507th MEETING, JUNE 23, 24, 2016
Almost 90 per cent of PEO members responding to a recent Member Satisfaction Survey are licensed only in Ontario; 45 per cent have been professional engineers for more than 20 years; 70 per cent are Canadian educated. These are among the demographic findings presented to council during its plenary session on June 23.
A strategy of the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan, aimed at furthering development of a “sustainable, organization-wide, continuous improvement culture,” the survey was conducted January 5 to February 5, 2016. A total of 57,870 licence holders received an eblast invitation to participate, with 3885 (6.7 per cent) completing the online questionnaire.
An overwhelming 90 per cent of survey respondents identified they have no connection to PEO aside from their P.Eng. licence, while 75 per cent reported not having attended a PEO chapter event in the past year. Of those who reported attending chapter events in the past two years, the most popular event types were social/recreational, professional development and professional networking.
Respondents had mixed views about the size and composition of PEO council, with 33 per cent indicating support for the current size and composition, 18 per cent indicating council is too big and wrongly composed, and 30 per cent indicating they don’t know the best size and composition of council to carry out PEO’s regulatory mandate. More than half of respondents (57 per cent) indicated support for term limits for volunteers on committees.
Respondents agreed PEO keeps them informed of government requirements regarding engineering practice (76 per cent), is interested in advancing professional engineering practice (74 per cent), and does a good job of protecting the public from incompetent and/or unethical professional engineers (65 per cent).
They also indicated PEO is doing a good job of disciplining licence holders for misconduct or incompetence (66 per cent), increasing understanding of professional regulation (63 per cent), fairly and impartially investigating complaints against licence holders (63 per cent), and enforcing against illegal practice or engineering title use (63 per cent).
Respondents rated the appropriateness of PEO’s focus of resources lowest in the areas of pre-university education outreach, repeal of the industrial exception, communications and enforcement.
Results of the survey will be used as a baseline and as an input to the next PEO strategic plan. The Member Satisfaction Survey summary report is available at: www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/29920/la_id/1.htm.
INDUSTRIAL EXCEPTION RESEARCH RECEIVED
Council was presented the findings of the Repeal of the Industrial Exception Data Gathering and Analysis Research Project during its plenary session on June 23, and received the full research report at its meeting on June 24. The research project was aimed at “determining an evidence-based case to support the repeal of the industrial exception” through gathering and analyzing statistics, court prosecutions and Ministry of Labour investigations and engineering reports to find out whether workers were injured as a result of unlicensed employees doing engineering work for their employers on equipment and machinery used to make a product. Council discussed how PEO might follow up on the research report, which will be published to the PEO website.
NEW PEO GUIDELINE APPROVED
Council approved for publication a new guideline, Structural Engineering Design Services for Buildings, developed by a subcommittee of the Professional Standards Committee. To be published to PEO’s website, the guideline offers best practices for engineers providing structural engineering services in buildings, emphasizing their duties to employers, clients and the public. It recommends ways to ensure responsibilities are clear when several practitioners provide structural engineering services for different aspects of a building.
TASK FORCE TO REVIEW COUNCIL COMPOSITION
Council approved establishing a task force to examine and make recommendations on the size and makeup of PEO council. Council also directed the registrar to draft a terms of reference and propose members for the task force, for its approval in September.
Council also increased the budget for an existing task force on term limits for council positions from $7,500 to $15,000.
2017 BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS APPROVED
Council has approved assumptions to guide development of PEO’s 2017 operating and capital budgets. The operating budget is to be balanced with no increase in fees (for the eighth consecutive year). Net growth for full-fee professional engineers is assumed to be 1 to 1.5 per cent, while retirees and partial fee members are assumed to increase by 3.5 to 4 per cent. Salaries are assumed to increase by 3 per cent, comprising a consumer price index adjustment of 2 per cent and a 1 per cent merit pool. Non-labour expenses are assumed to increase at the forecast inflation rate of 2 per cent and all programs may be evaluated. It is assumed chapter spending may be outside the forecasted inflation rate, depending on business plans, bank balances and regional business demands. Council will have an opportunity to review a draft budget in September, prior to approval in November.