sympathy, and compassion are essential to this function.
Monitoring, evaluating, Check progress against the plan, evaluate whether progress is adequate, and
& controlling then control (or intervene) to bring the progress into line when it is deviating.
Role modelling An effective manager projects an attitude of competence, trustworthiness,
openness, and consistency.

The Engineers Seal

The purpose of licensing is to protect the public against incompetence, negligence,

and professional misconduct.

In every province, the professional engineering Act provides for each engineer to
have a seal denoting that he or she is licensed.

In particular, preliminary documents should not be sealed; instead, they

should be marked preliminary or not for construction.
An engineer who knowingly signs or seals documents that have not been
prepared by himself or herself or by technical assistants under his or her direct
supervision may be guilty of professional misconduct, and may also be liable
for fraud or negligence if this misrepresentation results in someone suffering
Common problem: Engineers who are asked to check documents & then
sign and seal them. This is usually not ethical. (Documents should be sealed
by the engineer who prepared them or who supervised their preparation).
Never assume responsibility for work that you have not thoroughly and
independently reviewed.

(A Standard of Profession Conduct)

Each code, defines, in general terms, the duties of the engineer to the public, to the
employer (or client), to fellow engineers, to the engineering profession, and to himself or
herself. The codes main purpose is to protect the general public from unscrupulous
practitioners. The Code of Ethics, carries the full force of the law.

Professional Misconduct & Discipline: Each provincial & territorial Act grants the
Association the authority to reprimand, suspend, or expel members who are guilty of
professional misconduct, which is usually defined as negligence, incompetence, or

CSCE Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (became EIC in 1918)

EIC Engineering Institute of Canada
CSA Canadian Securities Administrators
CCPE Canadian Council of Professional Engineers
(All provincial engineering Associations are federated members of CCPE,
the umbrella body for engineering. Members of the Association elect the
council, which appoints the staff and committees).
CEAB Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board
CEQB Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board
(Primary role, is to develop national guidelines for professional
engineering qualifications, standards of practice, ethics, and professional